The Avant Garde
Rei Kawakubo, comme des garçons
Jun Takahashi, undercover

The Leader:
CDG designer Rei Kawakubo is one of the industry’s most revered and forward-thinking designers. Designers the world over study her work (left). When she creates something, the rest of the fashion industry catches on—five years later.

The one to watch:

Kawakubo hand-picked the Japanese label (right), designed by Jun Takahashi, to be sold in her London store, Dover Street Market, which is like a “Who’s Who” in fashion.

The Wearable and Cool School
Stella McCartney
Isabel Marant


The Leader:
It’s telling that Stella McCartney’s blazers (left) are one of the most knocked off items in stores. She has a knack for making effortlessly cool stuff that everyday women want to wear.

The one to watch:

Isabel Marant’s name has become synonymous with that hard-to-put-your-finger-on quality that makes Parisian women look so chic and cool. Her work (right) has a relaxed, edgy vibe to it.

The Directional Squad
Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton
Christophe Decarnin, Balmain

The Leader:
Where Marc Jacobs goes, a huge chunk of the fashion industry tends to follow. Who else could make bunny ears (left) popular?

The one to watch:

While Christophe Decarnin is hardly a new name in fashion, he’s only recently revealed himself as a major force by single handedly making the old French fashion house, Balmain, cutting edge with a rocker chic aesthetic (right).