9 Under-the-Radar Designers You’ll Actually Want to Wear

3 independent boutique owners give us the lowdown.

By: Emily Ramshaw

We won’t lie, when it comes to designers and fashion, we’re always looking for the new label or the next thing—the designer that the street style crowd and the front row haven’t quite latched onto yet. The fact remains, however, that there are hundreds—thousands, even—of up-and-coming designers, and, well, who has the time? Independent boutique owners, however, make it their business to find those labels that no one else has—and the ones that they sell are worth noting if only because they’re the ones they know we’ll like (you can trust their taste). Here, three owners of three incredibly worthwhile boutiques across the country tell us about the under-the-radar designers that we should be paying attention to (and spending our hard-earned cash on) this season. You’re welcome.

 

Stacia Canon

Canon NYC, New York

JT BY JT Jessica Trosman

“Jessica is one of my all-time favorite designers, and I’m so excited to be selling her collection. She’s based in Buenos Aires and is well-known in Argentina, but people don’t really know her here. I find it shocking because her clothes are so amazing! Watching people react to it is fun. This denim jacket is so beautifully made and bustles in the back.”

Antoni & Alison

“They’ve been well established as independent designers in London but are very under-the-radar here. They specialize in digital imagery, and I consider their pieces to be wearable art. Their folk dress is beautiful and gives this really cool optical illusion.”

Asli Filinta

“Asli is a hot new designer from Istanbul. She’s sold in some big stores in the Middle East and throughout Asia, but again, no one knows of her here. Her collection is so fresh and fun—I especially love her ruffle-sleeved sweatshirts (and I am NOT a ruffle girl!).”

Geraldine Chung

LCD, Los Angeles

Collina Strada

“Designer Hillary Taymour always has her finger on the pulse of what’s going to trend next. Her clothing is always very fashion-forward, well priced, and guaranteed to make you the coolest girl in the room.”

Perks And Mini

“This Australian cult brand has been around for a minute, but their art-and-music inspired practice bleeds into their edgy and wonderful clothing in a fun and very wearable way. They’ve been the smash hit of the season for us.”

Alyx

“A finalist for the very prestigious 2016 LVMH Prize, Matthew Williams’ subculture-inspired line is manufactured with intense attention to the tiniest details (custom lighter caps debased with the brand’s “A” logo affixed to garment collars, for example). Their fabrics are on par with the top luxury and designer brands and made in the same factories, but his designs are just the next level. I am OBSESSED.”

Diana Kim

Stand Up Comedy, Portland

Dumitrascu

“Andra Dumitrascu’s debut collection is about the social (life, attitude, style) meeting the formal (technique, textile, tailoring) and the potential behind its post-modern pastiche. The one constant, connective thread is the irreverent spirit that informs clothing as performance, tracing back to couture history. But it’s here, now, and undeniable.”

Andrea Jiapei Li

“She’s found joy within her futuristic feel, an intelligence in design’s relation to the body, and an iconoclastic independence from the market. Her clothes aren't casual exactly, but they're so well thought out that one feels carefree when wearing them, despite the big footprint they represent. This line is super clean, soft science.”

Suzanne Rae

“She focuses on silhouettes with modernity at the forefront—in concept, execution, wearability. There's ease to every piece, and a versatility that belies even the most formal elements, a lot having to do with the incredible quality of the textiles. There are possibilities with her collections, to build a confident vocabulary for work and play. Rae has an interesting take on beauty, one rooted in an intellectual exploration, re-routed and dispersed into a context that’s writing her own history, her lens on contemporary expression.”

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