Michael Mente is most definitely a friend of Fashionista. Not only has the owner of e-commerce sites Revolve, Forward, Reverse, and the US Division of FarFetch been generous with his time answering our questions about the world of shopping online, he even flew out from Los Angeles to participate in our "How I'm Making It" panel last December.
Since Michael's primary job is buying new fashion for his sites, we recently asked him who he's watching in terms of up-and-coming labels.
1. Damir Doma: "This a great under the radar brand that's been around for a while, but he's still new and relevant to a lot of people," says Mente. "He's Crotian, but he studied in Berlin and Munich and worked with Ann Demeulemeester and Raf Simons, so it has that Eastern European edge to it that makes it not only really cool but really luxurious."
2. Barlow "Barlow is all about the unexpected details in very comfortable, easy to wear pieces. One of my favorite pieces is a white cotton dress shirt that when you turn around has a sheer black lace panel that covers the back. It's very simple, but very sexy."
3. Bensoni "Our customers are always looking for designer pieces you can't find else. We've started working with Confederacy and they're one of the few retailers that carries [Bensoni], so that exclusivity is a great way to introduce a brand that's very sophisticated and has a youthful perspective on high end design."
4. Mike Gonzalez "Mike is known for his leather jackets and now that he has his own brand [formerly of Mike and Chris], you can see that he can do more than a hooded leather jacket. It's very feminine, but with a masculine touch that feels true to him, but maybe he's now able to do things he's always wanted to."
5. Seneca Rising "Seneca Rising is the kind of clothes you want to wear to the beach. The colors in the collection we have available on the site have a watercolor quality to them and add to that lots easy to wear volume and it's something you can wear pretty casually, but still feel like you own something unique."
6. Shakuhachi "I like the idea of taking an oversized man's utility shirt and doing it in silk with an alligator skin print. It's that loose, masculine vibe that makes the collection full of interesting details."