Every Fashion Week season, it seems that there are enough emerging designers to fill up an entire tent at Lincoln Center. But just because you're showing at New York Fashion Week doesn't mean you have the chops to last long after the tents go down. Among the denizens of new designers, we've found six that have the talent and skills to back up their hype. Welcome the new guard!
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Founder of NYC boutique Atrium, Sam Ben-Avraham, and former Diesel designer Valentino Vettori recently teamed up to combine their curatorial and design expertise to launch Improvd. The pieces have a slight wear-and-tear sensibility, made with lived-in materials that have a Jil Sander-timelessness about it (at a fraction of Jil Sander prices).
Whitney Pozgay is the niece of the queen of uber-femme prep, Kate Spade, and those genes of good taste and sharp design skills definitely got passed along. Her first fall '10 collection was spot-on, with wearable separates that were definitely on-trend without feeling obnoxious. We have a feeling that we'll be adding her to the roster of our go-to designers when making up our seasonal shopping lists.
New label Honor is debuting this Fashion Week, and judging from the hype building around the released sketches for the upcoming show, we're on the edge of our seats with anticipation. Inspired by classic American casualwear, the collection will include luxe dresses, floral brocades, gold lamé, and chic trousers—pieces that seem right up our alley. Says designer Giovanna Randall, "Honor's essence is the moment your inner child and your more practical sophisticated side converge." Sign us up!
Ex-Project Runway contest Althea Harper has Tim Gunn's approval, and as she paves her way outside of reality TV-land, we have to say that we've got her back, too. Althea Harper's maturation—even between her spring '10 and fall '10 shows—is tangible. She's become more focused, more creative, and much more refined, and while the quality of her construction doesn't quite match up to her overall vision, we're excited to see where she's taking us this fall.
As a former model and current DJ, Mandy Coon has plenty of inspiration for her sartorial creations. Her eclectic past is reflected in her hauntingly beautiful designs, which are a little bit goth, rebel, and romantic. We love how she's not afraid to experiment with texture, and while her last collection steered toward the dark side, she never takes her designs too seriously either (we love the toy rabbit-shaped purse from last season!).
Even though we recently featured this new line, we just can't stop ogling the looks from Parsons grad Youngmi Ha. Having had stints at fashion powerhouse Luca Luca and LaROK, Youngmi is a pro at putting an elegant spin on current trends. We can expect her upcoming Miha collection to show unique detailing and feminine accents galore.