Names to know before everyone else.
We were all “the new kid” once—in school, on a soccer team, at the first day of work. These 12 designers are no different, except instead of cafeteria jitters or office floor plans, they’ll have to conquer the famously fickle runways at New York Fashion Week. (No pressure!) Let’s meet the new class of 2019, and send them the best vibes, and perhaps some tequila, for the big week ahead.
AKNVS by Christian Juul Nielsen
If you’re already into Christian Juul Nielsen, there’s good reason: he probably designed some of your favorite clothes at Dior and Oscar de la Renta before launching Land of Distraction in 2017. That line is on hiatus, but AKNVS (a.k.a. “a canvas”) is here, and it represents Nielsen’s singular vision for a brand. Though this is its first season, AKNVS already had a moment this summer thanks to Kate Bosworth, who wore their Christy Dress in June.
Their homepage is rife with mandates like “focus on your inner voice” and “feel Blancore.” Their mission statement says clothes should be “skin, a part of the human body.” They don’t seem to believe in the colors red and orange…but you know where we’re going with this. Since their outerwear looks so precisely pretty, though, I think I’ll go to their first-ever fashion show just to see. (Don’t worry, Mom—if they hand me Kool-Aid backstage, I will run.)
Tommy Ton spent years documenting the global Street Style scene, but eventually, a new calling emerged: why photograph stylish people when you can create them? Last season he did it with a small presentation where models of all ages walked in a circle, then paired up arm-in-arm…except for a few bold souls who never took a partner. It was simple, it was moving, and it left many editors (me included) crying quietly into our Saks Potts coats. This season, Deveaux is on the official schedule with an official runway and (fingers crossed) tons of tissues for the weepy front row.
She speaks four languages, but Eliana Rodrigues Murargy’s designs need no translation. They’re softly strong creations inspired by “The Aje,” a Yoruba female figure of African descent and intense cosmic power. For her debut at NYFW, Murargy pays homage to the Osun River, which flows from Nigeria to the Atlantic Gulf of Guinea. Judging from her Insta previews, a reinvention of the flower crown may be involved.
Maria Kazakova is a visual artist from Brookyn via Siberia. Her electric presentation at Men’s Fashion Week was a giant parade of dancers, musicians, and…Russian-embroidered streetwear. Yep. This season, she takes her Puma-sponsored brand of “whoa” to the mainstage for the first time, and we expect both a party and a new way to wear a hoodie.
These sisters live in Istanbul, trained in London, and craft couture gowns for women worldwide, including Gabrielle Union, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift, who wore their frilly lavender dress to the Billboard Music Awards this May. Are more ruffles in store? Signs—or at least our Magic 8 Ball—point to yes.
Like the Euro, The West Wing, and the Britney Spears’ hit “Crazy,” Shopbop turns 20 this year. To celebrate, they’re opening a pop-up retail space with exclusive collaborations, surprise guests, and the priceless chance to try on their ample trend ammo in real life. Head to Spring Street during NYFW to try and answer this burning question: Whatever happened to their original redhead model who posed in every outfit?
Social-Work is a young label committed to ethical production, radical transparency, and a dialogue between shoppers, designers, and factory workers. It’s also determinedly gender-free, with its look book and e-shop styling dresses, heels, hoodies and more on all kinds of bodies. Created by Chinese native and Parsons grad Chenghui Zhang, it’s a new kind of business model that also makes good clothes. We’re intrigued.