Long Islander Cornelia Guest won the prestigious “Rising Star” award for accessories at the Fashion Group International’s 16th annual fete for emerging talent on Thursday afternoon held at Cipriani 42nd Street.
Guest, who designs and produces a line of cruelty-free handbags, said, “I am beyond thrilled about receiving this wonderful award and so happy that my passion for animals and fashion has been recognized.”
A long-time animal rights activist and caterer, Guest, an Old Westbury resident, launched her collection of handbags, totes and wallets about a year-and-half ago. Made of supple PVC, the products are sold in specialty and department stores.
Keynote speaker at the event was veteran designer Ralph Rucci, who advised the room of up-and-comers. “You can’t look left or right. Just look forward and keep your head down while working.”
Designers Norman Ambrose and Tia Cibani tied in the women’s wear category. This award, presented by Derek Lam, has proven to be a predictor of good things to come. Winners have included Tory Burch, Jason Wu and Joseph Altuzarra.
Other winners included Tim Coppens for menswear, Alexandra Mor for fine jewelry, Alana Hawawini for beauty/fragrance corporate, Arquiste Parfumeur’s Carlos Huber for beauty/fragrance entrepreneur, Materia Arquitectonica’s Gustavo Carmona Munoz for home/interior design and Birchbox’ Hayley Barna and Katie Beauchamp for retail. The Runthrough’s Meggan Crum and Mandy Tang took the Karen Harvey Business Innovator award.