2020 wasn’t an average fashion year. However, fashion has always been and will always be about change. There’s a group of fresh and young designers who are ready to fire things up. The industry needs new standards and these fashion brands will set those new values – creating a more inclusive and sustainable fashion industry.
Fashion brands to watch
Brother Vellies, DRAE, Chopova Lowena and Cortana: what do they have in common? A desire to change the fashion industry and the willpower to set new standards. Discover the fashion brands that will have their major breakthrough in 2021 below.
With the aim to keep traditional African design practices alive, Brother Vellies was developed in 2013. The sustainable and ethical accessories, founded and designed by Aurora James, creates and sustains artisanal jobs and crafts. It has been a good year for James. Not only did searches for her brand go up with almost 25%, she also created the 15% Pledge, calling retailers to dedicate 15% of their retail space to black-owned labels. With her brand and initiative, James has reached many within and beyond the fashion industry. A lady we will certainly hear more about.
Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena were study mates at the prestigious Central Saint Martins, starting their college adventure in 2011. Six years later, they started their Bulgarian-British label Chopova Lowena. Their style would describe itself best as traditional crafts with a rock ‘n’ roll spin. And this signature style hasn’t stayed unnoticed, with celebrity fans like Harry Styles and Madonna.
The Johannes-based label won the 2019 LVMH-prize, being the first African designer to ever win the award. Thebe Magugu stands for contemporary womenswear, honouring craftsmanship – all items are inspired by the South-African heritage. And when Zendaya is one of your biggest fans, you know great thing are about to happen in 2021.
Minimalist ready-to-wear label DRAE offers perennial essentials designed with the modern woman in mind. A diffusion of The Blossom H. Company, the South Korean brand provides all the building blocks of a well-calibrated working wardrobe. Drawing inspiration from classic menswear, DRAE juxtaposes clean-lined silhouettes and androgynous tailoring with a neutral palette of beige, black, and brown, to deliver a simple, yet refined, womenswear collection. DRAE’s sartorial staples embody a sense of timelessness.
Medea was founded in 2018 by Italian twins Giulia and Camilla Venturini. You may know them as former models, walking shows for MSGM and Eckhaus Latta. Their handbag label has a rationale similar to the most sought-after handbag brand of the moment: Telfar. The matte leather bags are available from a microscopical size to extra large and can be found at the hottest boutiques of the moment, such as Dover Street Market.
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Cortana’s resortwear is inspired by designer Rosa Esteva’s upbringing on the Mediterranean island of Majorca. Each breezy, feminine piece is handmade in Barcelona using natural fabrics like linen, cotton and silk. The dresses in come in rich colors and unique prints, created by its founder.
Founders Yago Goicoechea and Riccardo Audisio define Taller Marmo as a fusion of luxurious design with ‘60s and ‘70s-inspired spirit. Based in Milan, the label uses quality fabrics to craft eveningwear that mirrors styles seen on the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren.