Judges

Ken Downing

Ken Downing

Ken Downing is the senior vice president, fashion director of Neiman Marcus, where he interprets, articulates, and sets the fashion direction for the Neiman Marcus brand and serves as its international fashion ambassador and spokesperson. He provides oversight for the company’s merchant and creative divisions, and is responsible for dictating the seasonal trends for Neiman Marcus stores and online businesses.

In his role as fashion director, Downing is a constant fixture during the New York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks. Annually, he hosts events in the 42 Neiman Marcus stores, alongside designers such as Stella McCartney, Derek Lam, and Zac Posen. He’s collaborated with PopSugar as well as Nest Fragrances and Le Métier de Beauté, and he has worked on partnerships and events with the fashion media elite, including Anna Wintour of Vogue, Glenda Bailey of Harper’s Bazaar, and Hal Rubenstein of InStyle.

Downing is also a frequent contributor to the media, speaking regularly at many of the nation’s art museums about fashion as art. He has recently hosted events at the St. Louis Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, and the Phoenix Art Museum. A native of Seattle, Downing was educated at FIT, where he studied Fashion Design.

Kemal Harris

Kemal Harris

Kemal Harris is an Emmy-nominated costume designer and freelance stylist based in New York City. Since 2005, she’s provided red carpet looks for clients such as Robin Wright, Alexis Bledel, Jaimie Alexander, Kate McKinnon, and many others for events ranging from the Oscars to the Grammys. Harris is also the costume designer for Robin Wright’s character, Claire Underwood, on seasons 3 through 6 of the Netflix series House of Cards. She has received two Costume Designer Guild Award nominations and an Emmy nomination for her work on the show.

Nikki Ogunnaike

Nikki Ogunnaike

Nikki Ogunnaike, fashion features director of ELLE.com, is the go-to style expert for the more than 25 million users, fans, and followers of what is now the largest fashion and beauty magazine website. She also represents the brand on television and in ELLE.com videos. Her approach to fashion is equal parts accessible and forward-thinking. The Nigerian-American editor started at InStyle as an assistant editor and Vanity Fair as a fashion assistant before moving to Glamour.com as their senior fashion editor. She joined the ELLE.com team in 2015.

Emilia Petrarca

Emilia Petrarca is fashion news writer of The Cut, New York magazine’s women’s site, where she reports on stories in the fashion industry. Previously, Petrarca was digital associate features editor at W Magazine. She has also worked as a studio assistant at Garance Doré, and graduated from Vassar College.

Nicole Phelps

Nicole Phelps is the director of Vogue Runway, providing up-to-the-minute coverage of runway shows and fashion news.

 

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