On Tuesday, Forbes released its annual 30 Under 30, a list of 600 young innovators and trendsetters who are changing the world. This year, the list — which includes vegan fur activists, bridal designers who are reimagining what a cool bride can look like, pragmatic opulence extraordinaires, and fast-fashion retailers that are being, well, choosy, about the pieces it produces — honours people and brands that we’ve had our eyes on, too.
Take, for example, Apparis, a New York-based label shaking up the fashion industry with its colourful and plush faux-fur coats. The brand is committed to proving “vegan fashion and an accessible price point can coexist without compromising style and quality,” and has a cult following as well as a real impact on the rest of the industry, encouraging DVF, and most recently Tuleste, to go fur-free. For that reason, one-half of the French duo behind the brand, Lauren Nouchi, was included in the prestigious list. “Reinvention to me, means thinking a step ahead, pushing the envelope, and also solving a problem,” Nouchi said in a video accompanying the Arts & Culture section of the list.
“I think it’s important to question what we do in order to move forward and actually do better things,” she said, adding that before launching the brand she worked in luxury fashion where she learned all too well how the products were made. So she and her business partner, Amélie Brick, decided to create products that were just better for the environment. Initially, the business launched as a direct-to-consumer brand, but that was not as successful as they hoped. The tides turned when they tried a physical pop-up and found that the product was so popular, they couldn’t keep the faux fur in stock. “I do believe [if business was good online], we would have never opened that pop-up and learned there was a true need for faux fur in the market,” she explained. “Being an entrepreneur is about reinvention.”
Nouchi is featured along with 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Christopher John Rogers, a designer, who aims to champion the self and encourage new opportunities for occasion and celebratory dressing. When asked how identity or expression played into the development of the label, Rogers told Refinery29: “Some days I might feel more ostentatious and some days I might feel a bit more reserved in my dress, so I’m interested in how clothes can serve that duality. Think: pragmatic extravagance.”
Also on the list is Sarah Abbasi, who is adding her touch of “new age opulence” to the bridal industry with her new brand, Sahroo. Since 2018, Abbasi has produced bridal collections made from biodegradable pure silk, hand-embellished with silk ribbons, silk threads, and recyclable glass crystals. Each piece is made by hand, by artisans in Pakistan.
Choosy’s co-founders Jessie Zeng and Mo Zhou make the list for “using social media to make smarter choices in fast-fashion.” Zeng says being an entrepreneur is about adapting. Before Choosy, Zeng consulted several textile manufacturers who had clients “burning millions of dollars of inventory.” With that in mind, she started Choosy, a company that uses data to drive decisions, creating less excess waste.
The remainder of the fashion honourees on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list are model and fashion designer Emily Ratajkowski; Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Linsday Peoples Wagner; Part & Parcel founder Lauren Haber Jonas; jewelry designer Jess Hannah Révész; fashion designers Maisie Schloss, Lisa Qu, Reese Cooper; Dae Lim and Mia Park, the fashion designers behind “cannabis lifestyle brand” Sundae School; as well as the Clear Cut’s co-founders Olivia Landau and Kyle Simon.