The Five New Designers You Should Be Wearing


With the economy making or breaking emerging labels by the day, it can be difficult to discern who will weather the storm. These five designers—some brand new, some long in the making—stand above and beyond the pack, displaying the true craftsmanship and vision it takes to be remembered in five years (or 50). If you’re not already wearing them, what are you waiting for?

MANDY COON: With only three full collections of her self-titled label to date, Mandy Coon’s forecast indicates certain bankability. New York’s top editors stood in line for her last show, and her clothes have landed onto the pages and home pages of their publications (think Vogue, T, Interview). What makes Coon such a hit? Her designs manage to be imaginative in concept and ethereal in presence but with enough structure to house the ideas in a palatable way. Coon’s diaphanous, jellyfish-inspired dress (pictured in slide show), weighted with leather tubing, proves a perfect example of this focused whimsy.

Where to buy it: Assembly New York, 170 Ludlow St., New York; 212-253-5393; assemblynewyork.com; Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard St., New York; 212-219-2688; openingceremony.us; Colette, 213 rue Saint-Honoré, Paris; 33 1 55 35 33 90; colette.fr

RAPHAEL YOUNG: Though Paris-based Raphael Young has been making shoes for almost 20 years, his vertiginous wares have recently reached a press crescendo thanks to paparazzi magnets—and repeat customers—like Rihanna and Lady Gaga. Justifying the hype, Young hand-makes each shoe, employing his physics degree to deliver comfortable chaussures to ladies seeking serious sartorial drama. In the fall, the designer launched his Palais-Royal flagship and new e-boutique, but those wanting signs of further longevity, écoutez: Young says he’s “starting to explore other disciplines, such as furniture design, sculpture, and painting.”

Where to buy it: SEVEN New York, 110 Mercer St., New York; 646-654-0156; sevennewyork.com; Fred Segal, 8100 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; 323-655-9500; fredsegal.com

BEVEL: Inspired by Mayan legend, Jonathan Goldstein’s very first collection, Ball Game, features mostly silver, warrior-style pieces available in different finishes that depict—and literally objectify—ascending states of decay. The line has instant appeal, echoing the skull/claw trend while transcending its trendiness. “It has a mysterious tone to it,” stylist and fan Christian Stroble says of the collection. “You haven’t seen it, it hasn’t been out there yet.”

Where to buy it: The Cast, 71 Orchard St., New York; 212-228-2020; thecast.com; Sucre, 357 Bleecker St., New York; 212-352-1640; sucrenyc.com; Item, 444 Broome St., New York; 212-334-3896; itemny.com

CALLA: Though Calla Haynes’s label is her solo debut, her reputation precedes her. Five years under Olivier Theyskens, followed by collaborations with Erin Fetherston and Alexander Wang, and you have a designer whose experience manifests itself in a gamine aesthetic held up by couture details and original prints that serve as each collection’s foundation. “It’s polished, but you can wear it anywhere,” Début boutique owner Lisa Weiss says of Calla, adding, “It’s one of our best sellers.”

Where to buy it: Début, 298 Mulberry St., New York; 212-343-2717; debutnewyork.com; Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard St., New York; 212-219-2688; openingceremony.us

LILLY HEINE: While most designers only get a few months of play for each collection, Lilly Heine’s AW/10 lives on. After the pieces—all meditations on body shape via 3-D–ish, layered fabric—won Heine the Harrods Design Award at this year’s CSM MA show, they charmed Topshop, which reproduced three of the garments. It’s quite a win for a designer who considers the cross between couture and commerciality a fascination.

Where to buy it: Topshop, 478 Broadway, New York; 212-966-9555; topshop.com

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