Genesis and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced the selection of three designers who will compete for the CFDA | Genesis House AAPI Design + Innovation Grant, unveiled earlier this summer. Under the mentorship of three fashion and business titans, the designers will enter a five-month challenge to create a collection representing the juxtaposition of Asian heritage and modernity.
Kicking off September 6th with a panel moderated by Zanna Roberts Rossi, the challenge will pair each designer with a mentor to guide them throughout the design process. The designers will also be given a $40,000 grant from Genesis to fund their collections. The three designers selected are:
- Grace Ling – a womenswear, unisex/gender-neutral clothing, accessories, and jewelry designer whose eponymous label, GRACE LING, has dressed top celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Karlie Kloss, Ashley Graham, Emma Chamberlain, and more.
- Andrew Kwon – a Korean-American emerging designer who is the founder, CEO, and designer of his eponymous label, ANDREW KWON, a bridal and womenswear brand.
- Siying Qu and Haoran Li – the co-founders of Private Policy, a genderless and audacious brand of attire, accessories, and footwear dedicated to New York style and spirit.
“Grace Ling, Andrew Kwon, and Private Policy represent the next generation of designers shaping the future of fashion,” said Rachel Espersen, executive director of brand experience, Genesis House and Studios, at Genesis Motor America. “Through our partnership with the CFDA on the AAPI Design + Innovation Grant, we hope to provide a platform to one of the most important communities within the industry and can’t wait to see their collections come to life.”
Throughout the program, the designers will receive invaluable support from industry experts and mentors, helping them refine their creative vision and grow as successful fashion entrepreneurs. The three mentors include Prabal Gurung (fashion designer), Grace Cha (innovation consultant) and Stephanie Horon (senior director of global marketing at Google), who will work alongside a curated advisory board featuring Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim (founders, Monse), Jodie Turner- Smith (actress), Rachel Espersen (executive director of Genesis brand experience, Genesis House and Studio), Sandra Park (vice president merchandise manager of menswear, Saks) and Steven Kolb (CEO of CFDA). The challenge will also offer the designers the opportunity to visit Korea for a cultural and educational immersion.
“We are so thrilled with the three participating designers in the CFDA I Genesis House AAPI Design + Innovation Grant program,” CFDA CEO Steven Kolb said. “Grace Ling, Andrew Kwon, and Private Policy are a strong representation of AAPI talent, who, in different ways, represent their heritage in meaningful ways and a desire to innovate and improve creativity in American fashion.”
The designers’ collections will be unveiled at Genesis House early next year, where the winning designer will receive an additional $60,000, bringing the total award to $100,000.
Genesis House is a sophisticated oasis located in the heart of New York City’s Meatpacking District, offering experiences influenced by Korean culture and community, culinary excellence, and innovative architecture and technology. Consisting of the Showroom, Restaurant, and Cellar Stage, the lifestyle space evokes audacious design, progressive function, and a distinctly Korean atmosphere that showcases the Genesis brand in harmony and balance with its surroundings.