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New EDFF Sustainable Design Category

ECCO DOMANIĀ® FASHION FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW SUSTAINABLE DESIGN CATEGORY

Eighth Season Highlights New Focus on the Future of Fashion

New York, NY, July 2008 - In its eighth season, the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation (EDFF) is proud to announce the addition of a new Sustainable Design Award. Each year EDFF awards the best and brightest rising stars of fashion a grant of $25,000, thereby allowing them the opportunity to showcase their collection at Fall Fashion Week in New York City. This year, four womenswear, one menswear, and one accessories designer will be joined by a sustainable design winner, who will have the extraordinary honor of having their collection seen and evaluated by the most influential names in fashion. The 2009 EDFF award winners will join a stellar alumni network including Zac Posen, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Peter Som, Thakoon, Rag & Bone, Erin Fetherston and Alexander Wang.

The new EDFF category will be open to both women's and men's ready-to-wear designers, and will evaluate fashion designers whose work considers the three elements of sustainability: Environment, social equity, and economic viability. Applicants must also demonstrate high performance in at least one area such as the use of environmentally friendly materials or production methods that promote fair trade or social equity for workers.

"Fashion is a very real reflection of the times we live in, and Ecco Domani is the first to create an award for those emerging designers who are not only thinking about fashion design, but also how the whole process affects the planet," says Julie Gilhart, EDFF judge and VP of Fashion Merchandising at Barneys New York. "True talent, in my opinion, is creating the same great design, style and energy that talented designers give, but also being concerned about lessening the footprint they are creating. It is most definitely the future of fashion, and with this new category, the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation is once again breaking new ground."

"The fashion industry as a whole is taking an important step towards eco-conscious design and production," says David Bowman, Senior Director of Marketing at Ecco Domani Wines. "Through this new award we are proud to acknowledge those emerging designers who are using their talent to make a difference in the world in which we live."

The EDFF committee of judges includes Marylou Luther (Editor of The International Fashion Syndicate), Sally Singer (Fashion News/Features Director at Vogue), Kim Hastreiter (Editor in Chief and Publisher of Paper), Nicole Fischelis (Fashion Director at Macy's), Julie Gilhart (Vice President of Fashion Merchandising at Barneys New York), Ruth Finley (Publisher of The Fashion Calendar) and Ken Downing (Fashion Director at Neiman Marcus). The equally formidable men's design committee includes Jay Bell (Buyer for Menswear Design at Barneys New York), Christopher Bollen (Editor in Chief at Interview) and Alex Badia (Men's Fashion Director of DNR and Menswear).

The eighth season of Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation begins on July 14, 2008. Click here for applications, official rules and entrant criteria. The entry closing date is Friday, October 3, 2008 at 5:00pm EST.

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