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FGI Rising Star Awards Convenes Fashion Icons and Emerging Talent

Fredrick Anderson, Terry Singh

The annual FGI Rising Star Awards returned for its 28th year in New York City on May 13, 2024. The chic Upper East Side awards ceremony and fundraising event gathered luminaries of the fashion world for a celebration of emerging talent, with honorees recognized in fashion apparel, accessories, fine jewelry, retail tech, creative content, and more—notably, also introducing the fashion organization’s first-ever student award, sponsored by Macy’s.

Fern Mallis, Gary Wassner, Maryanne Grisz FGI Rising Star Awards

Fern Mallis, Gary Wassner, Maryanne Grisz

FGI rolled out the red carpet at 583 Park Avenue for the reception and awards ceremony, welcoming a fashionable crowd that included Fern Mallis, Jean Shafiroff, Stan Herman, Gary and Cole Wassner, Mary Alice Stephenson Maxwell,  Carrie Ellen Phillips, and others.

Special guest Ken Downing, HALSTON Creative Director/Chief Creative Officer XCEL BRANDS, delighted attendees by conducting impromptu Q&A, walking through the crowd to engage one-on-one with many of the finalists.

At the event, Maryanne Grisz, FGI President and CEO remarked:

“At Fashion Group International, we believe connections matter. The 28th edition of the FGI Rising Star Awards exemplifies our organization’s broader mission to educate, connect, and support industry professionals at every stage of their careers, from legacy leaders and iconic visionaries to the emerging talent we gathered to celebrate today.”

FGI Rising Star 2024 Winners

  • Jeffrey Banks presented two FGI Fashion Apparel – Lifestyle awards. The first, for the Intimate / Swim category, was presented to Amy and Leo Voloshin of PrintFresh. Banks also presented the FGI Fashion Apparel – Casualwear Rising Star award to Maya Wang of Fried Rice.
  • Nicole Miller presented the FGI Fashion Apparel – Ready to Wear Rising Star Award to Michael Ward and Manel Garcia Espejo of TheSalting.
  • In a landmark moment,  two winners tied for this year’s Fashion Apparel – Eveningwear Rising Star award. Ralph Rucci presented trophies to both winning eveningwear rising stars Kate Barton of Kate Barton and Cyril Verdavainne of Verdavainne.
  • Bryna Pomp, Curator, Museum of Art and Design, MADAbout Jewelry, presented the FGI Fine Jewelry Rising Star Award to Jared Atelier x Shy Dayan of Jared The Galleria of Jewelry.
  • Marcus Teo presented the FGI Accessories Rising Star Award to Guillaume Larquemain of Guillaume Larquemain.
  • Veronique Gabai Pinsky presented the FGI Beauty Entrepreneur Rising Star Award to Linda Treska of Pinch of Colour.
  • Sheena Butler Young, Business of Fashion, presented the FGI Content Creator Rising Star Award to Alison Bruhn and Delia Folk of The Style that Binds Us.
  • Deborah Weinswig of Coresight Research presented the FGI Retail Tech Rising Star Award to Kimberly Carney of The Wires.
  • Gary Wassner and Hilldun Corporation presented the annual Hilldun Business Innovation Award to Ann Wehren, CEO of In Seam, a private platform that helps luxury fashion connectors better service their clients.
  • Designer Terry Singh was recognized with the annual FGI President’s Award for Excellence, presented by Frederick Anderson.
  • Kelli Lewis, Macy’s Director, Corporate Giving, and Jenna Cordina, Macy’s Senior Director of Assortment, presented the first ever student Rising Star Award specifically dedicated to college students. LIM College student Fatmata Camara was presented the Future Fashion Award sponsored by Macy’s and also received a $1,000 stipend to help underwrite her continued fashion merchandising studies.
Maryanne Grisz, Ralph Rucci, Alison Bruhn, Ann McNeill, Kate Barton, Kimberly Carney, Delia Folk, Fatmata Camara, Cyril Verdavainne, Amy Voloshin, Leo Voloshin, Maya Wang, Guillaume Larquemain, Gary Wassner, Manel Garcia Espejo

Maryanne Grisz, Ralph Rucci, Alison Bruhn, Ann McNeill, Kate Barton, Kimberly Carney, Delia Folk, Fatmata Camara, Cyril Verdavainne, Amy Voloshin, Leo Voloshin, Maya Wang, Guillaume Larquemain, Gary Wassner, Manel Garcia Espejo

Maryanne Grisz, President and CEO of Fashion Group International: “The Future Fashion Award sponsored by Macy’s marks a milestone for FGI – the first ever Rising Star Award presented to a college student. The award recognizes one stand-out junior or senior year student, currently enrolled in a fashion merchandising program at an affiliated university within FGI’s U.S. network, whose passion, nuanced analysis, creativity, and vision marks them out as a rising star in the field of fashion merchandising.”

Jenna Cordina, Senior Director of Assortment at Macy’s: “Through our social purpose platform, Mission Every One, Macy’s is committed to empowering and providing young people with the resources, tools, and mentorship opportunities to excel as they begin their fashion careers. I’m thrilled to have led this year’s selection process and look forward to the amazing ideas, innovations and change these future leaders will bring to the industry.”

The FGI Rising Star Awards has served as a career launchpad for some of the fashion world’s most revered brands and designers. The signature event also continues to serve as a vital platform for recognition of emerging fashion and beauty leaders, designers, and up-and-coming companies that have been in business from one to six years. Past Rising Star awards winners have included Tory Burch, Jason Wu, Brandon Maxwell, Joseph Altuzarra, Phillip Lim, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Thom Brown, Monica Rich Kosann, Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger, Brett Heyman, Warby Parker, Cornelia Guest; Dylan Lauren of Dylan’s Candy Bar; Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman of Rent The Runway, and Rachel Shechtman of Story.

The event was sponsored by Hilldun Corporation and Macy’s.


Founded in 1928 by a group of seventeen women leaders, with original charters including Helena Rubenstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Edith Head, and other renowned fashion icons, Fashion Group International (FGI) was established as an industry forum for career advancement. Today, the non-profit organization remains dedicated to connecting and supporting fashion professionals at every level, from startups to seasoned professionals. By providing access, education, and connection, FGI seeks to spark creativity, fuel innovation, and advance the business of fashion.

FGI maintains its headquarters in New York City, chapters in numerous regions worldwide, and a roster of over 5,000 active members in fashion and related design sectors including apparel, accessories, beauty, retail, and lifestyle. Vital member benefits offered to FGI members include ongoing professional development opportunities, forums for discussion and networking, market insights, mentorship opportunities with industry leaders, business directories and resources, and high-profile event platforms for professional recognition.

The Fashion Group Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Fashion Group International and is dedicated to nurturing the fashion talent of tomorrow through education, scholarships, internships, and career counseling services. The FGI Foundation also promotes charitable partnerships and impactful public service initiatives. 

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