Meet the 3.0 Designers of Elaine Gold Launch Pad

For the second consecutive year, Camp David opens its doors to emerging designers with the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA) Elaine Gold Launchpad. Through this 23-week residency, the designers are granted access to  Camp David’s Work Lounge and Makerspace for creative entrepreneurship and to encourage sustainability, technology, and innovation into their ethos.

This year, we welcome the 3.0 cohort who also met past fellows of the program, including Ashya, Occhii and Cyril Studio, and to hear from Advisory Board Members Carly-Ann Fergus of XRC Labs and Jake Sargent of Soft Matter.

The CFDA’s Aldo Araujo caught up with the designers on what they are most looking forward to being apart of the Elaine Gold Launchpad. Photography by Matteo Prandoni.

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Shanel Campbell for Shanel

I’m looking forward to getting the mentorship and feedback I need to conceptualize visually and verbally what I’m trying to do. It lives very clearly in my brain, but I need to find a way to communicate it to other people very clearly.

Rui Zhou of Rui Zhou

I’m excited because I think in design as an artist. I would love to learn more of the business through Elaine Gold Launch Pad and I’m excited to meet everyone here who will be a resource for my brand.

Mariah Pershadsingh and Dana Hurwitz for Bond Hardware

Dana: We’ve grown as much as we can with our own connections and universe, so we’re hoping that we can grow into these big shoes we have to fill. We want to collaborate in every way.

Mariah: So many things. We’re looking to expand in every way — be accessible, visible, sustainable and innovative.

Graham Baldwin for Graham Tyler

I’m looking to it as an exercise with mentors to be more reflexive and less proactive about the brand and trying to give myself time to look more and be more critical about the actions being taken. I want to be able to do this with supervision.

Loren Thomas and Caragh Bennet for Tribe + Glory

Loren: We’re so excited to have access to the industry and the mentorship that this program can provide. When we’re in Uganda, in this tiny town called Kamuli, we don’t have access to the friends of the industry so we’re excited to soak it in and be a part of the network in a new way.

Caragh: It’s a real privilege to get access to mentors who have extraordinary excellence and expertise. We just want to be a sponge and we’re coming into this so humbly.

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The Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Accessories Council have partnered to create Elaine Gold Launch Pad, a four-year partnership underwritten by a $1.5 million donation to the CFDA Foundation. In honor of the vibrant accessories entrepreneur and innovator, who passed away in 2015, the Elaine Gold Launch Pad is a 23 week virtual residency for early emerging talent within 0-3 years of their professional journeys.


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