When it comes to fashion, young designers often go in and out of style as frequently as the trends they produce. But in a seemingly endless sea of Ones To Watch, there are those few who actually prove themselves. Here are a few emerging names with serious staying power. Take note.
1. Rad Hourani
The innovation: Unisex separates
The buzz: Usually, when you think of the word “unisex,” nondescript T-shirts and parkas come to mind. But Rad Hourani’s eponymous clothing line features intricately constructed separates that blur the gender lines.
“When I’m designing a collection, I don’t think to myself that I am designing for men or women,” says the self-taught designer who splits his time between Paris and New York.
“I do things without gender or season. It’s about defying those limitations that are so often self-imposed. I think people should use their own brains to understand what they like or don’t like, rather than allow it to be externally decided,” he adds.
2. Edward Buchanan of Sansovino 6
The innovation: Knitted jeans and re-invented basics
The buzz: Buchanan is a seasoned behind-the-scenes vet who worked for marquee brands (Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein) before the Italian house Bottega Veneta hired him as a design director. Six years later, he moved back to Manhattan to consult Jennifer Lopez and Sean “Diddy” Combs on their clothing lines. “But I never was that designer who was interested in celebrity,” Buchanan says.
“So I returned to Europe. Sansovino 6 was that answer to what I had been wanting as a designer.” The line is also the answer to what many of us are missing from our closets.
“I asked all of my friends what they wanted for their wardrobes but couldn’t find,” he explains. He took their answers — jeans that look modern but feel old and worn-in, for instance — and made the knitwear equivalent. The end result is a collection of re-invented staples, such as a pair of skinny jeans that look rough and worn but is, in fact, completely knitted.
3. Alexa Adams and Flora Gill of Ohne Titel
The innovation: The line’s name means “no title” in German, and the New York-based duo’s work aptly has a quality that’s difficult to put your finger on. It’s powerful and yet soft. It cuts a clear line, but sculpts the body.
The buzz: As their fan base grows (Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld bought a coat off the runway), so do their accolades. They’ve been nominated for the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund and Swiss Textile Awards.