Grace Ling Triumphs as the First Winner of the CFDA

Grace Ling
Grace Ling

Grace Ling has been named the first-ever recipient of the CFDA | Genesis House AAPI Design + Innovation Grant, a collaborative initiative by Genesis and the Council of Fashion Designers of America to nurture the talents of AAPI fashion designers.

The grant aimed to challenge designers to meld their Asian heritage with contemporary design over a five-month period, culminating in the creation of a unique fashion collection.

Grace Ling, along with fellow AAPI designers Andrew Kwon and the duo Haoran Li and Siying Qu of Private Policy, showcased their final collections at an exclusive event at Genesis House on February 7th. The panel of judges, comprising esteemed figures from the fashion industry such as Jodie Chan from Carolina Herrera, Laurent Claquin of Kering Americas, and CFDA CEO Steven Kolb, were tasked with selecting the winner.

Grace Ling’s winning collection was inspired by the archetype of a femme fatale, with each outfit embodying themes of seduction, transformation, and initiation. Ling’s innovative approach, particularly her use of 3D printing technology for one of her designs, reflected a harmonious blend of futuristic vision and sustainability, deeply rooted in Asian cultural motifs.

The initiative, announced in June 2023, aimed to support emerging AAPI designers, providing them with mentorship from industry leaders and a $40,000 grant from Genesis to fund their creative projects. The program also included an inspirational trip to Seoul, South Korea, for the designers to immerse themselves in Korean culture and heritage.

The event at Genesis House not only highlighted the talents of the participating designers but also featured iconic pieces from renowned AAPI designers, offering a platform to celebrate the rich diversity and contribution of the AAPI community to the fashion industry.

Grace Ling’s victory secures her an additional $60,000 to further develop her collection, bringing the total grant to $100,000. Her designs, along with those of her fellow finalists, will be on display at Genesis House until March 3rd, offering the public a glimpse into the future of fashion through the lens of AAPI innovation and creativity.

Genesis House, nestled in New York City’s vibrant Meatpacking District, served as the perfect backdrop for this celebration of fashion and cultural heritage, embodying the essence of Korean culture and innovation that Genesis is known for.