New York Fashion Week has come to a close. Although major labels certainly produced interesting shows this year, the emerging designers reigned supreme in terms of originality and innovation. Numerous up-and-comers debuted incredible collections on the runway or as lookbooks during the past week, and signaled a whole future of possibility for an increasingly androgynous and nongendered approach to fashion. From Connor McKnight to Social-Work, these are some of our favorite emerging designers to keep an eye on after NYFW 2022.
5 Emerging Designers to Watch Following NYFW 2022
AKNVAS' presentation was truly a celebration of color, incorporating vibrant reds, yellows and greens anchored by pseudo-traditional sillhouettes and garments. Designer Christian Juul Nielsen took inspiration from Ellsworth Kelly and James Turrell for the collection, imbuing structured, semi-geometric sillhoettes with vivid color.
Designer Helen Zhang founded Social-Work in 2018, and the label has since released a myriad of vintage-inspired collections. Zhang draws inspiration from menswear and womenswear, culminating in a modern androgynous style, often highlighting a rose motif seen in many of the label's collections.
Helen Zhang says of the collection:
"Taking inspiration from my artist friend’s living room, Social-Work’s FW 22 collection is a conversation on self-identity within own space. My friend’s paintings and artworks within her living room depicted a narrative of who she is. The feeling I took from her space inspired the collection. I wanted to create a space that converses emotions and feelings in a post-pandemic environment."
APOTTS' collection, "SKINFOLK: Skin Tones, Sculptural Shapes and Noir-Romantics," is a gorgeous exploration of various silhouettes centered around uplifting the community. Potts' drapey and flowy garments are exceptionally beautiful in motion, with many of the pieces comprised of intricate pattern work and juxtaposing textures. Potts' website reveals elements of his early inspiration, a throughline still clear to this day:
"I discovered my love for fashion as a kid watching the folks decked out at church and while shopping with my mama who loved pretty dresses, the color red and beautiful flowers in her hair."
I had the opportunity to attend Melke's FW22 show, an eclectic collection inspired by everything from outdoor culture to more elevated velvets and other high end materials. The collection, entitled Falcon's Fame, was inspired by designer Emma Gage's trip to Ashford Castle in Ireland and investigates the relationship between man and animal, utilizing rich materials punctuated by references to falconry and other homages to the Irish estate.
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