The under-the-radar houses that discreetly push the frontier. Buy big now, reap rewards later.
Saks Potts Furs, Copenhagen
This Copenhagen-based womenswear brand, established by Barbara Potts and Cathrine Saks takes statement making fur and re-works it into individual ready-to-wear garments. The resulting collections of colourful cover-ups guarantee the chicest and most unique product buy.
Sandy Liang, New York
Sandy’s collections start with statement staples and always finish with a street-wise sense of fun. Taking inspiration from her lower East-side haunts, Liang uses innovative fabric combinations and pattern techniques to rethink classic designs. Leather and fur are often a staple in her collections that are available at the likes of Shopsuperstreet.com and stores Assembly New York and Boon The Shop in Korea.
A.W.A.K.E. (All Wonderful Adventures Kindle Enthusiasm) was founded in 2012 by Harper's Bazaar Russia’s Fashion Director Natalia Alaverdian. Natalia's fun approach to design is a hit with those in the know, and Miroslava Duma, Kim Kardashian and Natalie Joos have secured her reputation as the go-to designer for statement ready-to-wear.
After years making sample garments for Céline and Balenciaga, Daniel Pallas and his partner Véronique Bousquet decided to launch their own line, Pallas. Known for tailoring expertise, each piece is impeccably fitted in the label’s Parisian atelier. Today, Pallas has twenty one points of sale including Barneys, Net-a-Porter and Le Bon Marché.
Protagonist, New York City
A ready-to-wear collection that elevates the modern wardrobe by focusing on the subtleties of form, fit, and fabrication. The result is sleek, sharp wardrobe staples with a point of difference being that they transcend the seasons. Whilst keeping a low press profile, Protagonist manages over 30 stockists including Barneys, The Line and Net-a-Porter.
Molly Goddard, United Kingdom
This UK designer burst onto the radar in 2014 and has already garnered the approval of industry stalwarts Suzie Menkes and Bjork. The designer's punky silhouette consists of signature frothy, sheer party dresses (usually in tulle) balanced with the more commercial two-pieces in tartans or silks. Goddard is now supplying stores including Dover Street Market, I.T. and Club 21.
Lea Peckre, Paris
Léa Peckre, once a junior designer at Isabel Marant, took home the prestigious ANDAM First Collections Prize for 2015. Her game-changing silhouettes rethink normal tailoring expertise, catching the buying eyes of influential retailers such as Opening Ceremony. Peckre will be showing her AW’16 collection at Paris Fashion Week and is one to watch.
Tokyo-based designer Mug serves up cool, cult creations with a heady mix of feminine versus masculine silhouettes. The multi-credentialed designer buys for famed Japanese retailer K3 as well as designing G.V.G.V., an acronym for ‘grapevine’, in collaboration with the retailer.
Marit Ilison, Estonia
This family owned Estonian label is famed for its artistic collaborations. Creative Director Marit Ilison has a refreshing and unconstrained approach to color, texture and proportion, preserving the label’s cult status. The collection named ‘Longing For Sleep’ caught the eyes of many at the 29th Hyères festival and won the Vogue Talent title.
Orley, New York
Newcomer Orley is leading a generation in reinventing the classic technique of wovens. Usually reserved for winter the New York based ‘it’ label has embraced old techniques to create a summer-strong collection of modern crochets, ribs and scallop stitches to the highest quality of materials and manufacturing. With a weighty retail presence in the USA – Bergdorf Goodman was the first influential stockist to carry the label – Orley is now looking internationally for strong retail partnerships.
Arthur Arbesser, Milan
This Central Saint Martins graduate burst on the scene in 2013 to rave reviews. Fast forward to 2015 and Arbesser has been appointed Creative Director of Italian house, ICEBERG. Expect a combination of unbridled, jolie-laide prints with classic cut silhouettes.
Giulietta, New York
Florentine designer Sofia Sizzi trained at Gucci, Donna Karen and Calvin Klein, before launching her own ready-to-wear label, Giulietta in 2011. Soon after it was founded, the New York-based designer signed a partnership with the manufacturer Cieffe Milano ensuring quality production and spot-on deliveries. Giulietta has built a loyal fan base for her retro style riffs including celebrities Emma Watson, Drew Barrymore, Cate Blanchett and Cameron Diaz.