With their imposing rosters of established luxury brands, fashion weeks in Milan and Paris are less known for their emerging designers than, say, New York or London. Though, slowly but surely, that's starting to change. Thanks to retailers' desire for newness and programs like the LVMH Prize, both cities have seen a few new names emerge in recent seasons.
Because Paris is regarded as the most prestigious and exclusive fashion week, the designers who've managed to gain some momentum there feel especially promising. (I mean, Kanye West couldn't even do it.) A few relatively new names like Vetements, Ellery, Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh and Undercover already feel like mainstays on the Mode à Paris calendar. Below, a few even newer names who made an impression last week and whom we think you should get to know before next season rolls around.
A lot of brands like to describe themselves as a hybrid of Parisian and Los Angeles style, but Beau Souci has actual Parisian Aurélie Larrousse behind it. LA luxury boutique Just One Eye tapped Larrousse to design a line of high-end wardrobe staples. With training in both leather and fur and a genuine understanding of that French je ne sais quoi, Larrousse's designs are chic, understated and very desirable. While it was exclusively sold at Just One Eye, it's recently begun wholesaling to other retailers and just launched a pop-up in Bergdorf Goodman.
Recently named a finalist for the 2016 LVMH Prize, Finnish designer Tuomas Merikoski presented his third collection on the first Tuesday of Paris Fashion Week — a day that's become reserved for up-and-coming talents. (Jacquemus and Anthony Vaccarello also show then, for instance.) Having previously worked with Riccardo Tisci on Givenchy menswear, and currently working with Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton menswear, Merikoski fuses Parisian and Scandinavian sensibilities in his work.
Now a two-time LVMH Prize finalist, Christelle Kocher's booth at LVMH's cocktail showroom event in Paris earlier this month for the prize's semi-finalists was among the most crowded with industry bigwigs. She also staged her second-ever runway show on the first Tuesday of PFW. Kocher brings an elevated design background — she works for luxury feather purveyor Maison Lemarié — to streetwear-tinged clothing, and so far it's proven to be a winning combination.
Another buzzy first-day-of-PFW show was Y-Project, by Belgian designer Glenn Martens. It marked his first time on the womenswear calendar, as he also shows menswear, in addition to including unisex pieces in both collections. His show got lots of Instagram attention, and included trans-seasonal pieces that were more feminine than what we tend to see from unisex-leaning designers.
Drome designer Marianna Rosati's collections are made almost entirely of leather, but you wouldn't necessarily notice that at first glance, as she's so adept at making leather look like a softer fabric. Her clothes are thus luxurious and distinctive, but still wearable, and fall 2016 marked her first foray into accessories. It was successful: we wanted every pair of shoes that walked down the runway. Everything is produced in Tuscany, and Rosati is based between there and in London. As for why she then shows in Paris, Rosati explained: "To me, Paris is an amazing place for creation. There is more space. [In other cities] shows are one right after the other."