Yigal Azrouel on the runway Spring 2009 New York
Yigal Azrouel on the runway Spring 2009 New York

DALLAS, Jan 16, 2009 / FW/ — Benjamin Bixby (Andre Benjamin, designer), Robert Geller (Robert Geller, designer), Rogues Gallery (Alex Carleton, designer), Save Khaki (David Mullen, designer), Shipley & Halmos (Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos, designers) and Yigal Azrouel (Yigal Azrouel, designer) are all in the running to be named Best New Menswear Designer, as announced today by GQ.

Now on its second year, the Best New Menswear Designers in America project is an initiative started in collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The competitive effort recognizes the rising stars of American men’s fashion design.

The six designers were selected as finalists by GQ creative director Jim Moore and the magazine’s fashion department, and each will be featured in the February 2009 issue. A panel of industry experts, including GQ editor-in-chief Jim Nelson, American menswear designer Thom Browne, and CFDA executive director Steven Kolb, will determine the winner.

As part of the selection process, the designers will each present a selection of looks from their 2009 fall collections at a special event in New York City on the evening of February 11, 2009.

The winning designer will receive a $50,000 cash prize and the opportunity to create a limited-edition “capsule” collection for the Levi’s brand. The special collection will enjoy an exclusive month-long debut at several Bloomingdale’s locations in the fall, and will also be available on Levi.com.

The winner will take part in a mentoring program led by GQ, the Levi’s brand, and Bloomingdale’s. A select item or outfit from the winning designer’s collection for Levi’s will be featured in the September 2009 issue of GQ.

The panel of industry experts who will select the 2009 winner consists of: Thom Browne, American menswear designer; Steve Evans, the Levi’s brand vice president of merchandising; Kevin Harter, Bloomingdale’s vice president of fashion direction; Steven Kolb, CFDA executive director; Jim Moore, GQ creative director; and Jim Nelson, GQ editor-in-chief. The final selection will be made by consensus at a meeting of the selection panel that will take place in February 2009.

Photo of Yigal Azrouel courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

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