2017 Judges

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, and he regularly speaks 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, a freelance stylist, moved to New York City in 2005 to style editorials for magazines such as Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle. In 2008, she joined with LA-based Karla Welch to form the industry’s first bicoastal styling team. Over the past seven years, they’ve created red carpet looks for celebrity clients such as Robin Wright, Olivia Wilde, Felicity Jones, Hailee Steinfeld, Zooey Deschanel, and many more for events ranging from the Oscars to the Grammys. They have designed custom tour wardrobes for Justin Bieber, Pink, St. Vincent, and Idina Menzel, and in 2014 were ranked #3 of the “Top 25 Hollywood Power Stylists” by The Hollywood Reporter. Harris is also the Costume Designer for Robin Wright’s character, Claire Underwood, on seasons 3, 4, and 5 of the Netflix series House of Cards. She has received two Costume Designer Guild Award nominations for her work on the show.

Nicole Phelps

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

Diana Tsui

Diana Tsui is the senior market editor at New York Magazine’s The Cut, where she writes, edits, and styles stories about fashion. The native New Yorker began her career at Lucky and worked at InStyle in addition to writing pieces for Nylon, Cosmopolitan.com, and Elle.com. She is a graduate of Cornell University and has a master’s degree from Harvard University.

Lilliana Vazquez

As a contributor for NBC’s Today, Lilliana Vazquez has her finger on the pulse of what’s trending in fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle. Vazquez is an Emmy-nominated producer and host and can be seen regularly on Access Hollywood, E! News, The Talk, and the Wendy Williams Show. She also helms TheLVGuide.com, where she and her team of tastemakers share an inspired-but-accessible look at the best in beauty, style, and home decor.


Comments are closed.