New Kids on Le Block: 5 Young Paris Designers To Watch

5 New Designers

Photo: Getty Images

Alice Lemoîne of Le Moine Tricote poses alongside her wares; a look from Cédric Charlier.

Paris may be the most Establishment of fashion weeks, but there's still room for some green shoots to creep through amid all the well-known fashion houses. Here, we break down some of the less familiar names on the schedule. You may want to keep your eye on this quintet!

The Sweater Girl: Le Moine Tricote

It's not exactly the Lana Turner story, but knitter extraordinaire Alice Lemoîne was plucked from obscurity by none other than Rick Owens' partner Michele Lavery. After working on knitwear for Owens' Palais Royal collection, the Bordeaux native branched out on her own with a collection of intricate pieces knitted directly on the body. Her innovative work is sold at Barneys New York and Colette.

The Independent Man: Cédric Charlier

If you recognize the name, it’s probably because Charlier served as the designer for ultrafeminine French line Cacharel for four seasons, before being replaced by the duo of Ling Liu and Dawei Sun. However, there's no bad blood: Cacharel backer Aeffe is financing his new line, too. And it's no accident that his name rhymes with "chic,"—after assisting Alber Elbaz and working for Michael Kors at Celine, Charlier has honed a sophisticated, glossy aesthetic that should serve him well in his new independent venture.

The Multi-Tasker: Hexa by Kuho

Hexa by Kuho designer Kuho Jung is making a trans-Atlantic leap for Fall 2012 after five seasons showing in New York. (You may remember his elaborately-staged and dramatically-lit presentations.) The Korea-based designer, who has collaborated with Nick Knight and counts Thom Browne and Martin Margiela as inspirations, was tapped by the Vogue Italia Talents Corner to be spotlighted last season, so we expect his Paris debut will underline the fact that this designer is one to watch. As far as the clothes? His inspirations are wide-ranging (fun fact: the Parsons grad is also the creative director at Samsung and a certified Cordon Bleu chef), and he certainly has a flair for the avant-garde. Looks like we’ll have to wait until March 4 to see what he has up his sleeve.

The Sex Bomb: Steffie Christaens

Christaens did stints at Balenciaga and Maison Martin Margiela, but her own work veers a little more bombshell than brainy. Her spring 2012 show was heavy on the abbreviated hemlines and outlandish feather accents. Will fall bring more of the same? If so, party girls everywhere would do well to take note.

The Architect: Masha Ma

Central Saint Martins grad Masha Ma spent time at London Fashion Week before jumping into the Paris waters, but she’s certainly got the chops: Ma’s got slews of awards under her belts, and her pieces have made appearances in Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Another Magazine, Pop, and more. The Chinese born designer favors an ultra-modern and relatively minimal aesthetic (often inspired by architecture), with a deconstructed, layered finish. And don’t count out her sportswear—Ma also takes gigs working for sports brands like Nike.