8 NYC Designers You Don't Know — But Should

One of the best things about our jobs is the opportunity to discover hot new talents before they make it big. There's nothing like following a designer from the beginning, and watching them grow into an international sensation. Take, for example, lines like Honor and Public School, labels we've supported since day one, which are now on everyone's radar.
With New York Fashion Week wrapping up and a million-and-one shows to sift through, we've pulled out eight NYC designers who are about to have their moment. From a Lady Gaga favorite (she always knows the best people, doesn't she?) to a label inspired by late-socialite Nan Kempner, these lines are ready to join the big leagues. Click through to see who and what designers should be on your radar, and when they make it big, just remember where you heard it first!
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Photo: Courtesy of Kempner.
Kempner

Eight years after her death, Nan Kempner's covetable style is being brought back to life. The socialite's grandchildren, Meggie and Chris Kempner, are taking their talents to the design world with a new line inspired by their late grandmother's expansive wardrobe (amassed with couture pieces and an Yves Saint Laurent Collection). The sportswear label Kempner combines Meggie's styling experience at Ralph Lauren with Chris' business sensibility. The result? A collection of modernized statement pieces (including sleek blazers and tailored pants ranging from $400 to $700) that Grandma Nan would have loved.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kempner.
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Photo: Courtesy of Kempner.
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Photo: Courtesy of Baja East.
Baja East

Self-proclaimed "loose-luxury" label Baja East is making a splash for, at least in simplest terms, its unisex wear. Cofounders John Targon and Scott Studenberg have a lengthy history in the fashion industry, having worked previously at Céline and Lanvin, respectively, so it's no surprise the direction of the line focuses on comfortable, laid-back separates. The aesthetic derives from Targon and Studenberg's numerous travels, so expect an array of diverse materials, like Balinese Ikat blankets.
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Photo: Courtesy of Baja East.
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Photo: Courtesy of Baja East.
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Photo: Courtesy of CG Chris Gelinas.
CG Chris Gelinas

Canada-born designer Chris Gelinas (who got his start at Balenciaga, Proenza Schouler, and Marc Jacobs) hit the fashion radar in February when he was named a finalist for the annual LVMH Prize. The line's aesthetic focuses on American sportswear with an emphasis on structure and sharp lines. The clothing is young, cool, and sophisticated, and soon to be on everyone's mind.
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Photo: Courtesy of CG Chris Gelinas.
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Photo: Courtesy of CG Chris Gelinas.
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Photo: Courtesy of Harbison.
Harbison

Brooklyn-based, Parsons grad Charles Harbison debuted his namesake line in 2013 and is quickly rising. The collections have a serious menswear influence, with structured suits, tailored pants, and outerwear. The best part of Harbison's label, however, is its ability to seamlessly blend masculinity with femininity through the cuts, colors, and fabrics.
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Photo: Courtesy of Harbison.
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Photo: Courtesy of Harbison.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rodebjer.
Rodebjer

Following its most recent Spring/Summer 2015 show, Rodebjer is the label everyone is talking about. Carin Rodebjer's clothes are the ultimate in cool, with off-the-shoulder tops, sleek culottes, and flowy, flirty dresses dominating her latest collection. The line, which has a serious following in Rodebjer's native Sweden, is finally garnering a well-deserved international fan base.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rodebjer.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rodebjer.
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Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Sun.
Brandon Sun

His clothing has already been worn by the likes of Lady Gaga and Jessie J, but Brandon Sun is only just now having his moment. What began as a luxury fur label transformed into a complete ready-to-wear line that is as glamorous as it is cool. Aside from fur, Sun's strength definitely lies in outwear, dresses with drastic slits and hemlines, and sharp separates.
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Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Sun.
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Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Sun.
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Photo: Courtesy of Tomas Maier.
Tomas Maier

As if helming Bottega Veneta for 13 years wasn't enough, the Italian design house's creative director, Tomas Maier, is also focusing attention on his own label (which received an investment from Kering last year). His ready-to-wear collection, which debuted this summer with resort, has already been picked up by the likes of Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and Net-a-Porter, thanks to its light and airy aesthetic, comfortable yet high-fashion cuts, and more affordable price point.
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Photo: Courtesy of Tomas Maier.
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Photo: Courtesy of Tomas Maier.
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Photo: Courtesy of Harare.
Harare

Designer Caroline Fuss of Harare emphasizes craftsmanship in each and every one of her pieces, and it shows. The label's clothing is carefully handmade with artisanal practice in mind. The knits are chunky in the best way possible, the patterns pack a punch, and the frocks exude femininity.
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Photo: Courtesy of Harare.
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Photo: Courtesy of Harare.
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