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Fashion

New York Fashion Week SS19: 5 Under-The-Radar Labels To Know Now

Wales Bonner
Wales Bonner is the kind of designer that merits a closer look and a deeper understanding of the various influences behind her collections — they tend to invariably link back to black history and culture (she’s British-Jamaican). The LVMH Prize-winning designer is known for a more cerebral take on tailoring and embroidery: her women’s pieces tend to have a relaxed silhouette borrowed from the men’s, but updated with precious, almost sentimental details such as cowrie shells, which were once used as currency in Africa.   Cienne
Want to get started on building an eco-friendly wardrobe? Cienne would be a good place to start. They’re one of five finalists of the inaugural CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative — a year-long program that mentors brands towards a more sustainable approach in how they operate. That’s all good but aesthetic-wise, they don’t let up either. The designers, Nicole Heim and Chelsea Healy, tend to design for a more sophisticated crowd — the ones who might go for The Row but also want something a tad more colourful and vivid. Cienne’s eco-cred includes manufacturing their pieces right in New York City and reportedly using zero-waste knitting techniques for the knitwear. BY. Bonnie Young
Bonnie Young is no industry newbie — she was the creative director at Donna Karan for 16 years but only opened her namesake label two years ago. Go to her if you’re after easy, effortless glamour, or as she puts it herself in an interview with W magazine, “women want to turn heads, without thinking too much.” Fair enough. Tempered with Young’s preferred voluminous cuts, her signature florals never feel overtly girly; the effect is feminine and contemporary. Eckhaus Latta
Eckhaus Latta probably boasts of the most recognition in this group. Established six years ago, the brand, headed by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, has firmly become a favourite with industry insiders and the creative crowd. It’s easy to see why — they’ve managed to retain their signature quirky, DIY-ish aesthetic over the years and it’s only become more polished without losing their identity, which is often described to be “art school”. The brand is also known to be highly inclusive, often featuring the designers’ own friends and even pregnant women on their runway — which could easily come across as opportunistic at other brands but feels natural with Eckhaus Latta. Pyer Moss
Like Wales Bonner, black culture plays a large part in American designer Kerby Jean-Raymond’s works. And for SS19, that sensibility was emphasised even more so — there were subtle writings on the clothes that spell out messages such as “See us now?” and “Stop calling 911 on the culture” (in a reference to the numerous cases where white people frivolously calling the police on the black community for no valid reasons). Those who love vivid prints will also take to the ones showcased at Pyer Moss — they’re the result of a collaboration with black artist Derrick Adams.