Ten Best Emerging Designers of 2007

         December 28th, 2007

This year has seen a bevy of new designers, break-out talents and designers with collections that push the preconcieved notions of fashion. Okay so maybe it hasn’t been that kind of year but 2007 proved that new talent is just as marketable and sellable as the Golden Oldies.

Here’s our picks for the ten best indie designers of 2007.

#1. Proenza Schouler - Selling Out Never Felt So Good

The big news of 2007 was when the chosen boys of 2006, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, packed Soho’s Opening Ceremony with their capsule collection for Target’s Go! International line. The collection quickly found fans amongst New York’s “be hip or die” crowd with $34.99 pieces from the collection showing up at the Misshapes party at Don Hills. What came as a real surprise was when the indie kings went corporate and sold 45% of their company to Valentino. We’d normally turn our backs (or just make fun while no one was listening) but the boys won back our praise by becoming bloggers for the day and interviewing Chloe Sevengy for the New York Times. All in all the Schouler boys win top spot on the list for their Safari-inspired Spring collection and for making moves in all the right circles.

rogan gregory

#2. Rogan - The Eco Hero

Rogan Gregory’s eco-friendly, trade-free and dolphin safe collections, Loomstate, Rogan, and Edun, have shown the fashion world that it pays to go granola. His quick rise in celebrity popularity and dedication to his craft garnered Gregory acclaim and notice from major players like Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The most shocking (but not surprising) moment in fashion in 2007 was when Rogan beat favorite to win, designer Philip Lim, for the top prize ($200,000!!!) of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards. Apparently having Bono and a Carbon Footprint measuring tape in your back pocket will win you a vote from Winnie and The Von Furstenburger.

Thom Browne

#3. Thom Browne - His Genius Doesn’t Come Up Short

As a child, one day I woke up and discovered I had grown two feet overnight. Of course it was a Sunday and I realized that my normally perfect fitted suit was better prepared for a flood than Noah . I threw out the suit, but thinking back I wish I kept it. The petal pushing Browne challenged menswear a few years back with a collection of finely tailored suits that cut it’s sleeves at a 3/4 length and pants at a length just above the ankle. Initially smirked at by those in the know, Thom has blossomed as a designer and took on 2007 with a collection for the stodgy Brooks Brothers called Black Fleece. The collection featured a womens touch with a full line of suits made for lovely lady lumps. The woman who rocked it, evoked an Annie Hallish image, and a new trend for fall emerged. This dude knows what he’s doing fellas, it might be time to hem up.

Victoria Bartlett

#4. Victoria Bartlett - Underoos Are Panties for BoysDevastatingly poised for massive amounts of success, Victoria Bartlett has produced a truly original, wearable fashion collection. VPL (Visible Panty Line) questions the structure of underpinnings by bringing them out above your clothes. The result is a line which makes every woman look like Wonder Woman, a look most memorably perfected by Posh Spice and David Beckham for W magazine. This year also marked Victoria’s joining the CFDA and being nominated for it’s coveted fashion fund.

Philip Lim

#5. Philip Lim - The Next Jacobs, The Next Posen, The Now Lim
This year marked a number of milestones for the young Mr.Lim. A collaboration with Uniqlo, a new store on Mercer, a second CFDA nom and a win, and mucho admiration from the fashionably elite. Next year sees possible colabos with Coach (a brand desperately in need of an overhaul) and a slew of other jollies which will undoubtedly put the Limster in a whole new league. He’s on the cusp of greatness and it’s fun to be along for the ride.

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#6 Louise Goldin - The Colors of Fun

Far from boring Louise Goldin’s signature line is a heavy dose of color mixed with a sense of knitting which would make Missoni blush. A fun array of bright energy, the collection of spring dresses from this young designer offers the kind of look which would make Willy Wonka and OZ look like Technicolor stones is a HDTV world. Next year we can look forward to a Louise Goldin / Topshop connection which will hopefully wash over to our shores when Topshop NY opens.

Love Brigade

#7. Love Brigade - I’m Ready for My Close Up, Mrs.Wintour.

Our love for Love Brigade is well documented. We party with them, we host their events, we have Alyssa Key’s name tattooed on our ass (okay that may just be a me thing), but 2007 was the year that the Brigaders went primetime. TheNewPop.com made the souldiers the subject of a series of fashion videos all focussed around their adventures. We got to see their jam packed fashion week shows, behind the scenes peek at the opening of their new boutique and some fun drama starring yours truly. With a new Nirvana inspired collection on the horizon, an awesome collective in the heart of Williamsburg and a possible (hush hush) collabo with a major retailer, this was the year that the Brigaders found their groove.

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#8. Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons - Death Becomes He

The morbid, dreary pieces in Derick R. Cruz’s Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons should not be worn lightly. Using elements like ram heads, Victorian reliefs, and prayer hands, the collection evokes a level of mystery and malice that few jewelry designers can replicate. This year marked his Gen Art Styles Award win as Accessory Designer of the Year and an exclusive collection with personal favorite, BBlessings.

#9. Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony - Why Didn’t This Happen Sooner?

One of the only collections on the list that I haven’t seen in person, Chloe Sevigny’s capsule collection for Opening Ceremony looks to be the start of a very successful celebrity line. Not normally a fan of the Hollywood set closets, Chloe is one indie icon that deserves a little respect. Her impeccable style and dedication to the scenesters makes her collection so much more desirable. What I’m basically saying is, “Chloe get back on that sewing machine a make me a mens collection!!!”

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#10. Rebecca Turbow - Got My Thing Down Flip It and Reverse It

For the Polartec/Fashion Indie Designer Challenge, Rebecca Turbow crafted a complex geographically layered dress that looked like the mix between a typography dress and a disco dress. The look stunned all in attendance for it’s complexity, reversibility (yeah it was reversible), and it’s unquestionable style. Turbow one top prize and continues to push the limits of wearable fashion with a collection made for the not so common girl.

Till next year indies.

- Daniel Saynt

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Posted in | CFDA / Vogue, Celebrity Designers, Designer Discovery, Designers, Designers, East Coast Fashion, Eco Fashion, Fashion Indie, Global Fashion, Indie Man, Indie Woman, Luxury, West Coast Fashion



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2 Comments

  1. Julie, :
    MyAvatars 0.2

    Hello! I don’t see the glamor in these styles. One chick looks like a mis-matched goodwill model and another looks like she’s ready to be layed to rest in a mummy’s coffin.

    I can do the Philip Lim, Go get-em’! AND LOVE THE SHOES!

  2. MyAvatars 0.2

    very nice

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