Like clockwork, the beginning of September and the middle of February mean one thing for fashion lovers around the world: a time to witness the collections that established designers have worked tirelessly on for six months leading up to the shows. But, the smaller, under-the-radar brands are worth watching too — and not just on the runway. According to Fashion Month Spring/Summer 2022 street style, there are a number of emerging brands to keep an eye on, all of which are oozing with talent.
Every city on the calendar approaches street style in its own unique way. For starters, Copenhagen (yes, they are unofficially part of the circuit!) residents and guests are known for their quirky-cool fashion sense. The city is also a hub for up-and-coming designers (see: Stina Goya, Baum und Pferdgarten, Rodebjer), so it's no surprise the streets are filled with other trendy newcomers during the festivities. Then there’s New York, where the fashion set loves to discover fresh talent. (Pro tip: Scroll through the Instagram pages of editors and influencers who call the Big Apple home and you’ll come across plenty of cool-girl brands.)
In London, the fashion crowd is welcoming some new high-profile names with open arms, such as KNWLS and Nensi Dojaka. And when it comes to Milan and Paris, attendees don’t stray too far from the heavy hitters on the schedule (you know, Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton). However, this season you’ll find that attendees like Courtney Trop, Maria Bernad, and Shiona Turini incorporated some buzzy rising labels in their looks (more on them below).
Below, get to know the 13 rising brands seen on the streets during fashion month. And be prepared to see them all over social media in the coming months.
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Here’s proof that fashion girls don’t just flock to the bigger names in the industry — this season, show-goers in Copenhagen (like Emma Fridsell, Lotta Lavanti, and Simone Henneberg) sported handbags and jewelry from Pura Utz. Produced in Guatemala, the accessories label consists of a small team of artisans that use their weaving expertise to craft trendy, beaded pieces. If you’re a sucker for accessories with quirky-cute fruits, smiley faces, and yin-yang symbols, you’ll want to check out this brand.
Christopher John Rogers
OK, Christopher John Rogers might not be under the radar for New Yorkers, thanks to the countless celebrities, influencers, and even television shows (you know the Gossip Girl reboot episode) that have helped the brand make a name for itself. Not to mention, the label has received awards like CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2019. But, judging by street style stars like Shiona Turini and Chloe King, the New York-based label is only going to get bigger. If you have a wedding or event coming up, Christopher John Rogers’ bright, joyful offerings will surely earn you compliments.
If you spotted a square-toe boot or cool clog on your favorite influencer during fashion month, odds are, it was by Miista. Designed in London and made in Spain, the label is a go-to destination for on-trend footwear. The shoes were particularly popular in Copenhagen and New York, where the likes of Doina Ciobanu, Anna Wick, and TZR’s Hannah Baxter gave them a spin.
Not familiar with Charlotte Knowles? It’s time to change that. Launched back in 2018, the London-based label is beloved for its unique prints (oftentimes in the form of a coordinated set), fitted silhouettes, and one-of-a-kind footwear. At fashion month, pieces were seen on influencers, models, and celebrities (including Paloma Elsesser, Maria Bernad, and Dina Asher-Smith). Oh, Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa are fans, too.
From the get-go, celebrities like Yara Shahidi, Alicia Keys, and Serena Williams have supported luxury jewelry label Khiry. Now, the fine jewelry pieces have trickled down the streets. In New York, Chloe King and Sherri McMullen accessorized their ensembles with Khiry’s elevated offerings. Plus, between Kendall Jenner’s recent shoot for FWRD wearing the Khartoum Hoops and Megan Thee Stallion sporting the Khartoum Torc and Khartoum Stacking Rings for an Essence cover, there’s no sign of the brand slowing down.
Between winning the 2021 LVMH prize and making a solo debut at London Fashion Week this season, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding Nensi Dojaka. Influencers and celebrities alike have quickly jumped on the brand’s signature stringy details and body-hugging silhouettes. Above, Susie Lau was just one attendee to wear the brand’s pieces to its show.
With only a year since its founding, Spanish accessory label Abra has won over the influencer set. After prior stints at industry-favorite brands like Jacquemus, Coperni, and Maison Margiela, founder and creative director Abraham Ortuño Perez set out to create his own label during the summer of 2020.
The inspiration behind Abra’s designs? “I really like the idea of regular people going to work with super nice shoes and everyone in the office is like, ‘Oh wow, nice shoes!’ or ‘Your bag is so cute!,” Abra said in an interview with i-D. And judging by sightings on influencers like Courtney Trop and Maria Bernad this past month, the brand is picking up steam, and fast.
Founded in 2016 by Bailey Hunter, Tigra Tigra is a textile and garment studio — meaning, this is not your average fashion brand. For starters, Tigra Tigra partners with three artisan-owned businesses in Gujarat as well as one non-profit located in Cape Town to make all the brand’s products. When it comes to pricing, the artisans determine what each piece will cost based on the time that went into it while keeping fair wages in mind. And on top of that, no electricity is used to produce the garments — everything is done by hand-powered looms.
The result: distinct pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. In New York, Kat Collings, editor-in-chief of Who What Wear, wore the brand’s top and skirt for a busy day of events. The message: funky fashion can be functional too.
Ever since launching in 2016, Miaou has remained a must-have brand for the style set. Founder Alexia Elkaim was raised between New York, Los Angeles, and Paris where she would spend time strolling through flea markets — which makes sense by looking at her cool designs. This season at fashion month, models gravitated towards the label for its off-duty ensemble. In New York, Ruby Aldridge opted for the cow print set, while Paloma Elsesser went with a cropped cardigan in Paris.
Sir The Label
Nikki Campbell and Sophie Coote, best friends and now founders of Sir The Label, created the brand after noticing a gap in the market for minimalist garments that represent the Australian lifestyle. The brand serves up simple cutout dresses, cool swimwear, and unique matching sets. Above, TZR’s Senior Fashion Editor Aemilia Madden wore the Celle Reversible Dress in London. And in New York, influencer Alyssa Coscarelli sported a set from the brand.
Medea has set itself apart from the vast assortment of handbags on the market, thanks to its modern versions of shopping bags. Created by artists and twin sisters Giulia and Camilla Venturini, the bags quickly became a hit on Instagram from trendsetters Reese and Molly Blutstein as well as Imani Randolph. This season, attendees confirmed Medea’s rising popularity by carrying the bags in major cities like New York and Paris. For instance, model Tiffany Luu brought hers along to the Peter Do show (the two brands collaborated on the style), and in Paris, fashion writer Louis Pisano wore a turquoise bag.
Launched in 2018, Aya Muse is fairly new to the fashion scene. It turns out, founder Tina Rodiou doesn’t follow the industry’s current trends — rather, she crafts her pieces based on what she personally wants to wear. And, clearly she’s onto something — the masses are on board with the brand’s assortment of cozy-chic rib dresses and matching sets. At NYFW, the emerging label’s Onyx Knit Cropped Top and Onyx Pleated Knit Mini Skirt were pictured on model and entrepreneur Jessie Andrews as well as Who What Wear’s fashion editor Eliza Huber.
Christopher Esber isn’t quite new — in fact, the brand has been around since 2010. But, over the past year and a half, its matching knit sets have amassed a cult following. Now, the fashion set is leaning towards the Australian designer’s cozy dress offerings. Case in point: At LFW, Lisa Aiken wore the Yellow Deconstruct Long-Sleeve Mid-Length Dress, and at NYFW, Kat Collings and Lauren Eggersten from Who What Wear opted for sleek dresses from the brand. On top of its knit selection, the label also serves up a selection of swimwear (read: if you’re planning a tropical winter getaway, you’ll want to check the brand out).