Nominees for the most prestigious fashion awards given in California were announced Monday. The California Mart Rising Star and 1998 Designer of the Year will be chosen in October from among five nominees in each category.
Bette Paige, Monah Li, St. Vincent, State of the Heart and 26 Red Sugar will compete for the 1998 Rising Star honor. Nominated for Designer of the Year are Rozae Nichols, Trina Turk, William B., XOXO and MICA by Judy Rabineau and Wendy Katlen.
The nominees and award winners are selected by a panel of journalists, buyers and executives in the apparel industry. Although similar annual awards are presented by trade organizations in New York and Dallas, the California Mart's distinction is in recognizing design excellence and innovation in companies based in L.A..
The downtown mart houses 1,500 clothing and accessories showrooms, but a designer does not have to be a tenant to be nominated. Eduardo Lucero, for example, last year's Rising Star recipient, operates out of his boutique on Beverly Boulevard.
In organizing the awards, which will be presented at a gala dinner to benefit the Starlight Children's Foundation of California, the Mart acts as a unifying force for the local apparel industry. The awards are of significance to consumers because they focus attention on designers whose work is considered noteworthy by their peers. Clothes by all the nominees can be found in Los Angeles stores.