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Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Awards took over Diesel’s SoHo boutique on Thursday night, throwing a cocktail party celebrating the 26th annual event — to be held in New York City on May 10. In particular, the Italian brand is helming FGI’s Sustainability Award, to be announced at a luncheon on the same date.

Finalists like Julie Lamb, Maya Wang and Frederick Anderson mingled with insiders like Ken Downing, Lara Eurdolian, Simon Goldman and Olga Ferrara for the occasion held by Ana Martins Communications. Spearheaded by FGI’s CEO Maryanne Grisz, the Awards aim to support and honor emerging fashion talent across numerous categories — this year, particularly following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Sometimes, in the most challenging times is when creativity really is embraced and surges, and in this case I am so inspired by the artistry of all of the finalists,” said Grisz. “The finalists this year inspire hope. There are so many unique points of view and evolution within the industry that they represent across the board.”

Maryanne Grisz congratulates finalists at the FGI Rising Star Awards 2022 pre-party with Diesel in New York City on April 28, 2022. - Credit: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Maryanne Grisz congratulates finalists at the FGI Rising Star Awards 2022 pre-party with Diesel in New York City on April 28, 2022. – Credit: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The finalist nominees are equally inspired. Many, like nominated footwear designer Salone Monet, stated they appreciate their peers’ recognition. Monet also shared her value for FGI focusing on retail-oriented brands, stating it’s the “lifeblood” of the industry.

Wendy Sy, Sarah Chiwaya, Greivy, Salone Monet and Lara Eurdolian attend the FGI Rising Star Awards 2022 pre-party with Diesel in New York City on April 28, 2022. - Credit: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Wendy Sy, Sarah Chiwaya, Greivy, Salone Monet and Lara Eurdolian attend the FGI Rising Star Awards 2022 pre-party with Diesel in New York City on April 28, 2022. – Credit: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

“I know that lots of things are evolving, and customers really love direct-to-consumer — and I do that with my brand,” explained Monet, whose shoes recently launched in Bloomingdale’s. “But I really believe that the future of people are still going to want to go in stores, they’re still going to want to have that beautiful shopping moment, they’re still going to want to have the bag and meet with the designer, or meet with the salespeople, and really just make it an immersive experience.”

Ricardo Alver, Matthew Trent, Maryanne Grisz, Karen Bromley and Ken Downing attend the FGI Rising Star Awards 2022 pre-party with Diesel in New York City on April 28, 2022. - Credit: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Ricardo Alver, Matthew Trent, Maryanne Grisz, Karen Bromley and Ken Downing attend the FGI Rising Star Awards 2022 pre-party with Diesel in New York City on April 28, 2022. – Credit: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

With a variety of designers from different backgrounds, crafts and niches, the 2022 class indeed represents a range of talents with an optimistic view for fashion’s future.

“I think there’s sort of an openness to ‘No rules,’ that everybody’s very strong in their own individuality,” shared Aknvas designer Christian Juul Nielsen, nominated for this year’s menswear award. “Everybody’s very individual, everybody believes very much in what they’re doing — and I think that’s what makes everybody strong.”

Discover red carpet arrivals at FGI’s Night of Stars in the gallery.

Launch Gallery: FGI Gala Red Carpet Arrivals: A Night of Stars

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