20 Rising Fashion Designers You Should Know
Even though we have a lot of respect for heritage fashion houses, we also understand the value of new blood. With no established reputation to uphold or design standards to follow, the latest names in fashion can bring a fresh look to your ordinary wardrobe. More importantly, nothing beats the feeling of being the first person to sport a new brand.
These rising fashion designers have an unbridled curiosity, and their exotic creations are as luxurious as they are striking. However, in a market where labels may come and go as quickly as celebrity relationships, it is expected that buyers would be skeptical of designers who are just gaining popularity.
We need assurance that our clothes are sturdy enough to last more than a single season and won’t lose their value. This is, though, a calculated risk, but if the track records of prior up-and-comers like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano are any indication, this idea could actually pay off.
Truth to tell, it used to be challenging for rookie designers to acquire the exposure they needed for their work to be noticed and appreciated. But, with the rise of social media and other new platforms, artists now have a better chance of getting discovered, building a following, and even landing jobs with renowned organizations.
There is something exciting about being a trailblazer, don’t you think? With sustainability, honesty, and ethics at the forefront of consumers’ thoughts, newcomers have to demonstrate they can do it all. The fashion industry is extremely competitive, and keeping track of all the brands that have recently made a splash is no easy task.
To that end, we thought it would be helpful to compile a list of the 20 rising fashion designers you should know. We are certain that some of you have already encountered a few of the names in this article, an obvious sign that their innovative approach has turned out well.
All of them have outstanding skills that have made an impact in their respective fields; some became famous thanks to Netflix, some thanks to Kylie Jenner, and many are still learning the ropes of business ownership after establishing their brand amid a global pandemic.
Whether you’re looking for something whimsical and nature-inspired or something rich in cultural heritage, the collections of these promising brands are worth adding to your closet.
- 20. Saul Nash
- 19. Ahluwalia
- 18. Daniel W. Fletcher
- 17. Jawara Alleyne
- 16. Thebe Magugu
- 15. Adebayo Oke-Lawal
- 14. Sohee Park
- 13. Nensi Dojaka
- 12. Sindiso Khumalo
- 11. Charles de Vilmorin
- 10. Chopova Lowena
- 9. Kenneth Ize
- 8. Conner Ives
- 7. Sukeina
- 6. Robert Wun
- 5. Minju Kim
- 4. Del Core
- 3. Peter Do
- 2. Who Decides War
- 1. Maisie Wilen
20. Saul Nash
Saul Nash brings together movement, value, technical innovation, and the cultural heritage of sportswear. His company is called LUAS, which is an anagram of his first name, and in his maiden collection, the designer showcased his revolutionary and soulful skills with the help of dancers and models who are also friends of his.
He collaborates with a group of dancers that infuse a sense of belonging into his shows, all the while going deeper into understanding the connection between performance and technical menswear. Nash’s brand is focused on making clothes that can move freely; hence, he often performs in his own choreographed plays to show off his clothes.
Ahluwalia is a symbol of that moment when the familiar meets the unfamiliar and when the new coexists with the old. The designer’s Indian and Nigerian backgrounds, as well as her London upbringing, have clearly influenced the label’s aesthetic.
By repurposing old garments and fabrics with innovative textile and patchwork processes, she explores the potential of the vintage. At the center of this storm, though, are the trendy designs that Ahluwalia has been making ethically since its inception.
Until SS22, only males wore her designs, including famous names like Lewis Hamilton, 21 Savage, Tinie Tempah, and Rege Jean Page from “Bridgerton,” but now she’s offering a collection of powerful and seductive women’s clothing as well.
18. Daniel W. Fletcher
In 2015, after Daniel Fletcher completed his studies at CSM, he launched the designer label Daniel W. Fletcher in London. Fletcher, a native of the North-West of England, has won numerous awards and was nominated for the prestigious LVMH Award in 2017. On top of that, he’s the head designer for the Fiorucci brand.
The rising fashion star continues to take British culture, current events, and social issues into account in his work. He has built a brand DNA that is updated seasonally, researching traditional processes and increasingly embracing sustainable practices, while the company’s main focus is on casual luxury.
17. Jawara Alleyne
Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East has just welcomed a crop of talented young designers, including one named Jawara Alleyne. A graduate of the menswear program at Central Saint Martins in 2020, he designs clothes that subvert traditional notions of masculinity by focusing on sensuality and analyzing cultural myths.
Initially, it was all about art, but as time went on, that interest expanded to encompass a fervor for clothing. Alleyne looks up to a lot of different fashion designers. Vionnet’s ability to turn poetry into clothes fascinates him, as do Galliano, McQueen, and Margiela’s story-based designs and philosophical ideas.
16. Thebe Magugu
Even if the international fashion scene is plagued by stereotyping, South African designer Thebe Magugu deserves praise for the impact he has made as a representative of Africa. He was born in the modest mining town of Kimberly, and he initially encountered the world of fashion through TV cable and an issue of ELLE.
Magugu was the first African designer to win the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2019, which led to a plethora of opportunities, including interviews with Vogue, Paper, and other publications, as well as a debut presentation at Paris Fashion Week.
Moreover, in 2021, he was nominated as a finalist for the International Woolmark Prize, a distinguished fashion award that has previously recognized illustrious names in the industry, including Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld.
15. Adebayo Oke-Lawal
Adebayo Oke-Lawal started drawing when he was just a little boy. In 2011, he launched, in tandem with several Nigerian designers, Orange Culture, the result of his efforts to bring his vision of fashion to life.
But, truth be told, the brand goes beyond just being a fashion label. It is a trend that has been taking the industry by storm thanks to its unique blend of traditional Nigerian print materials, bright colors, and cutting-edge urban streetwear tailored to the tastes of creative men.
However, this does not mean that Orange Culture ignores the women who have taken control of the company and given Adebayo’s designs a more androgynous vibe. The label’s collections are the perfect fit for anyone who wants to make a statement with how they look.
14. Sohee Park
Originally from Seoul, Sohee Park was captivated by the refuge that drawing provided her; later, she discovered that design offered similar freedom, allowing her to bring her ideas from paper into the actual world. Moreover, as she moved to London at a young age, she struggled to find her place in her new community.
Her final collection for Central Saint Martins was a floral dystopia from the 2D fantasy realms of her childhood dreams. Park’s personal and creative development from illustration to design served as inspiration for the series, which features eye-catching gowns with long trains and caged crinolines.
13. Nensi Dojaka
Nensi Dojaka has been adding fuel to the fire with her eponymous brand. She is an Albanian native and a 2020 MA graduate of Central Saint Martins. In fact, her graduation collection was bought by the online retailer SSENSE. Afterward, as part of the Fashion East incubator, the designer put on a show during London Fashion Week.
Her collections are well-known for her ‘90s-inspired cutout pieces and lingerie-inspired gowns. Nensi’s style is influenced by designers like Helmut Lang and Ann Demeulemeester. Sophie Turner, Emily Ratajkowski, Emma Corin, Carey Mulligan, and Bella Hadid are just a few famous women who have been spotted in her creations lately.
12. Sindiso Khumalo
You will adore Cape Town’s Sindiso Khumalo if you like the prairie-inspired style of Den and Meadows. This company is one to watch this season because of its intricate patterns and environmentally conscious approach to fashion, which have earned it several top industry accolades.
The designer’s works, which she says are inspired by African culture and her mother’s advocacy, emphasize the importance of ethical production while also celebrating women’s empowerment and the heritage of her home country. Thus, each item is crafted to tell a story and promises to be easily worn while making a bold impression.
11. Charles de Vilmorin
It’s not just because of his striking resemblance to the late great designer that Charles de Vilmorin has been dubbed “the next Yves Saint Laurent” by the fashion world. At just 24 years old, he is a refreshing change in the dusty world of haute couture.
After finishing the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, de Vilmorin put out his first line on Instagram, catching the attention of designers like Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Christian Lacroix. Soon, the legendary French fashion house Rochas announced his appointment as creative director.
De Vilmorin’s main palettes and hand-painted drawings are a mix of happy and dark colors. This fits with his philosophy, which is more in line with the ostentatiousness of Christian Lacroix and the defiance of Franco Moschino than that of many of his contemporaries.
10. Chopova Lowena
Madonna has worn it. Dua Lipa as well. It has been seen on Fashion Week attendees, rocked by director Janicza Bravo and model Ella Emhoff, and it has caused a frenzy among the street-style crowd. Of course, we’re referring to Chopova Lowena’s kilt, which is fastened to a thick belt with carabiners. Yes, the mountain climbing clips.
Chopova Lowena has every reason to pat itself on the back. Its carabiner skirts are a global phenomenon, the brand’s monogram chain necklaces are worn by several Vogue editors, and new collections augur well for the label’s future success. While some folks might take it easy, Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena are not those people. Luckily!
9. Kenneth Ize
Africa has always been an exceedingly attractive continent. With a population of over 1.2 billion, the region’s diverse cultural practices and customs provide an inexhaustible well of ideas. Artists, poets, musicians, painters, and designers have always been drawn to its allure and intrigue.
Kenneth Ize, a couturier based in Lagos who specializes in reimagining traditional West African fabrics, launched his self-titled brand in 2013. Since he had just finished studying design with Bernhard Willhelm at Vienna’s University of Applied Arts, it was an audacious and quick move.
Since then, the goal of the label has been to give a new spin on high-end clothing manufacturing by reinterpreting traditional Nigerian handicrafts. This has put Ize, along with several other designers, at the forefront of the African fashion boom.
8. Conner Ives
For a young fashion designer, Conner Ives has had the kind of start that many only dare to dream about. At only 23, the New York-born couturier started his own line, worked for Rihanna at Fenty, and dressed Adwoa Aboah for the Met Gala, all while still a student at Central Saint Martins.
However, after meeting Ives, it becomes obvious that his early success is due less to chance and more to his unwavering confidence and new vision. His aim? To launch a brand that prioritizes environmental consciousness. Now, the designer cuts apart and repurposes vintage clothing he finds in a warehouse in Sheffield, northern England.
Therefore, the way each item is put together and the mysterious technique used to mix fabrics are what make his brand stand out. Each dress is a one-of-a-kind creation, but we are sure you’ll love them all.
In the same way that the brand’s name, Sukeina, means “bright light,” the garments they create reflect the full range of human existence. Omar Salam is the brains behind the design at Sukeina and the best-kept secret of the fashion industry. He spent his childhood moving around Europe after leaving his birthplace of Dakar, Senegal.
At first, he believed that words were the only way to get his message across, but then he discovered that clothes could convey far more nuanced and interesting stories, as they have their own language. So, he took a leap of faith and opened his own fashion house in 2012; he named it Sukeina after his late mother.
A progressive, innovative, and forceful yet exquisite trendsetter, Omar’s travels have defined his enthusiasm and approach to the fashion industry, introducing unexpected perspectives through his concepts and symbolism.
6. Robert Wun
Robert Wun was born and raised in Hong Kong but went on to study womenswear at the famed London College of Fashion. Later, in 2014, he introduced his namesake brand, and since then, the 29-year-old has built an unearthly signature style that has attracted stars like Solange, Lady Gaga, Cardi B, and Celine Dion, to name a few.
Wun is well-known for his original, forward-thinking designs that honor the feminine and are a manifestation of his core value of empowering women. Architect of geometric dreams, endowed with a fascinating sensibility, he draws his inspiration from the beauty of the natural world.
5. Minju Kim
Minju Kim, a South Korean designer who received her education in Antwerp, the creative capital of Belgium, is noted for blending a sense of youthful mischief with cutting-edge haute couture. Her innovative creations include strong feminine forms infused with an uplifting spirit. Minju Kim is blooming!
This is perhaps the best way to characterize the 36-year-old designer. After taking home the gold at the H&M Awards in 2013, she launched her namesake label. Moreover, besides winning Netflix’s “Next in Fashion” show, she made it to the finals for the LVMH Prize and also created outfits for K-pop groups BTS and Red Velvet.
4. Del Core
Not every first endeavor succeeds, but Daniel Del Core certainly made a splash with the introduction of his namesake label. Given the state of the economy, it is even more impressive that a young designer like him has been able to start his own fashion house from scratch.
He was born in Germany, but later he moved to Italy to study fashion and visual arts. Soon, he began working as the head of Gucci’s VIP department under Alessandro Michele, but in 2020, he struck out on his own and founded his business in Milan.
The label’s mission is to merge bespoke and ready-to-wear designs, making remarkable women’s apparel for any event or occasion. The colors and shapes in his collections are crisp and flawless yet delicate, as the House of Del Core evolves with the changing of the seasons, shredding its dainty skin in favor of a luxurious lusus naturae.
3. Peter Do
Peter Do ( pronounced “dough”), a Vietnamese-born designer whose smooth tailoring is cherished by celebrities like Zendaya and Beyonce, set out in 2017 to revitalize New York City’s struggling Midtown clothing sector from his Brooklyn apartment. It was there that he and four friends met and launched the company.
The group’s statement? The five co-founders of the high-end brand would work together to solve some of the industry’s problems, with the label’s ultimate goal being to soften the elitist reputation of haute couture from the inside out. The gamble paid off in March 2020 when Peter Do was selected for the shortlist of the prestigious LVMH Prize.
2. Who Decides War
Who Decides War is a state-of-the-art player in the fashion industry. Everard Best, often referred to as Ev Bravado, has built a successful company with an inherent connection with human nature and the wider world. This is no surprise since as a kid, the designer was a trendsetter in his hometown of Elmont, New York.
Growing up, he spent a lot of time in his father’s tailor shop, where he was exposed to the fine art of sewing firsthand by hanging out between machines and tape measures. As a result, Who Decides War was nothing more than the next step in the illustrious designer’s career and a refined extension of his trademarks.
His clothes tell a wonderful story about atonement, struggle, and endurance, all of which are universal tropes in the journey of humankind. In his recent collections, lace-decorated high-tops have been shown on the runway side by side with rugged Italian silks in muted colors. Intriguing, indeed!
1. Maisie Wilen
It’s no wonder that Los Angeles-based designer Maisie Schloss (whose mother’s last name is Wilen) has climbed rapidly in the fashion industry, given that she worked at Yeezy as a womenswear designer.
Schloss was able to launch her eponymous brand thanks to a seed investment and encouragement from Kanye West, who admired her unique fashion sense and offered her a grant from his creative incubator program. Soon, her bright, form-fitting jumpsuits and beautiful dresses became staples in the Kardashian-Jenners’ wardrobe.
Perhaps it’s all about the label’s mix of vintage inspiration and modern edge, or Schloss’s willingness to try new things that catch the eye—the Spring/Summer 2022 show, for example, ditched bright colors in favor of delicate lace. Whatever the case may be, this is one of the rising fashion designers we cannot get enough of.
While many well-known personalities in the fashion industry have had a rough time since 2020, new talent has been bubbling to the surface at an unprecedented rate and might have saved the industry from obscurity.
Fast forward to today, and amazing new designers, from recent Central Saint Martins grads to winners of reality TV shows, were the year’s brightest lights.