Award ShowsEvents

FGI Cocktail Party Ahead of Rising Star Awards

Gary Wassner, Maryanne Grisz, Rowell Concepcion, Chris Donovan, Vesna Cremona

Fashion Group International hosted an insiders-only Rising Star Awards pre-event party on Tuesday, April 4, offering the first chance for awards finalists, presenters, and FGI staff and friends to gather ahead of the 27th annual awards ceremony. FGI cocktail party, held at men’s made-to-measure lounge Sartoria Studio, comes on the heels of the non-profit’s official announcement of 2023 FGI Rising Star Awards presenters, including keynote speaker Patricia Field, and other notables including Nigel Barker, LaQuan Smith, Stefano Tonchi, and more. The FGI Rising Star Awards will take place at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers on May 8, 2023.

FGI cocktail Maryanne Grisz, Bill McCuddy, Paolo Torello-Viera, Jack Menashe, Stevie Van Zandt, James D'Adamo

Maryanne Grisz, Bill McCuddy, Paolo Torello-Viera, Jack Menashe, Stevie Van Zandt, James D’Adamo photo by Deonté Lee/

Cocktail party attendees included countless FGI Rising Star Awards finalists (see the full list below), and FGI President and CEO Maryanne Grisz, FGI board members James D’Adamo, and Nicole Fischelis, and other well-heeled attendees including Rebecca Moses, Nick Graham, Musa Jackson, Bill McCuddy, Melissa Vale, Kate Smolianinova, Eileen Rhein, Karina Bik, Olga Ferrara, and Katya Tolstova, among others.

FGI cocktail Melissa Vale, Eileen Rhein, Olga Ferrara, Terry Singh

Melissa Vale, Eileen Rhein, Olga Ferrara, Terry Singh photo by Deonté Lee/

FGI cocktail party was a wonderful gathering ahead of the annual awards event, now in its 27th year, is a vital extension of FGI’s ongoing mission to connect and support the global fashion diaspora with vital career resources and connections for long term success. In many cases, the competition offers first time brand exposure for finalists. To be nominated, participants must not have been in business longer than six years. Past Rising Star Awards winners have gone on to great acclaim and success, including Jason Wu, Tory Burch, Joseph Altuzarra, Phillip Lim, Brandon Maxwell, Thom Brown, Bond No. 9, Warby Parker, Dylan Lauren of Dylan’s Candy Bar, and Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman of Rent the Runway, to name a few.

The annual awards ceremony has also revamped its awards categories for the 2023 edition with a new slate of gender-inclusive categories recognizing finalists in fashion, accessories, fine jewelry, beauty, sustainability, retail, collaborations, and related categories.

See the full list of presenters and finalists below:

Keynote Speaker:  Patricia Field, Costume Designer, Entrepreneur, ARTFashion Founder


Presenter: Stefano Tonchi, Palmer


Andrew Kwon, Andrew Kwon
Bach Mai, Bach Mai
Kate Barton, Kate Barton
Terry Singh, Terry Singh
Manuel Tiscareño, Tiscareno 


Presenter: LaQuan Smith, LaQuan Smith

Autumn Adeigbo, Autumn Adeigbo
Stephen Mikhail, Atelier Cillian
Kelsey and Cassidy Tucker, Deviate
Marrisa Wilson, Marrisa Wilson New York
Alex and Michael Toccin, Toccin


Presenter: Constance White, Journalist

Marusya Tamboura and Burkindy, Jahnkoy
Nicholas Raefski, Nicholas Raefski
Joseph DeAcetis, Potro
Teddy von Ranson, Teddy von Ranson

Beauty Entrepreneur

Presenter: Jessica Matlin, Moda Operandi, “Fat Mascara” podcast

Stephanie Miklosvary, Lucky Chick
Michael and Diana Wilson, Saints & Sinners Haircare
Raquel Riley Thomas, Raquel Riley Thomas Beauty

Accessories – Hard and Soft Goods Categories

Presenter: Edmundo Castillo, Stuart Weitzman

Celia Torvisco, Celia Torvisco
Chris Donovan, Chris Donovan Footwear
Jennifer Rose Smail, Cuddigan Leather
Megan Key Campos & Nick Lucio, Oncept
Rowell Concepcion, Binata Millinery
Metri Holliday, Metri Holliday LLC
Lei Li / Yiren Zhou, Monsecret New York

Fine Jewelry

Presenter: Paul Morelli, Paul Morelli

Hakan Orrling, Arild Links
Burkindy, Burkindy
Ritika Ravi, Ivar Jewelry
Maika Rivera Tanpoco and Melizza Jaune Tanpoco, Jaune Pearls


Presenter: Nigel Barker, Photographer, Film Maker, Author, Creative Director

Collab Name: Jared Jewelers x NBA Cleveland Cavaliers “Junkyard Dog Chain”
Dan Hines, Marketing Director, Jared

Collab Name: Wolverine 1000 Mile x Old Rip Van Winkle
Scott Schoessel, VP, Global Marketing – Wolverine, Bates & Hytest, Wolverine Worldwide

Collab Name: AMER_ICAN and various designers
Vesna Cremona, Founder, AMER_ICAN

FGI Special Awards for 2023

The Hilldun Business Innovation Award

Presenter: Gary Wassner, Hilldun Corporation
Recognizing Marcelo Guimarães and Jordana Guimarães, Fashinnovation

FGI Rising Star Entrepreneur of the Year
Presenter: Kai Milla, Global Green
Recognizing Kimberly Carney, The Wires

Presenter: Mickey Boardman, Paper Magazine
Awardee to be announced

2023 American Image Awards Honoring Willy Chavarria

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