Local designer Matt Baldwin is one of 10 finalists for the Fashion Fund Competition, which is sponsored and judged by Vogue magazine and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Baldwin, founder and designer of Kansas City-based Baldwin Denim and Collection, is now competing to win $300,000 in funding as the grand prize winner or $100,000 as a runner-up. He is the only finalist based outside New York City.
“It’s just an honor for me to be selected by the committee,” Baldwin said.
The committee was composed of Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, designer Diane von Furstenberg and other giants in the fashion industry. Over the past 12 years, the Fashion Fund Competition has been awarded to internationally recognized designers such as Alexander Wang and Prabal Gurung.
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Now Baldwin is gearing up for a series of competitions, including design and advertising challenges, before the winner is selected in November.
The first challenge is at 9 a.m. Wednesday, when Baldwin will present and defend his collection to judges at Vogue headquarters in New York. In October, he will compete in a design challenge cocktail party in New York and put on a runway show in Los Angeles.
In addition, two judges will travel to Kansas City to tour Baldwin’s studio.
“I’m taking it one step at a time,” Baldwin said. Those steps includes everything from scouting models to assembling outfits.
Known for its high-quality denim and KC baseball caps, Baldwin was selected as a GQ menswear designer of the year in 2013.
Baldwin has two stores in the area — one on the Country Club Plaza and a men’s shop in Leawood — but Baldwin clothes are sold in department stores and boutiques nationwide.