With “fashion week” taking place all year long and fast fashion threatening to eradicate couture entirely, there’s hardly such thing as “brand-new” anymore. Case in point: Denman Gvasalia’s Vetements was deemed played out just weeks after sending throngs of people into a frenzy for their exaggerated hoodies and reworked jeans. (Now they’re teaming up with 18 different, varyingly surprising collaborators, including Juicy Couture, Champion, Manolo Blahnik and Levi’s, for their Spring ’17 collection.) With that in mind, here are six brands so fresh they’re just making waves or they’re just starting to really gain some well-deserved traction. Either way, you’ll want something from them in a matter of months. Then it’s on to the next one!
There’s not much to say about this new womenswear label yet, except they have a badass way with florals, evident on their embellished, embroidered studded leather motorcycle jackets and slinky printed cocktail pieces. That’s because they’re keeping everything under wraps as they stir up intrigue with a cryptic Instagram account. While LPA officially launches on August 11th (you can sign up to get alerts on their site now), Emily Ratajkowski has already posted photos of herself wearing a choker-and-slipdress pairing from the brand. You don’t need a full collection view to know their doing pretty-meets-gritty right.
2. Death to Tennis
Death to Tennis was founded in 2011, but only now is the New York City-based menswear line getting serious recognition. The duo behind DtT, William Watson and Vincent Oshin, both natives of England, has a knack for tweaking classic pieces so they feel wholly original. Look to their quirkily printed button-down shirts, sleek renditions of military and bomber jackets, and slub-knit sweatshirts for pieces made for guys that might look even better large and oversized on girls who know how to work the whole tomboy thing.
3. Faith Connexion
Faith Connexion has been discreetly turning out distressed metallic denim for years. But since Christophe Decarnin, the designer who transformed Balmain into the big, bold luxury mega-house we know now, and his team were rumored to have joined the Parisian streetwear brand last year, it’s developed a new connotation—one that warrants its perilous price tags. So goes one of their manifestos: “Fashion needs to be free. Freed from Fall/Winter, Spring/Summer seasons, freed from the multimillion dollar shows, freed from flagship stores, and freed from star designers.” Now they’ve just revealed their latest collection, a rugged glam-rock mishmash of cowboy, heavy metal, disco, and punk influences. Most importantly, the sizes are gender-specific for ultimate androgyny.
You’ve probably heard about Off-White by now, what with very busy founder and designer, Virgil Abloh, being Kanye West’s creative director. (He’s also publishing a book called You Cut Me Off, documenting his design process.) Just in case you haven’t, now is the time. Fresh off the debut of their Spring ’17 Menswear and Resort collections, the former entitled Blue Collar, consisting of offbeat and somewhat oversized white-collar clothes, and the latter unifying camouflage, roses, and sleep-to-streetwear, Off-White is now more than a buzzy label that enjoys in-your-face wordage. Abloh is successfully cementing it as a full-on lifestyle brand.
Architectural, extreme, urban, and glam: These are just a few words used to describe the designs of Paris-based Y/Project’s Belgian creative director, Glenn Martens. Founded in 2010, the label garnered attention as a finalist for this year’s LVMH award and when Rihanna took a liking to it, wearing their delightfully enormous pinstripe pantsuits on her Anti world tour. Now for his latest collection, Martens is countering the slouchy stuff with wearable drainpipe denim, surprisingly timeless trench coats and trousers, and plenty of slink. Critics have deemed it Y/Project’s best work to date.
6. Ambush Design
This Tokyo-based line makes biker jackets, denim shirts, and T-shirts, in addition to jewelry, but it’s their heavy metal accessories that are worth talking about. In fact, their latest offerings are so strong and brash you might be wise to build an entire look off of them, not the other way around. Founded on hefty chains, handcuffs, padlocks, barbed wire, and curvaceous screws (think a punk version of Cartier’s Juste un Clou pieces), they’re fashioned in both no-nonsense silver and more demure gold. Ready-to-wear label Sacai asked Ambush founders Yoon, a graphic designer, and Verbal, a rapper, to customize pieces for their recent Paris menswear show. Get ready to see more from the pair, as they prepare to open their Tokyo flagship, aka the Ambush Workshop.