From a Swiss leather goods house that’s gone fashion, to a Los Angeles tastemaker Celine fans will dig – we’re putting our money on these six labels this year (and you should too).
Who: The 164-year-old Swiss leather goods house with a savvy new creative director at its helm: Former Dior/McQueen/Tom Ford accessories designer Pablo Coppola, now into his second season.
Why: Coppola’s already revived buzz with his bags and shoes ($450-$36,000) that feel current yet timeless. Cue the chic, archive-inspired Corner shoulder bag that debuted for Fall/Winter, and returns in primary hues and a clutch version. Now he’s making the clothes just as desirable: elegant tailoring, day-to-night dresses and boyfriend jeans ($375-$17,500) with the cool ease of American sportswear.
Who: New York designer-of-the-moment Joseph Altuzarra’s namesake label.
Why: The 30-year-old injects a Givenchy-trained seductive edge into staples – no one cuts a sexier work blouse or pencil skirt. Since Kering (owner of Gucci and Saint Laurent) bought a minority stake in 2013, his pieces have gotten more polished and are readily available here for the first time with a Club 21 debut ($930-$3,190) this season.
Who: The historical French label that brought on insider fave, Italian designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua (left), as creative director last autumn.
Why: Under predecessor Marco Zanini, the brand had a slightly quirky, vintage-inspired look that made it a hit with the sophisticated fashion crowd. Dell’Acqua struggled to match that in his debut collection, only to bounce back for S/S ’15 by injecting the cool girlishness of his own label No. 21 – and made Rochas younger and fresher ($960-$7,590, Club 21).
Who: Wife of Getty Museum founder Paul Getty’s great grandson Balthazar and Los Angeles-based model-turned-designer, who started the eponymous label last year.
Why: Debuting on Net-A-Porter for Resort ‘15 (prices unavailable), the 44-year-old creates beautifully simple knits and tailoring that are long, lean and as suited for holidays as they are for work. If you like Celine and The Row, you’ll dig her.
Who: Hong Kong-born, London-based designer/alumni of Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East programmme (the emerging talent platform that shot Gareth Pugh, Meadham Kirchhoff and Simone Rocha to fame).
Why: He comes closest to Meadham’s brand of kitschy fun yet well-made clothes that the creative fashion set wants to be seen in. What makes him different: his knitting expertise (he creates his own yarn) and sugar-sweet aesthetic (ice cream colours and frills aplenty). S/S ’15 is only his second collection post-Fashion East, yet he’s been picked up by Net-A-Porter (US$577, or S$751-US$1,251, or S$1,630) – the dude’s officially in the big league.
Who: The American carriage saddle-turned-luxury bag maker that dates back to 1845 was shuttered in the ’90s, then revived by New York retail expert (and now brand CEO) Neal Fox four years ago.
Why: Its signature Grace box bag hit the street style circuit last fashion week and helped spark the trend for discreet, vintage-style bags. Handcrafted in Italy, its designs (from US$1,800, or S$2,330, at markcross1845.com) are timeless. Take the Grace: it’s a near replica of the one the brand made for Grace Kelly’s character in ’50s Hitchcock flick Rear Window. Expect to see a lot more of it next fashion week.
An adapted version of this article was published in Female January 2015, now on news stands.