Your Cart is Currently Empty
Up & Coming Fashion Designers
2021 is a great year for new brands. The pandemic has democratized fashion shows in a number of ways, from the move to digital runways, shorter seasons, and the decision by some big names to sit out events. Young brands are good at fighting to be seen and heard, and now there are some real opportunities for them to win by doing that.
All of this is great news for fashion lovers, too, of course. We get to see fresh new takes on style, and that’s always inspiring. Here are some of our favorite designers and brands to watch.
Emma Chopova and Lauren Lowena met at London’s Central Saint Martin’s, and this art school influence is strong in their work. They’re queens of exciting, clever shapes and textures, and the fabrics Chopova imports from her parents’ village in Bulgaria make everything they do a standout. You’ll see a lot of puffed sleeves, shoulder pads, and full skirts in their work. It’s fresh and colorful and like nothing you’ll see anywhere else.
If this pair of designers have one signature piece, it would be their wide, fabric belts, which they use to create exciting, unique silhouettes above and below the waist.
Imagine Bjork, but… more. Tomotoka Koizumi is either a genius or a complete lunatic, and possibly both. His creations bring in influences from ‘90s club kid fashion, a movement full of wild, artistic ideas and an outrageous willingness to experiment. He was the talk of New York fashion week last year, and there’s no reason to think he won’t continue to astonish. This year’s collection includes dreamy, ruffled gowns, ombre shading, and exuberant frills.
Tomo Koizumi’s Instagram feed shows a lot of his creations amongst the flowers and foliage of Japan, and in this context, the influence of nature on his work is obvious. Suddenly, the unusual shapes and forms make perfect sense, in addition to making you feel happy.
Coperni is a Parisian brand that is headed up by Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant. They’ve been around since 2013 but they’re really making waves this year, helped by their digital-first approach. Coperni are ultra modern, almost futuristic, with statement bags and sharp, elegant silhouettes. You’ll find stark, charcoal and white garments alongside bold, monochrome statement pieces in pink or teal, and a lot of their collection is androgynous to at least some extent, with suits, sheer shirts, and elevated athleisure-influenced stretch wear.
Their handbags are the pinnacle of their achievement, constructed out of geometric, almost sculptural shapes.
Chinghui “Helen” Zhang, the designer behind this New York-based brand, recently said “This pandemic created a space for people wanting to be more comfortable in clothes.” She could not be more right. This isn’t just a trend; it’s the whole ethos of 2021 fashion.
Social-Work makes use of a lot of retro influences going back to the '60s and '70s, with vintage green and orange plaids and kitten heels. Where the clothes start to feel super modern is in the garments themselves. A viscose jumpsuit is the perfect embodiment of contemporary comfort with a chic touch, and a stretch, asymmetric dress with a cut-out back is everything good about form-fitting drapery.
This British-Indian designer loves to fuse together both of her cultures into something new and beautiful. This often means sheer fabrics (very 2021), layered atop themselves or other colors, and incredibly delicate laces and ties that pull dresses into deconstructed shapes that remind you of traditional Indian styles.
Supriya Lele’s garments flow like water, and even though there’s some complicated construction, they are soft, fitted, and amazingly comfortable to wear. This collection is a huge step toward looking and feeling great.
Christopher John Rogers
Our last pick is Louisiana-born, Brooklyn-based Christopher John Rogers. You may have heard of him. He’s dressed Rihanna, Cardi B, and Lizzo, and he won last year’s CFDA/Vogue away. If you’ve seen his work, you know he’s a superb evening wear designer with a cool, fresh take. If not, allow us to introduce you.
There’s really nothing Christopher John Rogers can’t do, but he doesn’t (usually) do subtle. Think bold, eye-catching golds, and the oranges and blues of an art print. His stunning taffeta gowns have featured in Vogue Italia, Harpers Bazaar and more, and his Instagram feed is full of glowing comments from the likes of Project Runway judge Elaine Welteroth.