You don't have to be caught up on tariffs, trade wars, or exchange rates to know firsthand the power that globalization has had on the fashion industry. It's impossible to ignore the influencer that Instagram has had in exposing creative talents across the world, but the rising popularity of fashion weeks beyond the "big four" has helped shine a spotlight on designers who may struggled for exposure before. Retailers have also expanded their vision beyond major designers, making it a priority to find the next big thing, whether it be in New York or Tbsili, Georgia. The newest platform for emerging designers comes courtesy of Moda Operandi. The e-tailer is launching Moda Selects, a monthly spotlight of emerging designers curated by the site's newly appointed fashion director Lisa Aiken.
"At Moda we're always on the lookout for talented designers no matter where they are," explains Aiken. "This means I'm not just scouting in cities like Paris and Milan, I'm also seeking out talent at some of the more fringe fashion weeks — which happen to be some of my favorites. Think Copenhagen or Tblisi. For me, no matter how I come about new talent, I usually know instantly when I've fallen in love." To launch the program, Aiken selected four brands: Rylan Studios, Common Leisure, Georgia Alice, and Paris Texas.
"Lisa and the team obviously see many brands around the world, so we are honored to have been selected," notes Brooke Testoni, the designer of Rylan. "They have some great insights and advice which is invaluable for a growing brand like ours." The program is meant to support brands both new and on-the-rise, and will be a monthly trunkshow spotlighting who you should keep an eye on now. If you haven't heard of these up-and-coming brands just yet, expect to start hearing more buzz very soon.
Below, learn about the first four brands in the Moda Selects program and shop them now, so you're ahead of the curve.
"Rylan may be on its way to becoming the next cult bag, but their clean lines, rectangular shape and modern aesthetic mean they're a timeless wardrobe staple you'll have forever," Aiken explains. Launched in 2017 by Australian influencer and designer Tesotni, the line of both bags and jewelry is the cool-girl way to dress up workwear or a simple jeans and tee.
Designed with the Gen-Z shopper in mind, this genderless brand is pushing forward the outerwear space. "Common Leisure's shearling outerwear has an incredible, extra-long, oversized fit that makes them super-cool and definitely worth the investment," notes Aiken.
While the New Zealand brand has been a favorite among fashion insiders for a few seasons, Aiken notes that this season was a particularly standout collection. "[It] delivers a perfect combination of minimalism and edge, as evidenced by the collection's exaggerated billow sleeves and snake print pieces," she says. "If you're not already a dedicated follower, you will be soon."
Italian shoe line Paris Texas has been bridging the gap between sophisticated and cool footwear since its launch in 2015. "I've always had trouble finding a perfect knee-high straight leg boot, until discovering Paris Texas," says Aiken. "Their statement croc-embossed and snakeskin prints are so on point for right now and are the instant update to every outfit."