The fashion industry as a whole is in an undeniable state of transition — major fashion houses are playing musical chairs with creative directors, consumers are getting confused over the fact that it takes six months for products to become available (at which point, it's not even exciting or new anymore), and luxury designers are growing fatigued trying to keep up with a speedy cycle that barely leaves room for creativity.
It's difficult to know what exactly that all means for the future of the industry, but if we're talking solely about the recently concluded Fashion Month, there was a noticeable shift in buzz-worthy shows. It was the new up-and-coming labels and young designers that were the biggest tickets among the fashion crowd. While traditionally exciting big-name shows left attendees with an overwhelming sense of "meh," it was emerging labels that got us holding up our phones for photo-bursts and fawning over a collection over drinks at the end of a long day of shows. So, maybe this isn't a state of flux at all, but more like a chance for the old favorites to figure themselves out, letting these new, lesser-known designers truly shine and make themselves known. Ahead are the ones that did just that. These are the designers that got fashion people talking and will only continue to impress for seasons to come, even if you're not familiar with them quite yet. Click on to get to know the 15 designers we're keeping our eyes on.
Photo: Courtesy of Beaufille.
Think of this design duo as the new Olsen twins. Sisters Parris and Chloé Gordon have been exploring the contrast between masculine and feminine elements through clothing and accessories since they began their line in 2013. Beaufille But it was this season, with their official debut at New York Fashion Week, that really got their name on people's lips. For Ellery-esque super flares, major sleeves, and plenty of off-the-shoulder styles, look no further than this minimalist-friendly ready-to-wear that's definitely cool girl approved.
Photo: Courtesy of Cinq À Sept.
Cinq À Sept You may be able to tell from the name that this new contemporary line is inspired by the time between 5 and 7 p.m. It's all about the balance between day and night, sophistication and ease, and youthfulness and confidence. All of these contrasts are evident in the brand's romantic cocktail dresses, sexy separates, and luxurious outerwear, which can take us from work to drinks without breaking a sweat.
Want to know the one new brand everyone was talking about in New York? The one our own editors wanted to Sies Marjan write about almost instantly, had a stacked front row with all the industry heavy-hitters, and whose wares filled up your Instagram feed for a few hours? It's Sies Marjan, helmed by Sander Lak, who was head of design at Dries Van Noten for five years. Richly luxurious, colorful, and with a flair for the weird, this is a brand that's going to be on the must-attend list for NYFW next season.
Silvae Silvae means "of the woods" in Latin, which is fitting. Designer Deborah Roberts found inspiration for the line in her Pacific Northwest backyard, where she attended design school only a few short years ago. What we're really drawn to is her knack for giving otherwise simple, classic pieces one-of-a-kind details, like unexpected shoulder slits, beautiful pleats, and artfully placed straps. And as a bonus, all the garments are made in New York and Silvae is a proud supporter of The Wilderness Society, which works to protect our green spaces.
A slip dress with a superfluous sleeve knotted at the bottom of the skirt. A silk blouse paired with some super-oversized, slouchy pink velvet trousers. A ball skirt that looks like a devastatingly alluring, chic garbage bag. These are the types of pieces you can expect (but never fully predict) from Monse, a new fashion line founded by Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, formerly of Oscar de la Renta. It a deadly mixture of smart and sophisticated — and will guarantee that you're the best-dressed person at any black-tie event.
Koché When clothing is designed well, no matter how out-of-the-box it is, it feels easy to wear — as if you could just pull it off the runway and slip it on for a night out. That feeling sums up Koché, which was founded in 2014 and, according to its website, "stands at the crossover of high fashion, street culture, and contemporary art." Those three ideas come through effortlessly in the form of interesting layering, modern details, and unique color palettes, creating a whole new kind of luxury fashion you have to see to really understand.
Photo: Courtesy of Rosella Jardini.
Rosella Jardini If this name sounds familiar, that's probably because Rosella Jardini isn't necessarily a new designer on the scene. Jardini was the former creative director of Moschino and she debuted her eponymous line this season after a two-year period of absence. But she made up for lost time with ensembles that any Gucci lover would go crazy over — the grandma-chic prints and suit sets, embellished collars and accessories, and ruffles galore are sure to be mainstays in endless editorials (and editor closets).
Photo: Courtesy of Moto Guo.
Moto Guo It takes a lot of talent to make "weird" clothing — the kind of clothing that's intentionally provocative, gender neutral, and breaks all rules of proportion and tradition — and have it come off as "fashion" instead of a joke. But Moto Guo is already making waves doing just that. His knack for manipulating fabrics and sneaking in cheeky bon mots landed him on the shortlist for the LVMH prize.
Photo: Courtesy of Arthur Arbesser.
Arthur Arbesser Another long day of shows, hopping from car to car in the rain, with blisters pulsing at every pressure point on our feet — and then, Arthur Arbesser sends a head-to-toe golden-yellow velvet ensemble down the runway and makes everyone wake right up in their seats. Sometimes, it's just that simple. This one look wraps up what Arbesser does so well — sophisticated, quality style with an inexplicable, full-of-energy feeling that can take a rainy day and turn it on its head.
Photo: Courtesy of Michino.
Michino We've got to give the accessories category some love, too, and Michino is making it easy to do just that. With its perfectly simple top-handle bags and the kinds of totes and clutches you have to resist not to buy every color in, Michino is the kind of bag brand that will be taking over the street style scene in no time at all (and we'll be helping).
Photo: Courtesy of Mr. & Mrs.
Mr. & Mrs. Think Canada Goose is the only It jacket on the scene? Not for long. Alessia Giacobino founded Mr. & Mrs. after her own long search for a perfect parka. The result includes the kind of cold-weather staples that make you want the temps to drop — think fuzzy furs in fun colors, quirky patches, and piles of layers.
Photo: Courtesy of Alexander Lewis.
Alexander Lewis Instead of just designing for seasons, London-based American designer Alexander Lewis designs for specific fashion situations — most recently, he designed a casual, totally wearable take on the idea of fashion meeting technology, utilizing new fabrication technologies, holographic materials, stickers, and more.
Photo: Courtesy of Stella Luna.
Stella Luna Having owned the factories that created the shoes for all the heavy-hitting brands from around the world, this Chinese brand started making its own shoes in 2006. Stella Luna is beginning its European and American expansion — and sharing its comfort-at-all-heel-heights motto with the world on its e-commerce this year. Expect Instagram-worthy styles that are actually comfortable, with quirky details like ropes, ribbons, and pearls.
Photo: Courtesy of Roberta Einer.
Roberta Einer All. Sequin. Everything. We saw sparkly, embellished garments left and right this fashion month, but no one does it quite like Roberta Einer, who graduated from Westminster in 2015 and launched her label to mass acclaim that same year. Her detailed, maximalist, girl-power embroidery and embellishments, and firsthand knowledge of what young women really want turn minimalism on its head in the most badass way possible.
Photo: Courtesy of Sadie Williams.
Sadie Williams Forget puffer jackets — now there are puffer skirts and puffer bags, thanks to designer Sadie Williams' out-of-this-world manipulation of unexpected materials (and a whole lot of sparkle). Having graduated just a few years ago and already getting a collaboration with & Other Stories under her belt, this rising star isn't going anywhere.