We are obsessed with items that form the heart of our closets and our homes. We believe the humble but trusty items we use and appreciate each day are more valuable than the ones we save for limited occasions. Semifinalist makes the things you rely on. The shirt you want to put on every day. That bag with the ideal handle drop. The pen that makes your handwriting beautiful.
To bring our ideas to life, we partner with celebrated makers who share our obsession with warps and wefts, stitches per inch, honest design and responsible production. It gives us great pleasure to collaborate with people who care about distinction without fussiness.
We’re delighted you’re here.
Semifinalist launched in 2019 at Kitty Nguyen's kitchen island, where lots of ideas get hatched. Kitty’s designs are informed by thousands of miles of travel to fashion shows and factory floors and two decades of design and merchandising for brands including Barneys New York, Totokaelo, Ghurka, and 10 Corso Como. Her work is equally influenced by her childhood as a Vietnamese refugee* helping in the family restaurant, the juggles of a working parent, and a love of language.
She is especially grateful for the relationships formed in her 12 years at Barneys alongside colleagues, makers, weavers, knitters, tanners, and sewers she has been lucky to share work and meals with. A caring community guided by sensibility, not fashion - giddy with the anticipation of sharing beauty and craft with others in hopes of making someone’s day a little more joyful.
“I want to put the intimacy of product back into the conversation," says Kitty. "There is real meaning behind our choices. How things we wear can empower or comfort us. What transforms an object into something beloved is our personal experience with it, not the label or the hype.”
*Semifinalist donates a portion of all sales to The IRC, International Rescue Committee to help people rebuild their lives. https://www.rescue.org/
- Sketch by Elly Lonon -