5 minutes with 5 up and coming fashion designers
Fashion Week Brooklyn played host to the 8th biannual fashion show at Industry City, with designers from around the world showcasing their newest collections for fall 2014.
Metro attended this year’s Fashion Week Brooklyn and spoke with five of the best up and coming designers. These rising stars told us their fall trend predictions, what they’re go-to picks are in fashion and more.
Age & Hometown: 23, Philadelphia.
How she got her start: Pickney attended Philadelphia University for fashion design but says, “Before I even went to school, I was always heavy into design. I had a sewing machine at thirteen and always created things.”
Before becoming a designer, Pickney worked at a business center teaching people how to start up their own businesses, which mixed well with what she was trying to do in the fashion industry. The emerging entrepreneur is now one of the youngest to premiere in Brooklyn’s fashion show and says she couldn’t have done it without the support of her close friends and family.
Favorite piece: “My patterned trench coat with leather accents and my overalls are my favorite.”
Favorite fall trend: “My go-to trends in the fall are neutrals and socks. I love layering –whether I dress up an outfit or dress it down, I either wear the thigh-highs or layered socks.”
Kouassi Norbert Akou
Age & Hometown: 25, Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Collection: Lady Pearl. Inspired by the women of each ethnic group in Africa, every dress is named after a common woman from each African group to represent the women of that region. He dedicates his collection in honor of those women who can’t be on the runway. Akou’s goal is to elevate these women because “they are beautiful and deserve more respect then they’re given.”
How he got his start: He attended Esmod Fashion School in Paris when he was 18, which is when his passion for fashion really took off.
Favorite piece: “My favorite piece is the feathered dress.”
Favorite fall trend: “I don’t care so much about what I wear, but I love my bag. I have so many different bags.”
Age & Hometown: 22, Johannesburg, South Africa.
How he got his start: Fitz recently received his fashion degree at Leaders in the Science of Fashion (LISOF) in Johannesburg and has been working in the fashion industry for three years now.
“I started after my brother and sister in law introduced me to fashion and gave me a style makeover,” says Fitz. “Then I decided I wanted to be a designer and I went on to study design and became a fashion designer.”
Previous job: Before entering the world of fashion, like most young students, Fitz worked in retail stores.
Soon after working in fashion, he began assisting designers like Lisa Jaffe and Jessica Southernland. Although Fitz was the youngest designer in this year’s Fashion Week Brooklyn, he was not the youngest to begin his fashion career.
Favorite Piece: “The jacket-dress. It consists of 4 kilograms of raw wool and was hand-felted to mould onto the body without any seams at all.”
Favorite fall trend: “I think the trend is moving more away from figure hugging forms and is leaning towards statement pieces that may not shape tight to the body.”
Age & Hometown: “Let’s just say I’m over 40,” Rubio says. New York.
How he got his start: Rubio studied women’s wear design at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology but chose to go into education instead. After rescuing a badly abused Chihuahua who was beaten almost to death in the street, Rubio rehabilitated and cared for the pup and named him Bandit.
“I discovered that he liked clothing more because he was always trembling from feeling cold. I went back to my fashion training and transformed human designs into pet designs.”
Rubio’s pet couture was discovered after winning a Halloween competition. Soon after Rubio and Bandit were featured on a book cover then on the “Today Show.” Bandit passed away eight years after Rubio took him in. He named his fashion line after the pooch, which was co-founded by Ivon Reyes, who designs clothes for the animals’ human counterparts.
Previous job: Before becoming a designer, Rubio was, and still is, an educator for just over 24 years now.
Favorite piece: “My favorite piece is the finale gown, which featured thousands of Swarovski crystals hand, set in three-dimensional silk and chiffon flowers. This garment is strategically hand sewn onto a combination of five fabrics. It’s a showstopper, which is also convertible where the skirt comes of leaving a fully functional though fancy harness.”
Favorite fall trend: “Rich colors in wools and tweeds trimmed in metallic leather or faux fur will be the trend.”
Age & Hometown: 38, Finland.
Hurrinainen’s philosophy is that clothes, like all products, need to be functional and durable. Marita aims to create timeless objects that won’t go out of fashion after just a few seasons, thus she dares to challenge the current trends of the fashion industry.
How she got her start: She began her career eight years ago as a designer for the Finnish design company Marimekko.
Favorite piece: “The WAVE shoes. I simply love the shape of those shoe.”
Favorite fall trend: “Fur, but not conventional fur. Wild fur (not farmed), where the animals have lived in a natural environment.