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Houghton by Katharine Polk Wins $25,000 Caleres Emerging Designer Award Presented by Saint Louis Fashion Fund on Opening Night of Saint Louis Fashion Week™


Houghton by Katharine Polk has been awarded the $25,000 Caleres Emerging Designer Award presented by Saint Louis Fashion Fund. She received the $25,000 award—underwritten by global footwear company Caleres (formerly Brown Shoe Company)—on November 4 during the opening night of Saint Louis Fashion Week, at Union Station in Downtown St. Louis, following the highly anticipated runway presentation and competition.

Houghton and four other national designer finalists—Haus Alkire, Eckhaus Latta, Azede Jean-Pierre and NOVIS—presented their Spring 2016 collections to a crowd of over 1,200 and an esteemed panel of jurors, including industry professionals: Fern Mallis, founder of New York Fashion Week; designer Lisa Perry; Tomoko Ogura, senior fashion director at Barneys New York; Gary Wassner, CEO of Hilldun Corporation and chairman of Interluxe; James LaForce, co-founder of LaForce + Stevens; and Debra Bass, fashion editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The $25,000 Caleres Emerging Designer Award will allow Houghton to pursue a fashion design business plan and receive business mentoring from top fashion industry experts. It will also give Houghton an opportunity to produce one limited edition look from its collection with sales to help benefit Saint Louis Fashion Fund and its mission to support emerging designers while promoting fashion education and outreach.

, the chic, edgy and luxurious designer ready-to-wear line designed by Malibu native Katharine Polk has already received much critical acclaim. Chosen by WWD as “New Designer to Watch” and selected by as “The Next Big Thing”, Houghton’s distinctive look merges the
finest imported fabrics, precise tailoring and exquisite details with simple, timeless silhouettes. The Houghton aesthetic extends to Houghton Bride, which offers a whole new approach to bridal wear. Stylish, sexy, and timeless gowns, dresses and separates for the woman who seeks something fashionable, unique and nontraditional for her wedding day. Houghton debuted at Lincoln Center in February 2012, and in October 2012 Houghton Bride followed. Houghton has been featured in Vogue internationally, WWD, Elle, The Daily Front Row, W Magazine, Harpers Bazaar,,, Teen Vogue,, People, US, Le Monde, Town and Country, Glamour Brides, Brides and Los Angeles Confidential. Lilly Collins, Kate Hudson, Kerry Washington, Jessica Alba, Selena Gomez, Lana Del Rey and Angelina Jolie are just a few of the celebrities who have discovered the collection. Houghton was accepted into Milk’s MADE program for emerging designers in 2012 and is a current participant. Katharine was nominated for Fashion Group International’s 2015 Rising Star Award. Houghton is proud to produce both its collections in New York City. The company is committed to being made in America.

Saint Louis Fashion Fund:, Twitter (#stlfashionfund, #STLFFgala2015 and #StlEmergingDesigner2015)

Saint Louis Fashion Week:, Twitter (#STLFW), Facebook (stlouisfashionweek), Pinterest (stlfashionweek) and Instagram (stlfw).

Caleres is a diverse portfolio of global brands, which fit people’s lives: Family, Healthy Living and Contemporary Fashion. Our products are available virtually everywhere - in the over 1,200 retail stores we operate, in hundreds of major department and specialty stores, on our branded ecommerce sites, and on many additional third-party retail websites. Famous Footwear and serve as our Family brands. Our Contemporary Fashion brands include Sam Edelman, Franco Sarto, Vince, Via Spiga, Diane von Furstenberg, Fergie Footwear and Carlos Santana. Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl's, LifeStride, Bzees and Rykä represent our Healthy Living brands. Combined, these brands help make Caleres a company with both a legacy and a mission. Our legacy is our more than 130-years of craftsmanship, our passion for fit and our business savvy, while our mission is to continue to inspire people to feel good…feet first. Visit to learn more.

Saint Louis Fashion Fund is a non-profit organization that supports emerging designers and promotes fashion education and outreach. Among the programs the Fund supports is Lift for Life Academy’s inner city fashion program, Missouri History Museum’s conservation of period gowns, and the Caleres Emerging Designer Award. The Fund’s signature project is building the St. Louis Fashion Incubator in Downtown St. Louis, which was once a bustling Garment District, second only to New York. For more information, visit

Saint Louis Fashion Week is considered the top regional fashion week in the country outside of New York and LA. The Saint Louis Fashion Week runway has showcased designers such as Yigal Azrouël, Rebecca Taylor, Tess Giberson, Rachel Pally, Black Halo and Eva Franco, increasing awareness and demand for these brands in the Midwest region and elevating the local fashion community in St. Louis. Each season, Saint Louis Fashion Week reaches over 5,000 attendees, awards more than $20,000 to emerging designers and raises over $5,000 for local charities. STLFW has supported over 70 local, regional and national designers by connecting them to buyers and other industry professionals and providing them with the vital resources for success. For more information, visit


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