New Generation of Designers Sweeping Fashion

New Generation of Designers Sweeping Fashion

Across the globe, a new wave of young and exciting designers are storming the fashion world, bringing together the industry and sustainability closer together than ever before. And every year, as the major fashion weeks begin worldwide, eager eyes are on the lookout for the next big thing. 

From body diversity to extended gender spectrum clothing, the fashion world is yet again seeing a transformation on the catwalk and in the fashion outlet industry. Remember these names; they will be household staples before you know it. 

Karishma Shahani-Khan, India

Based in Maharashtra, Karishma and her label, Ka-Sha, follow a simple mantra; ‘change by design’. Her zero-waste design methods are paving new grounds in the fashion industry, from the local artisans she works alongside to the natural and hand-dyed fabrics she uses. 

The aim of the label is to create beautiful handcrafted pieces that celebrate heritage with old and new techniques, using leftover materials and garments initially destined for the landfill. The indigenous ideology of reusing, repurposing and reclaiming largely influences her business decisions. 

Emma Chopova & Laura Lowena, Britain

Splitting their time between Britain and Bulgaria has served Chopova and Lowena well. During the lockdown, they were able to find vintage tablecloths and tartan taffetas, which they used as the base for their eclectic line. 

Being a sustainable label is a massive driving force for this duo, who choose to collect leftover materials and fabrics that turn into limited-edition pieces that fit the season’s theme. 

Josephine Bergqvist & Livia Schück, Sweden

For this Swedish duo and their label ‘Rave Review’, the way to a sustainable and responsible future is by turning to the past. To begin with, the designers only work with existing materials, which come together like puzzle pieces to create unique and eye-catching clothing items. 

And because the fabric has its own history, the entire collection feels nostalgic. By turning to their own childhood memories and individual obsessions, the pair have drawn in high praise for their emerging label.

Adeju Thompson, Nigeria

Thompson’s work for the catchy and memorably named ‘Lagos Space Programme’ moves between past and present, keeping its primary focus of being mission-based at the core of all decisions. Thompson uses fashion as a tool to explore their non-binary identity and their Yoruba heritage.

Touching on the importance of remaining aware of our responsibility as inhabitants of planet earth, Thompson often works with precolonial silhouettes and partners with talented artisans who help with indigenous crafting techniques. These techniques tell a story and build on what their ancestors left behind. 

Connor Ives, Britain

Sustainability is always on trend, and designers like Connor Ives understand the importance of moving the fashion industry firmly into a sustainable market. As a result, at least 75% of his designs are brought to life with vintage, deadstock or sustainable materials. 

This Central Saint Martins graduate originally hails from Bedford, New York but credits the influence of living in the heart of London and frequently visiting charity shops as the main driver in his constant hunt for reusable fabrics, a process he enjoys and thrives on. 

Mauro Simionato, Italy

Mauro Simionato, the founder and creative director of Vitelli, is sweeping the market with chic and gorgeous designs that are made entirely from knitwear-industry waste. The felted material, which usually ends in a landfill, is turned into unique, crafted pieces ready for the runway. 

Simionato credits the posthippie Italian counterculture movements in the 70s and early 80s as his main source of inspiration, as it depicts the best way to participate in the current global cosmic scene. 

Walid al Damirji, Britain

Walid al Damirji, who owns the brand By Walid, structured his entire company around one principle: no waste. He takes antique textiles like curtains, tablecloths and vintage clothing and turns them into beautiful and feminine blouses, jackets and houseware items like pillowcases and bedding. 

There is no place Walid won’t look when it comes to sourcing. From car boot sales to auctions, his dedication to upcycling and sustainability made him one of the first designers in the luxury fashion industry to take things seriously. 

Karoline Vitto, Brazil

For Brazilian fashion designer Karoline Vitto, versatility and functionality were the most important aspects of her latest clothing collection. Growing up, she was very aware of her body and how clothes fit her figure, particularly during the summer months. 

As she started breaking into the fashion industry further down the line, she prioritised dismantling the archaic body ideals that have become so cemented in the industry, using metal frames in her designs to contour the body and highlight areas previously hidden away. 

Artsi Ifrach, Morocco

Artsi Infrach’s five-year brainchild, Maison Artc, perfectly combines his immense collection of antique clothing with local textiles originating from Morocco. Ifrach believes that industrial production and fast fashion are unsustainable and best avoided.

Instead, he believes that haute couture is the solution to creating sustainable industry practices without compromising on the quality and impact clothing can have. His designs are known for being collectable one-off pieces that encapsulate the past with the present. 

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