>> The CFDA has been busy lately, discussing the possibility of sponsoring sample sales for designers who don't have enough resources to do it on their own, commissioning books — including a fashion-related cookbook, and announcing an upcoming three-year partnership with Mattel.  But Monday night, we'll learn which of the 2008 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nominees will take home top honors, $200,000, and business advice, who will score one of the two runners-up titles and the $50,000 that comes with them, and who will try again next year.

The first award was given in 2004, with top honors going to Proenza Schouler; since then, Trovata (2005), Doo.Ri (2006), and Rogan (2007) have taken the top prize, and the likes of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Philip Crangi, Rodarte, Thakoon, Derek Lam, and Thom Browne have all been runners-up.  Without doubt, the winner generally has name recognition — and is in favor at Vogue — but tends to not be the biggest name in the group (i.e. Rogan over Phillip Lim last year).

So who will take all? »

That said, there is a definite schism between this year's nominees who seem likely winners and those that don't — organic designer John Patrick, milliner Albertus Swanepoel, cobbler Alejandro Ingelmo, Juan Carlos Obando, and jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth, while all talented, seem to have a longer shot without some of the name recognition behind them.

Don't be surprised if all three top prizes came from the pool of Richard Chai, Vena Cava, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, and Obedient Sons & DaughtersRefinery29 is predicting Richard Chai as winner with Vena Cava and Alexander Wang as runners-up, which is definitely foreseeable, but Obedient Sons and Jason Wu have their own traction to pull . . .
*image: source