Wednesday, February 21st
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After graduating from Parsons School of Design, Derek Lam spent twelve years working under mentor Michael Kors, first on his ready-to-wear lines and later as a head designer at KORS by Michael Kors. In 2002, Lam stuck out on his own; with business partner Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann, he debuted his eponymous line at Olympus Fashion Week—and buyers from Barney’s and Bergdorf Goodman placed orders almost immediately. In 2004, Lam won the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award for new designers, and was also nominated for the CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund for emerging designers. While he lost to Proenza Schouler, he was nominated for the CFDA Perry Ellis Swarovski Award for new designers in 2005—and this time, he won.