If you’re not yet familiar with the name Conner Ives, start paying attention. The American designer is a fast-rising name who graduated from Central Saint Martins’ class last year but has already been making waves with his playful, extravagant shapes and patchwork approach of using upcycled/deadstock fabrics to craft a psychedelia-heavy aesthetic.
The 25-year-old was a finalist at the prestigious LVMH Prize this year and has custom-made pieces for the likes of Rihanna and Adwoa Aboah. Did we also mention that the finale piece from his debut collection – a glittery debutante-inspired confection reminiscent of mid-century couture shapes – will also be showcased later this year for the Met Gala exhibition?
American wunderkind Conner Ives is the newest addition to Net-a-Porter’s Vanguard program.
He’s also the latest star to be added to Net-a-Porter’s signature Vanguard program – an incubator project launched by the retail powerhouse in 2018 meant to provide expert mentorship to emerging labels with growing their business for the long-term.
It can only be a good indicator of Ives’ rising star and signals positive things for his longevity in the industry – too many talented designers start their careers inflamed with hype (usually by the press, yes) and eventually burn out too quickly.
“It is hugely important to us at Net-a-Porter that we help emerging designers to set up their businesses for long-term success. We are therefore delighted to announce that Conner Ives will be joining our Vanguard program this season, and we’re incredibly excited to be launching his first fully-fledged collection as a designer,” says Net-a-Porter senior market editor Libby Page.
“His creative inclusion of upcycled fabrics, mixed with his incredible use of print and color, is exactly what we are looking for in an emerging designer.”
If you’re a fan of the designer, you’ll be glad to know that Net-a-Porter has already debuted a small portion of his Fall/Winter’21 collection – the latter, titled The American Dream, was inspired by memories of his childhood and the girls and women he grew up with.
There are five pieces in total, including streetwear staples such as T-shirt dresses made from upcycled garments – which means no two pieces are exactly alike.
Peruse the collection below.