Bond Hardware
Dana Hurwitz and Mariah Pershadsingh of BOND Hardware

Created in partnership by The Accessories Council and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the Elaine Gold Launch Pad program continues to support early-emerging and young design talent and aspirational entrepreneurs through six months of mentorship and milestone-based awards.

And on March 9th, the Elaine Gold Launch Pad presented Dana Hurwitz and Mariah Pershadsingh of BOND Hardware the grand prize of $70,000 for the 360 Venture Blueprint Awards.

Other awardees are Graham Baldwin of GRAHAM TYLER ($40,000), Loren Thomas and Caragh Bennett of ZENA ($25,000) and Rui Zhou ($5,000).

The Industry City Award which provides a one-year studio space located in Brooklyn plus $10,000 was awarded to Shanel Campbell of Bed on Water.

The Elaine Gold Launch Pad program focuses on helping early emerging designers (in business from 0-3 years) launch their careers in apparel, accessories, jewelry or materiality. For the 2019-2020 curriculum, finalists were challenged to map the future of their venture and fashion, creating a 360 Venture Pitch.

Building upon their vision, brand story, and business model presented at the beginning of their 23-week virtual residency, the final blueprint presentation was an opportunity to show the progression of “ideas” holistically across all areas of their design x business strategies, as well as an opportunity to reflect on the program pillars of innovation, sustainability and technology.

Graham Tyler
Graham Baldwin for GRAHAM TYLER

Based on the presentations, $150,000 were awarded, including additional support from CFDA Global Ambassador Adrian Cheng, founder of K11 and CEO of New World Development, who joined the Elaine Gold Launch Pad Advisory Board.

“We have been so proud and impressed with the talent the has come through the Elaine Gold Launch Pad. I know that Elaine would be delighted to see the success of the program,” said Karen Giberson, President of Accessories Council.

“We are proud to help support these emerging designers and businesses! We congratulate this year’s participants as they all worked very hard and we look forward to the 2020/21 applications,” Giberson added.

Loren Thomas and Caragh Bennett of ZENA

Adrian Cheng said, “I’m delighted to support the continuous efforts of the CFDA and the Accessories Council to incubate the next generation of creative powers. I hope the Elaine Gold Launch Pad program will serve as an incentive for even more emerging American brands. I wish all five brands the best of luck in all of their future endeavors.”

“Shanel Campbell’s philosophy of ‘repositioning fashion as art’ aligns closely with our mission here at Industry City to cultivate a bold, forward-thinking workforce,” said Kathe Kramer Chase, Director of Leasing at Industry City.

“Every day, 8,500 entrepreneurs, designers, strategists, and makers connect and co-create at Industry City. We look forward to having Bed on Water be part of our exciting community.”

A special thank you goes to the Fondazione Valentino Garavani e Giancarlo Giammetti for supporting the program with an additional $100,000, and Industry City for the Industry City Award, which provides recipient Shanel Campbell of Bed on Water with one year of studio space located within the Brooklyn complex.

Photos courtesy of the Accessories Council