Chanel, Dior, Prada …
We all know and admire the major fashion houses that have paved their way as style savants over the course of decades. And we certainly don’t deny their everlasting influence on the industry as a whole. However, the fashion world wouldn’t be as bright, diverse, and full of opportunities if there was no space for new names.
Young, fresh blood is beneficial in any industry, and fashion always proves it. Many of the big houses owe their prolonged success to the newer names that work their way up to their legendary thrones. But before they can do so, they have to pave the way for themselves through their own eponymous collections. These talented new designers are continual sources of unexplored perspectives that often lead to some of the world’s biggest trends.
Interested in switching up your fashion game and learning about some of the industry’s biggest rising stars? You can always turn to fashion capitals like London and Paris for fresh talent, but in today’s world innovative designers can be found in every corner of the world.
Here are some of the names that are currently making waves in the fashion world with their creativity and innovation.
Alice Fresnel, ALFIE
“It is important to understand the broader picture, and not focus on one theme only, if you want to draw inspiration from a period in time”Alice Fresnel, ALFIE
Alice Fresnel has made a name for herself by going against the glamorous grain and emphasizing comfort for women. The Paris-based designer was largely inspired by her childhood. She grew up with brothers and wore oversized shirts and loose bottoms that she could never find in the women’s department. The general lack of comfort-oriented clothing for women, combined with her personal frustration, was more than enough fuel for her to launch her brand, ALFIE.
Alice’s 2019 studies in Milan supplemented her design vision. She gained the knowledge she needed to create high quality clothing that stands the test of time. Inspired by traditional Italian craftsmanship and the beauty of clean cuts, ALFIE is reinventing effortlessly feminine fashion.
Nia Thomas, NIA THOMAS
“My design inspiration usually comes from many of my muses—such as Donyale Luna, Solange Knowles, and Donna Summer—but also my travels in places like Morocco, Costa Rica, Peru, and Hawaii”Nia Thomas, NIA THOMAS
Nia Thomas is a Mexico City-based designer who has had a creative brain for as long as she can remember. Growing up, she became increasingly determined to become a fashion designer. After hosting a fashion show/live performance art spectacle in October 2018, Nia was sure that her empowering concept could bring change to the fashion industry. The eco-conscious designer believes in integrating her core values into her brand. She highlights diversity and ensures the creation of small, responsibly-produced batches crafted with natural fibers.
Cynthia Merhej, RENNAISANCE RENNAISANCE
“There is a constant juxtaposition of decadence and decay that is very unique to us here and which inspires my outlook on life and my work,”.
Stepping out of her comfort zone and making her own mold despite traditional expectations was more than the needed inspiration for Cynthia Merhej. As an Arab woman, her passion and inspiration come from Beirut, Lebanon, where the temporality of life means a lot. Working in her family’s atelier from the earliest ages and selling sustainable designs for her friends was a great base for what she is today.
Gabriela Comella, GABRIEL FOR SACH
“I hate that fashion has to be linked to temporality and expires every season. That’s why I defend pieces that last over time,”
Gabriela is a Barcelona-based fashion designer, whose love for fashion was discovered through journalism. Her creativity started to come out when she started designing bags that she could not find at the market. In 2015 she founded her very own bag brand, featuring unique designs that fuse comfort with practicality. The locally-produced brand is completely designed and produced in Gabriela’s hometown. Her bags are designed to have more than one use and purpose, with an emphasis on sustainability and timelessness.
Rui Zhou, Elevated shapewear
“A garment is like an installation; when I do draping or sketching, I always think of the body shape as a frame”.
Rui Zhou offers a fresh perspective on shapewear. Naturally drawn to imperfections, she creates body-conscious separates that are avant-garde and sensual. The Hunan, China native currently works between Shanghai and New York as she redefines the meaning of shapewear.
Akpos Okudu Nwokekoro, Akpos Okudu
Reinventing fashion’s perspective in Nigeria is something that drove Akpos Okudu to launch her brand. She designs feminine, functional pieces and is first in the category of ready-to-wear fashion in her city. Akpos was named “Designer of the Year 2022” by the Fashion City Awards, and was nominated by the Future Awards (2011 & 2022), and MTN (2011) for the “Young Designer of the Year award”.
Fashion’s new frontier is constantly growing and developing, with new names that are making even greater changes and bringing fashion to a different level.