The show must go on, despite limited to no spectators due to Ms. COVID, this year’s New York Fashion Week was mostly virtual. Yet that didn’t stop emerging designers from being able to shine, quite the opposite. With New York Fashion Week only ending a month ago, here is a list of 5 up-and-coming designers you need to check out because make it fashion.
1. Rotate “The Cool Girls Go To Brand”
Thora Valdimars and Jeanette Friis Madsen, the coolest duo from Copenhagen, and the ladies behind Rotate are taking Instagram and the world by storm. Despite having no formal training, the major fashion influencers turned fashion designers have created a line of artful streetwear that they say is inspired by pieces themselves would want to wear, pieces with color, pearls, sequins, and shine. Farfetch.com describes Rotate as “statement shoulder party dresses in bold and alluring materials — ruched velvets and crinkled metallics. Bold wrap blouses sit alongside pleated jumpsuits for a feminine flair. This is ‘80s-inspired style with a modern twist.”
Thanks to the ladies’ hot pulse on fashion, their brand is not only beautiful, with many pieces designed for a modern silhouette, but Rotate has become the must-have brand every cool girl needs in her closet. Know what else is cool? Not declaring bankruptcy, another plus, the pieces are all $250 – $560, a notably low price point compared to other designers sold by luxury brand retailers where Rotate is stocked.
2. Tach Clothing “The Most Fashionable Knitwear You’ll Ever See”
In our modern world of fast fashion, Tach clothing creates ethically constructed pieces that will instantly become long-lasting staples in your wardrobe. Not only is each piece delicately made by hand in Uruguay, where the label is also designed, but Tach clothing mixes vintage style with modern looks to create a timeless collection, that features some of the most fashionable knitwear in the history of knitwear. While Tach does design some beautifully embroidered dresses, jackets, and jeans, their knitwear is the reason we can’t stop gagging over this brand. If you haven’t heard of Tach clothing, you most likely have at least seen their famous cardigan sweater half top that has been worn by a plethora of famous influences, and celebrities. If you’re looking for some serious fashion cred, we recommend Tach. Plus you’ll be the most ethically conscious fashionista wherever you go.
3. KEH “The New York Fashion Scene’s Newest Darlings”
Friends, Wei Ge and Aoyu Zhang, and the men behind KEH, came up with the idea for their label in 2017 while waiting in line together at the opening for the Dover Street Market boutique in Singapore. Two years later, the designers launched their label, ZEH. The designers were a stand out at this year’s New York Fashion week, catching the eyes of editors, KEH is now the label on everyone’s lips. KEH is able to mix high concepts with clothes you can actually wear, yet the clothes don’t look commercial. The huge trend in fashion right now is to create garments that are gender fluid, which KEH has perfected. The label creates garments that combine masculine elements with feminine colors, which makes the pieces feel like both genders could wear them.
In the article, Ones to Watch:KEH, Andrew Shang says the KEH’s debut collection at NYFW was “Inspired by photographer Nick Knight’s series of roses, the fall collection utilized conceptual draping in reference to flower petals to soften classic tailoring pieces. A roomy trench was layered with wrap sleeves, while a gray structured jacket had a single playfully curved sleeve. Ge played with proportion and created volume by sensually exposing skin or nipping the waists of big shoulder blazers made with Italian and Japanese wool and tweed. Shirting, like the outerwear, was gender-fluid, and included a standout gray top with drapes and lines mirroring how petals fold and form.”
4. SC103 “Trends Come And Go, But Friendship Is Forever”
Claire McKinney grew up in Portland, Oregon whereas a kid she would steal pillowcases from the family linen closet to make costumes, and Sophie Andes-Gascon, originally born in Brazil, eventually moved to Maryland, where her father taught her how to knit and sew. The ladies’ paths crossed in 2011 when they both moved to New York City and became classmates at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Eventually getting an apartment together, the girls were both hired by Maryam Nassir Zadeh, where they are still employed. Despite landing these jobs in 2015, the ladies continued to work on their own designs on the side, until 2019, when the two friends partnered up and launched their label SC103. The girls came up with the name SC103 for their label as an homage to their first apartment together, which was apartment number 103. While the S and C are the first initials of each girls’ name put together, which represents their long-lasting bond, and friendship. Awe, I’m not crying, you are.
In the article, 6 Emerging Designers To Know This Fashion Month, by Angela Kon, she wrote SC103, “which specializes in custom dyes and handcrafted elements, with a runway show in downtown Manhattan that was, in a departure from the traditional fashion presentation format, open to the public. “We reject the idea of exclusivity and embrace an open and democratic policy,” says McKinney. “We want to share this experience with people outside the fashion world.” The name SC103 is a nod to the pair’s personal bond: It’s derived from the first letters of their names, combined with the building number of their first shared apartment and studio. For fall 2020, the designers will show brightly colored hand-knits paired with workwear-inspired trousers, armor-like garments made from linked leather panels, and shrunken sweaters and pants designed to mimic ones that have been washed on too high a heat.”
5.Kenneth Nicholson “The Designer We Need Right Now”
I could write a novel on everything that is wrong with 2020, from a global pandemic to the looming possibility that a known racist, misogynistic, lunatic might win reelection, it’s hard not to feel like all hope is lost. Especially with the senseless murders of unarmed black people that continue to happen at the hands of the police. Why Kenneth Nicholson is so important, not just for his stunning designs, but because he is the brining us back hope by being the bright light we so need right now.
A Los Angeles native Nicholson spent some time in the Navy before graduating from San Francisco’s Academy of Art. During the few days of menswear shows, Nicholson was able to show his fall 2020 men’s and women’s collection at New York Fashion Week. Nicholson chose to use colors in his collection that felt light-hearted, the pastels the men were in, and the bright yellows the women were in, emulated joy and hope. The collection titled: From Grandma’s Couch, included a reimagining of elements you would see in a house from the 70s, elements such as crochet doilies and lampshade crystals. In the article, NYFW Up-and-Comer Kenneth Nicholson Finds “Grace and Beauty in the Struggle,” by Brooke Bobb, she describes Nicholson show at NYFW, saying “One male model wore a beautiful red velvet zip-up corset, and Nicholson used a latch-hooking technique for sweaters and vests that he watched his grandmother use when he was a kid. The lessons we learn from our elders, from our history, and the way we use those lessons to evolve, were an important part of Nicholson’s message.”
“As the show began, two men covered in glitter head to toe, one in gold and the other in silver, and wearing boxing shorts and gloves, began to fake fight in slow motion. As they danced like butterflies, a soulful and meditative soundtrack played that mixed a gospel sermon from Bishop T.D. Jakes and passages from The Color Purple with songs from The Wiz, as well as hits by James Brown, Kendrick Lamar, and Billie Holiday. The boxers, Nicholson said, “represent this struggle and tension that can happen in life. When you dare to create something new, you are often presented with opposition. The glitter symbolizes the grace and beauty in the struggle.”
“He has the aura of someone who sees everything and everyone through rose-colored glasses, but he’s far from naive. Nicholson is clear and precise about the fact that right now things are indeed very bad; still, he sees his collection as “a statement about not shying away from reality but instead tackling it head on and allowing those challenging times to shape a better you.” He continues: “In my view, a positive way of looking at challenges when they present themselves is that you now know what needs to be developed and made stronger. In that mindset, it ceases to be about struggle for struggle’s sake and the challenge begins to serve you and help you grow.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. No like literally I couldn’t, so props to Bob for what she wrote because it was beautiful.
Despite our new COVID world, these designers still showed up, and slayed fashion week. And I look forward to wearing some of their gorgeous pieces this fall. Let us know what new designers you love.
writer, filmmaker, and hipster overlord