With the global menswear weeks in full swing, and the womenswear fashion month fast approaching, it's time we turn our attention to the brands turning heads on the runways. From futuristic fabrications to nostalgic silhouettes, these New York-based designers champion their idiosyncratic individuality in a pastiche of streetstyle, sleek staples, tailoring and elegant eveningwear.
Here are our top ten emerging designers (in no particular order):
Sintra Martins, a relatively recent Parsons grad, launched her romantic take on nostalgia in 2020. The brand, Saint Sintra, takes its inspirational cues from moments in history, reimagining tailored pieces and delicately deconstructed dresses with all body types in mind. The Saint Sintra signature? Bows. “I am Bow Queen,” Martins jokes.
Chinese design duo, Haoran Li and Siying Qu, are the schoolmates and creative directors behind New York’s genderless Private Policy. Listed on Forbes China 30 under 30, and finalists of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fun in 2019, these third-culture creatives pull from their pasts and presents to create an inclusive brand that champions the city’s rebellious style and fierce free spirit. Each season Private Policy draws awareness to certain social issues: in FW19 they discussed human beings' relationship with money, and in FW20, they focused on the dark side of American big pharma.
"Taking something really beautiful and then fucking it up," is what Jack Miner loves about Interior, New York-based he launched with his friend and cofounder, Lily Miesmer, in 2020. Their collections take an idiosyncratic approach to daily dressing — think cool, contemporary and chic. From sportswear to tailoring, daytime to eveningwear, Interior’s pieces are designed to emote: “we want people to feel something."
Based out of Brooklyn, Theophilio is the contemporary clothing brand that fuses its founder and creative director Edvin Thompson’s early years in Jamaica with his vibrant New York City experiences — call it a wearable biography, if you will. The brand acts as a celebration of both culture and community, and champions dancehall along with environmental ethics. Each piece is sustainably sourced and made using upcycled fabrics.
Aaron Potts is the Detroit-born Brookly-based designer behind APOTTS. Believing that “real style is about spirit, not about physical differences or trends,” Potts crafts collections of clean-lined, contemporary and trans-seasonal separates that come together to form your daily uniform regardless of gender, age or size.
Handcrafted techniques are fused with innovative iterations on traditional silhouettes in abacaxi playful collections. Brooklyn-based South Asian-American designer Sheena Sood’s wearable vision is named after the Portuguese word for pineapple, as she set out to “imbue that tropical, happy, sunny, and carefree vibe of the beach in Morro de São Paulo, Bahia.”
Launched during the pandemic, Connor McKnight is a luxury line from Brooklyn. During the solitude of lockdown, Connor designed, cut and sewed his first collection in his bedroom. “As the Black Lives Matter movement sparked I began taking my ideas more seriously because, as a BlPOC, I felt like this was one way that I could contribute to the advancement of our community,” said the designer of elevated no-brainers for both men and women, who wears his own clothes to death — and expects you to do the same with his creations. They're crafted to stand the test of time.
Teddy von Ranson
Canadian born Teddy von Ranson is a Tommy Hilfiger alum, who spent 15 years at the company often said to have shaped the identity of American fashion. Say to say, Teddy is well-versed in Americana. His eponymous label, however, is more focused on contemporary creations: “my lens is more on target with where the modern man is going,” he says. “Men are playing more with fabrications, colours and proportions.” Hence why Teddy has been named as ‘one to watch.’
Designer Younhee Park’s first foray into NYFW saw her bring the metaverse to the runway, through her AI-designed collection. “AI technology is still evolving, it’s still growing and I think this is also a huge part of art, just like fashion,” states Younhee, who can boast Queen Bey as a fan of her work. The Seoul-based designer’s aesthetic champions the brighter things in life, through “iconically vivid prints and tailored silhouettes.”
Patrick Church is a British multimedia artist based in New York who blurs the boundaries between art and fashion. He has a bold and beautifully brazen aesthetic that cultivates optimism and is translated into motifs that decorate loungewear, tailored pieces and underwear. Even jockstraps.