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Meet 8 Labels About To Break Out In A Big Way

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    As much as we love ogling the latest from our favorite brands, we’re always on the hunt for the next big thing. After all, some of the most envelope-pushing styles come from designers whose names you may not have heard — yet. Find them, we did, thanks to Lord & Taylor's emerging talent initiative.

    Introducing Brand Assembly, a concept shop featuring up-and-coming contemporary designers, slated to open this fall at Lord & Taylor's NYC flagship. Based on what we've seen so far — innovative yet wearable styles you'll be living in come next season — it's safe to say these brands have the staying power required to reach household-name status.

    So, we're giving you a sneak peek: Ahead, meet the creative geniuses behind Michelle Kim, to be adored, Etelka, Oliveve, Priory of Ten, Maria Dora, Sachin & Babi, and Calla. Not only did four of our style editors get to know everything about them (inspiring success stories and pet names included), they were also styled in their favorite pieces from the designers they interviewed. So, when we tell you you need Oliveve's structured backpacks in your life stat, you know we mean it.

    Click on for a primer on the new faces in fashion you'll be name-dropping in no time.

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    Designer: Michelle Kim
    Modeled & Interviewed By: Connie Wang, Style Director

    "Easy to wear, but also easy to snag compliments with? That's always the ultimate goal for our everyday pieces, and the designs coming from Michelle Kim hit just the right notes. There's nothing fussy about her pretty pieces, but they're always a little off and left-of-center…which is a good thing." — CW

    You grew up around clothes in your father's garment factory. Did that affect your work?
    "Seeing the work being done and knowing the people at the machines, I came to appreciate what it takes to make clothing. I was impressed with the assembly-line structure of putting clothes together — different sewers stitching various pieces of a garment, then coming together for the finished product. That efficiency is something that has stayed with me."

    Michelle Kim skirt, DKNY dress.


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    You also have a very academic background in fashion design. Does that give you an edge?

    "At Parsons, I learned so much about design and discipline. They were extremely strict with attendance and serious about the amount of work we received. But, at the London College of Fashion for my masters, I learned to develop my own design process. I taught myself to start with inspiration and really dig into the research, making it personal and finding inspiration in things that aren't literally fashion. I had the luxury of time during my masters to really do a lot of handwork and exploration, which I miss these days."

    What kind of inspiration do you incorporate into your designs now?
    "I get very inspired by vintage prints. I love things that have history, that conjure up moods and scenes of the past, and bring them to the present through color and my designs. The quirky prints from the 1930s always make me smile. I love being able to integrate original artwork into my collection, too."


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    What brands or artists inspire you?
    "Idolizing was my full-time job growing up. I’m a fashion child of the '90s. I loved the grunge look from Anna Sui and Perry Ellis by Marc Jacobs, and I did absolutely everything in my power to copy those looks in high school, pairing floral printed dresses with my Dr. Martens boots. I got to work with Anna, and she instilled me with confidence in my aesthetic and individuality. My clothes have a simpler silhouette that probably speaks to my '90s fashion obsessions — menswear-inspired with details that show my feminine side."

    You've come a long way from your dad's garment factory — how does it feel to be a part of Lord & Taylor's young designer initiative?

    "As an emerging designer and business, I aspire to be sold in department stores, but I’m quite small for that now. This is a wonderful way to experience being in a bigger store while being acknowledged as a young designer. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to have my brand reach more people — it celebrates a unique and personal attitude, so anyone who challenges the status quo of beauty, contributes to society, and is confident in herself can wear it."


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    Designer: Bin Bin McNiven of to be adored
    Modeled & Interviewed By: Connie Wang, Style Director

    "While I'm a tomboy at heart, there's a side of me that can't resist a good flounce, ruffle, and bow. The wares at to be adored speak to that more whimsical part of me and approach feminine, girly silhouettes with the ease of menswear, which is something I can appreciate." — CW

    There's a lot of whimsy in your line. What words do you hope women use when describing your clothing?
    "Fun, modern, youthful, audacious, irreverent, and effortless."

    to be adored coat, Elie Tahari shirt.


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    So, what celebrity perfectly encapsulates the to be adored girl?
    "Alexa Chung, Zooey Deschanel, and Emma Stone."

    You create a lot of dresses (or separates that can be combined to basically look like a dress!). What do you love most about this silhouette?
    "A dress is the perfect garment to show off your femininity, and it's so easy to wear — you only need to find some suitable shoes, and you're ready to go. A good dress can help accentuate the parts of the body you want to show off and hide the areas you don't. Most importantly, a waistline on a dress can help to balance your body proportion if you are not super leggy."

    You're also an expert at clashing (but matching) prints. What's your secret?
    "I'm not sure I know the secret! Happy accidents?"