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Announcing 2012 EDFF Winners



January 3, 2012, New York, NY—Ecco Domani® Wines of Italy announced today the recipients of the 2012 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation (EDFF) awards: Correll Correll, Eighteenth, Haus Alkire and Sunhee in the women's design category; Tim Coppens in the men's design category; Dezso by Sara Beltrán in the accessories category; and Titania Inglis in the sustainable design category. Each winner received a grant for $25,000 to help the talented group of emerging fashion designers showcase their collections on fashion's biggest stage, New York Fashion Week.

Now entering its eleventh season, the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation has awarded over $1.3 million in support of emerging designers. Established by Ecco Domani® Wines of Italy to make a meaningful contribution to the fashion community, the Foundation has helped to launch the careers of many of today's best and brightest fashion stars, including: Zac Posen, Derek Lam, Proenza Schouler, Peter Som, Rodarte, Vena Cava, Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung and Altuzarra.

"Ecco Domani wines are about style and innovation and the 2012 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award recipients truly embody these values," said Molly Davis, Marketing Director for Ecco Domani Wines. "We are proud to raise a glass to this year's winners and are honored that acknowledgement from the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation links these emerging fashion designers to our roster of well-known alumni."

More about the 2012 designers:

  • CORRELL CORRELL: German-born twin sisters Daphne and Vera Correll joined forces to form their label Correll Correll in 2006. Daphne studied at the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and at Cooper Union in New York, while Vera studied at the Rietveld Academie and graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. Before starting their line they both assisted numerous artists and designers including Christian Holstad, Vera Lutter, Marcel Wanders and Thomas Demand. Their studio and workshop is based in New York City's Lower East Side and their line is carried in select boutiques worldwide. They have been written about in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Vogue (german), Lucky, Maxi (german), Title magazine, Daily Candy, Refinery 29, Dream Sequence Blog and more. They have shown their collection during Berlin fashion week and have worked with showrooms such as Opening Cermony and Showroom Romeo in Paris and Zenyia in Tokyo.
  • EIGHTEENTH: Eighteenth's inaugural season, SS10, consisted of a collection of 6 t-shirts that gained attention due to the line's use of non-traditional angles, cut-outs and asymmetry. Now in its 5th season, Eighteenth has developed into a full-fledged collection that continues to innovatively use these elements to re-imagine basic garments. Eighteenth is guided by the ideas that basic is boring, asymmetry is more interesting and that simple lines make the boldest statements. Eighteenth is designed by Alexa Galler. A native of Atlantic City, Galler graduated magna cum laude from NYU and furthered her studies with a Fashion Design degree from Parsons. She worked the spectrum of the industry as a graphic and fashion designer before launching Eighteenth. Eighteenth has been featured in publications such as Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine, Lucky, People, & Time Out New York. The brand is also a favorite of popular online magazines Refinery 29, Daily Candy and Full Frontal Fashion. WWD recently highlighted Eighteenth in an article titled "Breaking Out" as an emerging brand to watch and one of the top "15 New York Designers to Watch" by Eighteenth was also selected to show its SS12 collection at GenArt's New York Fresh Faces in Fashion.
  • HAUS ALKIRE: Haus Alkire is a partnership between two artists, Julie Haus and Jason Alkire. Haus handles the majority of garment design, merchandising and textile procurement, while Alkire focuses on the colors and custom prints for each collection. The two collaborate to fuse their passions to create a cohesive womenswear collection. Haus is self-taught, and has been designing for over seven years. She is the designer behind Julie Haus, and through that company she has produced private label projects for Barneys New York and Anthropologie. Prior to becoming a designer she was the editor-in-chief of Spoon, a luxury publication distributed by Time Warner. Alkire has been a photographer, painter and graphic designer for most of his life. He has been designing digital prints for the past six years. Previously, Alkire was an advertising executive and freelance photographer. He also served as the creative director over all of Spoon Media's properties, including Spoon magazine. Together the partners have a retail space on Broome Street in SoHo, the design of which was another collaboration between Haus and Alkire. In the shop clients can purchase ready-to-wear as well as the artwork used in the creation of the ready-to-wear.
  • SUNHEE: Sunhee was born in Seoul, South Korea. After graduating from FIT, she was recruited by Alber Elbaz to work at Geoffrey Beene, and went on to design for Anna Sui, Elie Tahari and Anne Klein. Sunhee is a recipient of the prestigious American Designer Critic Award. She launched her self-titled line for Fall/Winter 2011. In her designs, Sunhee strives to truly understand what makes women feel beautiful and confident.
  • TIM COPPENS: Tim Coppens was born in Belgium and graduated from the internationally acclaimed Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 1998. After graduating, he moved to Munich to design for Bogner. In 2004 he joined the Adidas headquarters in Germany to lead the conceptual development of their high-end men's performance. Coppens moved to New York in 2008 when Ralph Lauren recruited him as design director for RLX, which he helped transform into one of the most fashion forward concept brands within the line. The Tim Coppens menswear line was launched in 2011 and can be characterized by graphic tailoring woven into classic pieces. He elegantly fuses functionality, derived from his technical-inspired background, within his designer pieces. The first fall 2011 collection was immediately picked up by Barneys. His Belgian training as a classic fashion designer, and his exposure to the most innovative technical apparel make a unique combination that forms the foundation of Tim Coppens.
  • DEZSO by SARA BELTRAN: Sara Beltrán started her fashion career in New York as a stylist. After 12 years of living in New York, the artist now calls Jaipur home. Her childhood romance with beach life and seashells always lingered in the back of her mind, and literally, on the shell necklace she handmade for fun. The line is called Dezso, Latin for "Desire"—and her love for the ocean continues to emerge in her latest pieces. She travels to different beaches around the world for inspiration. A lot of her pieces are shells that she picks from the ocean and then makes a mold and casts them in 18k gold. She loves using raw material such as polki diamonds, kyanites stones, fossilized shark teeth and fossilized shells. Colors are always inspired by the ocean and by special moments in her life.
  • TITANIA INGLIS: Titania Inglis was born and raised in Ithaca, New York, the daughter of a Chinese mother and an American father, and first became aware of her interest in design during a year abroad in Denmark. Much like her life, her eponymous womenswear line is a study in contrasts: minimal, yet lush; tough, yet feminine; modern, yet rooted in traditional handwork. A strong believer in craftsmanship, Titania drapes each piece by hand in her Brooklyn atelier, and has them sewn in a small factory in New York's garment district. The line's materials are selected with thought to their environmental impact as well as their quality, and include organic cottons from Japan, vegetable-tanned leather, and dead stock fabrics from the local garment industry. Titania also studied draping and patternmaking at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology and apprenticed under New York designers Camilla Stærk, Jean Yu, and Threeasfour before launching her solo line.

"As one of the new winners said in her application, 'The Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award is like the Oscars to me.' I think she's absolutely right," said EDFF judge Marylou Luther, editor at The International Fashion Syndicate. "Ecco Domani Wines has supported emerging talent for more than a decade, allowing those who are gifted the opportunity to shine within the industry, casting new light on the definition of style and inspiring other organizations to recognize--and reward--new talent."

This year's Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation recipients were selected by a distinguished committee of fashion insiders. The women's wear, sustainable and accessories designers were judged by Marylou Luther, editor at International Fashion Syndicate; Sally Singer, Editor-in-Chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine; Kim Hastreiter, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of Paper Magazine; Julie Gilhart, Fashion Consultant and former Senior Vice President of Fashion Merchandising at Barneys; Ruth Finley, Publisher of The Fashion Calendar; Nicole Fischelis, Vice President and Women's Fashion Director at Macy's; and Ken Downing, Senior Vice President and Fashion Director at Neiman Marcus. The men's category committee included Jay Bell, Vice President and Men's Divisional Merchandise Manager, at Barneys; Alex Badia, Men's Fashion Director of Women's Wear Daily and Josh Peskowitz, Style Director for Park & Bond/Gilt Man.

Almost 200 designers from across the U.S. submitted applications via the Ecco Domani website, To be eligible entrants must be in the design business for no longer than five years and have a minimum of one retail account. In addition to references, applicants are required to submit look books and/or photographs of their work, as well as a short video explaining why they deserve the award. From the initial pool of applicants, up to 25 semi-finalists were chosen in each category and then evaluated on samples of their most recent ready-to-wear women's, men's, sustainable and accessories collections. From this talented group the judges voted on the final seven.

Visit for more information and to see a complete list of EDFF alumni.

For more information or designer biographies and photos, please contact:
DeVries Public Relations
Perri Halperin
212-891-0406 /

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