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Friday, January 27, 2012

It was great to be a finalist for Fashion Group International‘s Rising Star Award for fine jewelry last year, but it was even better to win the 2012 award yesterday! The fact that gorgeous designer/blogger Stacy Lomman was also a finalist in the women’s ready-to-wear category this year was a bonus.  I wouldn’t have been involved with Rising Star if it weren’t for Stacy, so I was happy she was being recognized too. I was excited to pay tribute to her (and to you other bloggers) from the stage. This was my little speech:

“This is a huge honor.

Thank you to Fashion Group International for supporting independent and emerging designers.

Thanks also to my family, friends, customers, colleagues and the many fashion bloggers who have supported me for years.

I’ll mention just two people by name. My husband Paul Steiger who got me interested in jewelry and now keeps a roof over my head while I pursue my dream.

And one of today’s women’s wear finalists — Stacy Lomman — who first told me about the Rising Star awards, nominated me AND made the dress I’m wearing right now. Without her I’d be sitting at home today, wearing jeans and a black t-shirt. Special thanks to Stacy.”

Well, that was what I wrote in advance — just in case — and I mostly stuck to the script, but I have a vague memory of blurting, “OH MY GOD!” into the microphone before I said anything else.

The beautiful red peplum dress that Stacy made for me for the awards was a surprise. She had it nearly all done before she had me stop by her place for a fitting.  I thought I was just going to borrow one of her old samples! She made herself an asymmetric blue top a couple of days before the event. We both wore my jewelry. Here we are with my award right after the ceremony.

All the finalists got a corsage to wear.

This wasn’t Stacy’s year to win, but, as she said to me for my recent Huffington Post story on the challenges of small business, her nomination proves she’s someone to watch, only 18 months after launching her line. (My first nomination came after five years in business.) Fashion Group International encourages finalists to try, try again. Many winners get their awards after multiple nominations, so I have no doubt Stacy will have her moment. I’m also sure we’ll see more of the other fine-jewelry finalists: sisters Amaia and Yolanda Torrubia of Torrubia & Torrubia, and Jessica Kagan Cushman. All three ladies were delightful. Stacy and I took a picture with the Torrubias.

After the awards, we had more good news: with a couple of days left to go, Stacy is only $150 away from raising enough money on Kickstarter to pay for her Fall 2012 runway show. If you want to help make up the difference and make the show possible …


Much love to gorgeous blogger Susan of Style Made by Hand for getting Stacy to this level.

I’ll have more pictures of my Stacy Lomman dress and my awards-ceremony guests — MrB, GeorgeB and the lovely Christine — in the next post.


  • Daily Fashion Report mentioned my tribute to Stacy.
  • I love that WWD called us “young” designers in the headline.
  • The Fashion Week Daily reporter was at my table.
  • Twitter pal Mediabistro’s Unbeige also covered the event.
  • I like the way Fashionista.com described Stacy’s dress.
  • For some reason, the Huffington Post slideshow has a random photo of me from 2008 instead of one taken on the red carpet at the awards! If you scroll WAY down, you should spot a video of interviews with finalists. My interview is around 6:19.

UPDATED JAN. 29, 2011, TO ADD:

Related Posts with Thumbnails

51 Responses to “I’m a Fashion Group International Rising Star Award Winner!”

  1. lisa says:

    Congrats to you and Stacy!

  2. Mary says:

    Yay,congratulations Wendy. You are a star! I hope this is the thing to take you to the next level. You look fantastic in the red dress.

  3. sulky kitten says:

    Congratulations Wendy! And Well Done Stacy!
    You’re amazingly talented – I’m really pleased for you! You look so happy and beautiful in your red dress.

  4. mystyle says:

    Hi my dear-massive congratulations to you, so well deserved and well done to Stacy too xxx

  5. Congratulations, Wendy! Much deserved…and so exciting!

  6. Congratulations Wendy! This award is so well deserved! Congrats are due to your friend, Stacy as well getting nominated after only 18 months is a big deal!

    I adore the red peplum dress she made for you!!!

  7. Hooray for you Wendy! and Stacy too! You both seem like already-risen stars to me, so the future is bright.

  8. Wendy, congrats! You’re so hardworking that it’s wonderful to see you getting much deserved recognition for your talents. Only the stars from here!

    And congrats to Stacy–for being a nominee, for being so close to getting her kickstarter fulfilled and being such a lovely & supportive friend to you.

  9. Tanvi says:

    Congrats Wendy!!

  10. Sally says:

    Wahooooo! Congrats, Wendy! You totally deserve it. To state the obvious.

  11. Tina says:

    Congrats again!!! So happy for you!

  12. katie says:

    So when I wear my emoticon heart ring and people ask where I found it, I can answer, “I bought it from FGI Rising Star 2012 Fine Jewelry winner, Wendy Brandes, before she won” and cement my latent hipster tendencies.

  13. K-Line says:

    Congrats – and Stacy’s dress is gorgeous. That red is perfect on you.

  14. Michael says:

    A very deserved win. Congratulations!!

  15. Very Exciting! Congrats Wendy!

  16. Well done, and a huge congratulations, Wendy!

  17. Anne Hjortshoj says:

    Yay! Congratulations!

  18. Terri Berry says:

    Yippee! The top picture of you reminds me of a picture of you when you were about 4 years old. I’d say you haven’t changed a bit but you are taller. And you didn’t wear makeup then. Gorgeous dress Stacy whipped up for you. She will definitely win in the future. Stacy: you have nice dewy cheeks.

  19. Susan G says:

    Congratulations, Wendy!

  20. Lara says:

    You soooo deserve this! You were robbed last year! Robbed I tell ya! Congrats!

  21. Susan Tiner says:

    Wendy, I am so proud of you! And thrilled too for Stacy, being a finalist after just 18 months.

  22. Marti says:

    Congratulations! Congratulations! You deserve it. Hope to follow in your shoes one day.

  23. stacy says:

    I’m soooooo happy you won! GeorgeB and I were going to crack some skulls if we didn’t hear your name. And I was happy to make you a dress… you’re a perfect model!

  24. Eurasian says:

    Congratulations! That is so wonderful!

  25. Megan Mae says:

    Congrats on your award Wendy! And congrats to Stacy for reaching her Kickstarter goal.

  26. Jac says:

    Awesome Sauce! Very well deserved. Congratulations!

  27. brett says:

    i saw this last night on twitter
    so excited for you!!
    love the twit pics
    i know you must be so stoked!!
    enjoy your weekend and celebrate

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations, Wendy. I’ve always thought you deserved much more recognition and attention than you’ve gotten in the past.

    I hope this award nets you more of it, and that with that recognition, even more success follows.

    I am proud to own a few of your pieces, including my beautiful custom stacking rings, which I wore yesterday.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    I should add that I’m also happy for Stacy, garnering such a high level of recognition relatively early in her small business career. You two both do beautiful work, and you support each other through thick and thin, selflessly. It’s wonderful to witness.

  30. Amy Nievera says:

    Awesome! You totally deserve the award! Congratulations!!

  31. Kathy says:

    Congrats, Wendy B!!! And without a doubt, well earned!

  32. déjà pseu says:

    Yay, Wendy, you so f*&$#ing deserve it!! (a little play on your swear rings there). You are one talented designer, as is Stacey…your peplum dress is amazing! Congratulations, hope you’re still celebrating!

  33. Congratulations Wendy!!! And to Stacy. So excited for you and the wonderful experiences to come.

  34. Secret Squirrel says:

    Well done Wendy! Awesome-sauce! Xx

  35. Congratulations – you deserve it!

  36. savvy gal says:

    Congrats. You design beautiful pieces. : )

  37. JTwisdom says:

    Congratulations Wendy on your win, very happy for you.

  38. Congratulations Wendy, you deserve it!

  39. A belated many, many congratulations. Well deserved!!!

    And look behind you in that top photo, to the left of your head, I’m there with you in spirit 😉 xx

  40. Congrats to both you and Stacy for being finalists, and a big congrats to you Wendy for winning the Rising Star award! You so deserve it!!


  41. Andrea says:

    wow congrats! this is so awesome <3