Master tailor: Antonio Azzuolo
The CFDA menswear nominee cut his teeth designing for brands such as Hermes and Kenzo before landing the design director role at Ralph Lauren’s Purple and Black Label. But the Montreal native’s education in sharp tailoring began much earlier — his dad was a master tailor. Now Azzuolo creates glamorous, luxe essentials for his own line, a.a. Warning: Buy any of Azzuolo’s chic pieces for your other half and expect him to be the fiercer one in the relationship.
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Ladies’ man:Guillaume Henry
When Henry took over French label Carven, his collection was so spot-on that you would have thought he took his hip, arty girlfriends out for a round of drinks and then took their wardrobe complaints and wish lists to the atelier. His clothes are sweet and chic — and yet a little bit dark and slightly punky. It’s no wonder girls like Alexa Chung can’t get enough.
Indie darling: Suzanne Rae
Suzanne Pelaez, a Parsons grad, started out by working in New York’s art gallery circuit, and you can see the influence in her flair for prints and artist collaborations. The Brooklynite’s slightly experimental ready-to-wear pieces would look at home in any curator’s closet (or that of any girl with a confident sense of personal style, really). Pelaez also worked brief stints at Costume National and Morgane le Fay before quickly striking out on her own.
The romantics: Creatures of the Wind
Chicago-based designers Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters wooed editors and buyers alike at New York Fashion Week last season for being very, well, un-New York. Their romantic and quirky collection inspired by Nantucket and sailors’ widows featured Victorian silhouettes, lace and bright colors. It also landed them on the cover of WWD and earned them a CFDA nomination this year. Well played, guys. Well played.
Futuristic femme: Sally LaPointe
Dubbed as a one-to-watch by Elle and New York magazine, this Massachusetts native’s signature style is a mix of both futuristic (think: big, bold shoulders) and feminine silhouettes (sexy, drapey dresses). Add some in-your-face colors and fabrics, and you have what might be the perfect wardrobe for show-stoppers such as Beyonce and Lady Gaga — the latter is already a loyal LaPointe customer.