This fall, break up the monotony of shopping at your usual retailers by exploring these five emerging designers.
Despite the many options available to fashion consumers these days, it's still really easy to find ourselves in a rut by shopping the same brands over and over—and hey, we get it. With the world still in flux from the uncertainty of when and if things will ever feel "normal" again, it can be comforting to stick with what we know. Does your local Thai restaurant now know your order by heart, too? Have the folks at your bodega seen you in every iteration of your activewear collection? Trying something new when refreshing your wardrobe can be a simple and fun way to ease the experience of languishing—the dominant feeling of the moment. "But who has the time?" you may be asking. Not to worry. We've rounded up five emerging designers with new brands for you to explore.
This Brooklyn-born lifestyle brand launched in 2012 under the leadership of sisters Shelly Powell and Kimberly Goldson. Infusing the experience of their international travels and their Brooklyn home base, their collections feature statement-making pieces in bold colors and patterns. You can shop Kimberly Goldson online at Saks, at Nordstrom beginning in September, and an exclusive capsule collection for Shopbop launching in October.
Launched in 2019 by Michelle Adepoju, Kílèntár aims to bridge the gap between traditional African fashion and contemporary design with a focus on ethical production. Adepoju works with Indigenous independent artisans who use locally sourced beads, cowrie shells, and fabrics to create limited, intentional pieces that last. Kílèntár wants to "empower women through design and in their everyday lives, as our pieces and design process is predominantly made by women," shares Adepoju. Shop the collection here.
Created by DMV-based designer Anifa Mvuemba, Hanifa ready-to-wear launched back in 2012, but she is most known for her revolutionary 2020 3-D fashion presentation during the height of the pandemic, when many designers were scrambling for solutions. Hanifa's collections feature bold colors, patterns, and textures in sexy silhouettes that celebrate curves, ranging from sizes 0 to 20. Her designs have been seen on Gabrielle Union, Melissa McCarthy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, to name a few. Shop Hanifa's Capsule 3 collection here.
Rich Mnisi is a South African–based contemporary multi-disciplinary brand founded in 2015 by Rich Fumani Mnisi. Named the Emerging Designer of the Year in 2019 by the Essence Best in Black Fashion Awards and a Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 Class of 2019 inductee, Rich has been making a name for himself. It doesn't hurt that celebs like Ciara and Naomi Campbell have donned Rich Mnisi originals. Influences of family and heritage, art, nature, and music permeate every colorful, unexpected, well-crafted men's and women's design. You can shop his collection here.
At first glance, one would mistake Daniel w. Fletcher's designs as menswear, but upon further inspection, they're intended for whomever wants to rock retro, casual luxury looks from a brand that prioritizes sustainability and community. Did we mention he's a favorite of Harry Styles? The London-based designer and Central Saint Martins alum learned the ropes holding positions at Louis Vuitton, Victoria Beckham, Burberry, and Lanvin before branching out with his own label in 2015. In 2017 he was nominated for the LVMH prize, was one of the winners of the European semi-final of the International Woolmark Prize in 2018, and has received the Future British Award. Fletcher also competed in Netflix's fashion competition show Next in Fashion, making it to the finals. Shop his collection here.
Photo: Matt Brown
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