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Monday, January 12, 2015

Emerging Fashion Designers 2015

What is an emerging designer?

An emerging designer is a newly formed or just coming into prominence designer; emergent.  In regard to the apparel industry, it refers to a new clothing, footwear, or fashion accessory designer that is fresh on the scene but gaining in popularity for one reason or another.  Some of them will become successful and others will fall away into obscurity as many have done before them.

Who are the new emerging fashion designers that we should keep an eye on during 2015?  And why are they being picked to rise in popularity?  Well, in order to best answer these questions, we should turn to the pros.  Refinery 29 and Paste Magazine have put together rather nice lists of emerging designer picks along with the reasons that they believe these designers deserve special recognition as up and comers.  Due to that fact that we are fans of both publications, we thought it would be nice to share with you their wisdom.  After reading their opinions below, you should also visit their website to see the other amazing fashion articles that they have written on the subject of fashion.

Here are eight emerging designer picks highlighted by Refinery 29. 

The 8 New Designers We're Betting On In 2015 written by Connie Wang.  Connie's article also includes excellent fashion photos for each of the designers.  You should check her original post at Refinery 29.

Babyghost: Though the brand was founded in 2010, Babyghost truly hit its stride this past year, after enlisting Chinese models Ju Xiaowen and Ming Xi to rep the brand.  A mix of goth-glam streetwear, cozy knits, and riot grrrl sensibilities, Babyghost is redefining NYC's new "cool-girl" aesthetic.

5:31 Jérôme: Unlike the 3.1 in Phillip Lim's brand's name, the 5 and 31 here refer to the date that Jérôme LaMaar was born. A fifth generation New Yorker, Jérôme knows exactly how to walk that fine line between class and crass; his collection has all the raw sex appeal of Versace with the sophistication of Altuzarra. In particular, the spring '15 collection has an updated American Hustle vibe that makes us dream of disco (Apparel Search added this link to our Disco fashion page; it was not in Connie's original article).

Daniel Silverstein: Daniel Silverstein's clothes feel good to wear, but don't call them "easy." Made for the person who wouldn't own anything she merely feels lukewarm about, each piece stands out. The collection features strong, geometric shapes meant to be layered and mismatched. Silverstein's clothes are for creatives. Case in point: Lady Gaga is already a fan.

Kim Haller: After spending 20 years creating knits for such heavy hitters as Calvin Klein, Derek Lam, and Jason Wu, Kim Haller is finally using her talents for her own eponymous line. What Haller can sculpt with yarn, most people couldn't do with putty. Her collection of sweaters, dresses, skirts, and one-pieces are the coziest works of art you'll ever own.

Miuniku: Sisters Tina and Nikita Satradhar have racked up accolades as the finalists and award winners of a slew of prestigious design competitions. But, you don't need to know what they've won to understand that their brand, Miuniku (a combination of their nicknames), is special. Arrestingly graphic, slightly surreal, yet practical, too, this is a collection that you'll soon find hanging next to Christopher Kane.

OHLIN/D: After just two collections, Anne Dearne's OHLIN/D has already built quite the reputation for feminine knit sets guaranteed to get you noticed. Her skater skirts are a blogger favorite, but we might be even more mesmerized by her recent study in sheers, taupes, and iridescence. Nearly naked has never looked so plainly perfect.

Self Portrait: London-based Self Portrait is giving body-con dresses and bustiers a run for their money by making sweaters, smock dresses, and long-sleeved frocks super-sexy. Cut to hug every curve, Self Portrait's designs give you a much more compelling alternative to that "going-out top" for your next date night.

Sheena Trivedi: Designer Sheena Trivedi's eponymous label effortlessly straddles her two homes, combining the color and exuberance of New Dehli with the sleek sophistication and precision of New York. Her collections are filled with clothes that guarantee a good mood. Bedecked with feathers, lightning bolts, and embroidery, they'll elicit a Happy Outfit Dance every time.

You can learn more about new & emerging fashion designers from R29 at http://www.refinery29.com/best-new-fashion-designers

Paste Magazine had presented a compelling list of designers back in March of 2014.  They listed the following designers to be ones with strong potential. The article was call “15 Emerging Fashion Designers to Know Now”.

Jonathan Liang

Hailing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, designer Jonathan Liang launched his Paris-based eponymous label in 2012. Since then, he’s expanded his presence across South East Asia, Europe and now the United States with online retailer TheCools.com. Liang’s designs display impeccable workmanship and Italian crafting while evoking pure femininity and effortless luster.

Marissa Webb

Given that her first job was at Ralph Lauren and she later spent 10 years designing for J.Crew, Marissa Webb is far from a new designer in the fashion scene. However, since Webb just recently launched her eponymous line in 2013, we’ll say this veteran is definitely a must-follow designer, especially with her prim-and-proper yet casually chic collection of clothing.

Karolyn Pho

With her unique point of view and distinctly hard-to-miss branding, Karolyn started her career in the fashion scene styling celebrities in her hometown of Los Angeles before launching her eponymous line in 2012. Her Fall/Winter 2014 collection combined a must-see effortlessness with sexy androgynous-chic aesthetics.


Having only graduated from Milan’s Istituto Europeo di Design three years ago, Georgine Ratelband launched her eponymous line with vibrant confidence, elegant femininity and high-end fabrics. In February 2014, GEORGINE secured her place as an emerging designer with her elegance-meets-androgyn debut NYFW Fall/Winter 2014 runway show.


Though February 2014 marked this Los Angeles-based label’s second time to present during NYFW, from what we’ve seen, Skingraft’s edgy-cool vibes so far are only the beginning of what might be in store for founding designer Jonny Cota.

Alder New York

Founded in 2011 by designers (and friends) David J. Krause and Nina Zilka, Alder New York combines thoughtful, practical designs with function and humor. Made locally, this line of menswear and natural apothecary goods by the talented duo maintains a witty design aesthetic, and we can’t wait to see more of it in the future.

Audra Noyes evokes French craftsmanship with American sportswear for her eponymous label, Audra. Still within in its first year, this young designer has a lot of experience to build on, having worked for Galliano and Lanvin. Her designs are romantic, playful and strong —and have definite staying power for the years to come.

William Okpo

New York-based cool kids (and sisters) Darlene and Lizzy Okpo have received high praise since their line, William Okpo, debuted on the shelves of Open Ceremony in fall 2010. Keen designs mix with hip vibes for a look you’d not be surprised to see on Solange Knowles (who happens to be a close friend of the sisters).

Hernan Lander

Though he hasn’t presented a collection at New York Fashion Week since fall 2013, this season has seen the return of Parsons graduate and former Donna Karan staffer Hernan Lander. Having started his collection in 2008, this designer-to-watch creates womenswear with body-conscious yet geometric and asymmetric shapes and silhouettes.


Sydney-raised designer duo Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin’s label TOME might already be three years old, but extra-attentive eyes are now due to follow this line since being named a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund womenswear finalist last summer.

Rebecca Vallance

Another Australian designer worth watching, Rebecca Vallance and her eponymous line take on whimsical womenswear subtly with classic tailoring and unique textures. A former fashion publicist, Vallance started her line in 2009 and has since shown her designs at New York Fashion Week.

Rosie Assoulin

Rosie Assoulin first joined the scene with her debut collection for resort 2013. The 28-year-old designer has demonstrated an uncanny ability to produce top-notch oversize, sculptural pieces with sophisticated dressed and suiting. She’s currently nominated for the 2014 CFDA Fashion Award, along with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang. Regardless of the outcome, this will be a big step for the newcomer— and an even larger leap for her career.


Based in Brooklyn, Harbison was launched in 2013 by Charles Harbison. Though his potential has become abundantly clear during his previous work with introducing some major trends (like fun baseball caps and menswear-inspired trousers), the future holds a lot of possibilities for this talented up-and-comer.

Noir Noir

Combine hyper-realistic imaging with both art and fashion and you might come up with the love child that is Noir Noir. From T-shirts and sweatshirts to all-over printed caps and jackets, this emerging brand-to-become-obsessed-with has been distributing its simple yet spectacularly intriguing designs since 2012.


Malibu-based designer Katharine Polk may have only debuted her lined February 2012, but since then the young label has garnered the attention of the young Hollywood elite, including Lily Collins, Selena Gomez and Lucy Hale. This designer’s loot incorporated midi skirts, boxy crop tops and sheer layering for spring 2014.

In addition to the above mentioned lists, there are other ways to figure out which new fashion designers should be watched.  One way is to watch learn about competitions.  In 2008 the Council of International Fashion Designers, Inc. created the annual student and emerging designer competitions to provide support in continuing education and a platform for the world’s young and talented creative artists. The competitions are supported by the Miami Fashion Week Foundation, Inc., a § 501(c)(3) independent, not-for-profit organization formed as the entity to generate funds and accept corporate and private contributions for charitable and philanthropic initiatives. Click here to read more. Operating year-round, the foundation hosts a variety of fundraising events to raise scholarship funds that will benefit the emerging designers and students studying fashion design, fashion photography, jewelry making, handbag design and graphic arts who are the winners of the Miami Fashion Week® competitions. The competition finalists are presented in an installation at Miami Fashion Week and the winners are announced on-stage at the event. Among other exciting prizes including an engraved Tiffany & Co. award, photographs and interviews with the international press, names and photos on the “Winners Circle” page of the MIAFW web site, mentoring and internships with industry professionals, they also receive a cash prize from the Miami Fashion Week Foundation Scholarship Fund as part of their award.  The Miami Fashion Week 2015 competitions will open soon.

Open Call: 2015 WGSN Global Fashion Awards The WGSN Global Fashion Awards has announced their 2015 open call in an effort to find the new and the next. With over 20 categories, the awards honor both established and emerging designers and fashion companies in the areas of design, innovation, buying retail and retail design.

You can learn about additional designers at Charleston Fashion Week 2015 Emerging Designers Top Design 20 Semifinalists.

If you plan to be in London this February you can find another selection of talented young professionals at IFS in London.  Launched in 2012, the International Fashion Showcase engages with London’s position as an international fashion city with a reputation for nurturing emerging talent.  Organized by the British Council and British Fashion Council, the showcase takes place during London Fashion Week and will see nearly 30 embassies and cultural institutions across the capital create fashion exhibitions, which display their emerging fashion designers.  The Showcase offers the public together with the international press and buyers the chance to explore work by some of the most innovative young fashion designers from around the world.  Each country is invited to present an original installation showcasing a curated group of emerging fashion designers.  As part of Irish Design 2015, Ireland has been invited to participate in the IFS in London February 2015, presenting an exciting group of their emerging fashion design talent on this international platform.  They will be presenting in the areas of Womenswear, Menswear, Accessories and Millinery.  Successful applicants will showcase two or three of their designs as part of a curated group of emerging Irish designers presented at the IFS in London during fashion week, February 2015.

Since 2005, PREMIUM awards the PREMIUM YOUNG DESIGNERS AWARD to creative talents, promising designers and aspiring artists. The PREMIUM fashion committee crowns three most talented and creative designers amongst the exhibiting young designers of each season in the categories of womenswear, menswear, and accessories.

The PREMIUM YOUNG DESIGNERS AWARD is traditionally given out one day before the start of Berlin Fashion Week and for members of the press, industry insiders and fashion fans, the award ceremony already known as the official Fashion Week’s „kick off“. The award guarantees the winners a booth at PREMIUM for the coming season and integration in PREMIUM’s communication activities as well as the full support of the whole PREMIUM team. 

For those of you that are emerging designers and you are seeking help to get to the next level.  You may want to learn more about The Council of Fashion Designers of America.
The CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR} is a business development program designed to support the next generation of fashion designers in New York City. The program provides a creative professional environment with the mission of helping to grow and sustain the businesses of the 10 participating brands over the course of the two year program. By offering low-cost design studio space, business mentoring, educational seminars, and networking opportunities, the program provides a way for participants to reach their full potential and become an integral part of the New York Fashion community.  In 2010, the program partnered with New York University’s Stern School of Business to create a Masters Workshop that pairs their top MBA Students with the designers to work on business development projects.  Learn more about The CFDA at their website.

Below are some of the names that have taken advantage of The CFDA {Fashion Incubator} program:

2014- 2016 Designers
A Peace Treaty
Isa Tapia
Katie Ermilio
Lucio Castro

2012-2014 Designers
Ari Dein
Burkman Bros
Daniel Vosovic
Emanuela Duca
Jonathan Simkhai
Reece Hudson
Timo Weiland

We hope that you have found the selections above to be enjoyable.  If you are familiar with any of these designers, you are welcome to share your thoughts about their work in the discussion area below.  Should they be on the emerging designer lists?  Let us know which you think should be removed and which you think have already grown being the status of “emerging”.  Possibly they have moved from emerging to “popular” and “super famous” already.

Learn more about fashion designers here on Apparel Search.

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