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How to Get Donna Karan Naked and 2 Other Things We Learned From the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Keynote

From left to right, Emma Stone, winner Greg Chait of The Elder Statesman, and Christopher Bailey
From left to right, Emma Stone, winner Greg Chait of The Elder Statesman, and Christopher Bailey

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The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund tapped Emma Stone to announce that Greg Chait of The Elder Statesman is the big winner this year of $300,000, industry mentorship, and boatloads of bragging rights. Also, shoe goddess Tabitha Simmons and jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer Maguire took home the $100,000 runners-up prize (check out the shortlist here). But the real magic happened during keynote speaker and Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey's speech, who seemed to be making the point that the fashion industry is a weird, weird world. But first he explained how Burberry became the tech whisperers that they are:

Technology became a natural part of the company just because we were bringing in a young team of people. We were all Skyping, Facebooking and Twittering at home—it would have been counter-intuitive not to have brought that into the office. The technology became part of our DNA more through the people we hired than through any big strategy.

How to get Donna Karan naked: When I was at the Royal College of Art I met this incredible person: Donna Karan. She completely seduced me with the way she sees the world. She stripped naked within about three minutes of meeting, and tried on all my things. That was one of my first big wake up calls to how nutty— and how brilliant this industry is.

How Tom Ford conducts interviews: I got this call: Gucci. Tom Ford had just had a really big, strong collection and he was looking for a senior designer and he wanted to meet me... It was a huge room, quite dark. In the middle of the room there were these two chairs. On one of these chairs there is this chap, sat there with his shirt open to his navel, with a huge gold belt...

So the two take-aways are fashion folk are weirdos and the industry involves a lot less clothing than one might expect.
· Christopher Bailey: 'Donna Karan Got Naked With Me, but Tom Ford Kept His Shirt On' [Telegraph UK]
· Kate Spade Bestows Its Branding Know-How on CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Winners [Racked]
· All 10 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists Are Coming to A Nordstrom Near You [Racked]