At a gala held last night at New York’s Skylight Studios, designer Sophie Théallet was named the winner of the sixth annual Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)/Vogue Fashion Fund Prize, besting nine other finalists to take home $200,000 and a steady stream of business mentoring from industry veterans. Runner-up honors (and $50,000 each) went to jewelry designer Monique Péan and menswear designer Patrik Ervell. Other finalists included Flora Gill and Alexa Adams (Ohne Titel), Natalie Chanin (Alabama Chanin), Waris Ahluwalia (House of Waris), and Wayne Lee (Wayne).
French-born, Brooklyn-based Théallet is known for her luxe bohemian aesthetic and has recently garnered more mainstream attention as a favorite of First Lady Michelle Obama (or at least of her fashion svengali, Ikram Goldman). Although Théallet’s label is just three years old, her hefty resume defies the usual Fashion Fund wunderkind winner profile (think Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough). After graduating from Studio Bercot, Théallet designed a successful line for Parisan department store Le Printemps before going to work for Jean-Paul Gaultier and then Azzedine Alaia, who she assisted for ten years. More recently, Théallet teamed with makeup mogul Francois Nars on Motu Tane, a resort collection inspired by Nars’s private Tahitian island.