9/11 decimated the fashion industry. American designers were dropping like flies. Anna Wintour of American Vogue to the rescue.

She created a competition which grants funding and expertise to young designers. They asked me to document the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund. In this scene, the designers were presenting their looks and grilled about their business strategy.

Anna allowed me to design the look and feel of the judging room. I embraced the windows’ blue cast over the judges, so that when the designers left the warm comforting hallway, they entered a totally different environment- the coldness of the judging room. I wanted to reflect how high the stakes were.

I had gotten to know the designers well at this point. They were pretty darn nervous, and I was nervous for them. It was an intimidating group of judges. Anna Wintour, Sally Singer, Marc Jacobs partner Robert Duffy, and a host of other fashion heavyweights.

I was mostly out of the room watching on a monitor, giving direction via headset to my DP.

When it came time for Edmundo Castillo to show his shoes, I was afraid it would be lackluster to shoot, and asked him to have the models strut down the judges table. He agreed, and it gave me one of my favorite shots!