Runners Up, but Champs Still: Vena Cava Speaks About CFDA Win

vena_cava_cfda_q_and_aAs we reported, the women of Vena Cava, Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock, earned runner-up honors at Monday's CFDA Fund Awards, meaning they left the gala dinner with $50,000, a year's worth of business mentoring, and the keys to a new Lexus in their collective purse. The day after, they shared their experience with us—the nerves, the celebrations, the cheeseburgers…
What did you do in the hours leading up to the dinner? Were your stomachs in knots?
Sophie Buhai:Yes. I had a bad case of the jitters. I called my mom, stared at the ceiling, smoked a cigarette, and listened to the radio.
Liss Mayock: I guess I was kind of lucky that I had a full day—I had less time to be nervous. My dress had to get altered that morning though, and I didn't get it back until 5:30 and I had to leave at 6! That freaked me out a bit.
How did you feel going in, especially since you've been through this before with the Fund in '07?
SB: It's an amazing thing just to be nominated and go through the process. The industry is very supportive and to participate a second time was a privilege. It really has advanced our company in so many ways.
LM: It's true—the fashion industry gets a really bad rap as being back-stabbing and bitchy, but we've experienced the complete opposite. Being a nominee in the fund, you really get the sense that the judges are rooting for you. They really want you to succeed.
When they announced your runner-up win, how did you feel? What did you say to each other?
SB: Shock. All I could see was Harvey Weinstein's face in front of me.
LM: Total shocker here too. Everyone around me told me I looked terrified. And then to walk onstage and shake John Galliano's hand was just surreal…
Photo via
More questions, answers, and a chance to congratulate them below.
Who was the first person you called or texted?
SB: my bro.
LM: Our VC team.
We saw those wonderful dresses you were wearing to the gala. Why those pieces in particular?
SB: They were custom for the event—it was a good excuse to make something that was not part of the collection. They will probably end up in the fall collection, in some way.
What did you do after the ceremony?
SB: We were at The Ear Inn. We drank some beers with a few close friends.
LM: It was really low key. There were five of us. I ate a bacon cheeseburger and called it a night.
What are you going to do with all that cash?
SB: Feed the beast! The exciting thing is what are we going to do with the Lexus? VC Road Tour, t-shirts with all the cities we hit and the stores we sell to. We can sleep in the Lexus too! It's a luxury mini van. We're afraid it may get stolen parked in front of our studio.
Do you have your mentor yet?
SB:Not Yet. But for the past year Andrew Rosen has been our mentor. We call him our "Fashion Godfather". I think we'll ask the Don to consult with us on who the next mentor should be.
Anyone you'd like to thank?
Both: Our amazing Team&mdash: Chrissy, Carla, Shawna. And our friends who have helped us with every show and countless other aspects since the beginning.
Congrats ladies. You truly deserved that victory bacon cheeseburger. Give them your own kudos in the comments below!
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