Let’s give a break to our go-to’s and shed some light on a few lesser-known designers that quite honestly deserve some attention.. New and emerging designers have a different feel, getting to sense their captivating aesthetic and donning one or more of their creations is one of our favorite things to do. Those picks will surely spark joy to oneself and pick conversations upon standing out in a crowd looking absolutely unique!
1 || KEH
Duo designers Wei Ge and Aoyu Zhang were inspired to create their brand while waiting in line at the opening of the Dover Street Market boutique in Singapore. Their friendship and shared love for fashion were the triggers that brought KEH to life two years after they both were done with their studies.. On 2019 in New York the pair launched KEH. By creating gender-fluid clothing they deconstructed and mixed elements to represent what they and their friends wanted to wear. Their pieces show off well-tailored jackets, pants and attractive pieces with a nod to avant garde in muted tones.
2 || SC103
Claire McKinney and Sophie Andes-Gascon both moved to New York in 2011 to study fashion design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. In 2015 they both landed jobs as design consultants for the brand Maryam Nassir Zadeh, where they still work. They each continued to create their own clothes on the side and eventually formed a partnership; in 2019, they launched SC103, which specializes in custom dyes and handcrafted elements. The name SC103 is a nod to the pair’s personal bond: It’s derived from the first letters of their names, combined with the building number of their first shared apartment and studio.
3 || Nensi Dojaka
Nensi Dojaka graduated from Central Saint Martins. She was one of five designers selected by Fashion East. Born in Tirana, Albania, Dojaka grew up with a deep-rooted love of art. Nensi moved to the United Kingdom in 2009 to attend high school and later studied at both the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins. Last March, her graduate collection comprised deconstructed dresses made from layers of different types of sheer fabrics, that’s when Canadian luxury retailer Ssense encouraged her to continue and build her namesake label. Severity and delicacy describe Nensi’s woman. The designer frequently turns to ’90s-era magazines for inspiration and nods to that decade will be as present as ever this season.
4 || WED
WED is a bridal inspired ready-to-wear label owned by Amy Trinh and Evan Phillips. And when both designers’ resumes include names such as Louis Vuitton, Craig Green, Stella McCartney, Richard Quinn and Simone Rocha; the basis for a promising brand were already promising.. Their aesthetic? Dresses that could be worn more than once. The pair’s goal is to create garments that can be worn both on and long after a person’s wedding day. “It’s about making bridal wear more sustainable and changing the mentality that a wedding dress should be boxed up and never worn again,” Their garments drape and are based on swirling movement. This season, the designers have also collaborated with the 300-year-old English mill Stephen Walters, and have repurposed many of the company’s dead-stock fabrics, from a quilted jacquard to a striped satin.
5 || Shuting Qiu
Born in Hangzhou, China, Qiu began dreaming up ideas for fantastical garments as a young child. At the age of 18 she cultivated her eclectic tastes and love of unusual combinations of colorful prints. The collection she presented at the end of her bachelor’s degree in 2017 — defined by extravagant silhouettes and loud clashing patterns — was selected by the online fashion platform and store Vfiles to appear in its spring 2019 runway show during New York Fashion Week and she launched her own brand not long after. Qiu’s aesthetic is references to travel and the traditional clothing she’s seen in parts of Africa, India and Southeast Asia. Accordingly, her prints — which range from floral motifs to vibrant checks and plaids — come in rich contrasting colors and are often finished with intricate embroidery.