The time has come for Dover Street Market to turn over a new leaf with its New York boutique. Titled "New Beginning," the seven-story space transforms itself twice a year to welcome new designers — a new guard of brands anointed by the one and only Rei Kawakubo — and update its long-term spaces of Comme des Garçons labels and high-end brands, including Gucci, Balenciaga and Alaïa. Plus, you can view select pieces from Kawakubo's "Invisible Clothing" spring 2017 collection.
But before you hop on the 6 train to Murray Hill to check out the revamped flagship firsthand, read on to meet the nine emerging fashion brands currently on display (and available to shop) at Dover Street Market New York this season.
Blue Roses by Edward Meadham
Edward Meadham closed down his Meadham Kirchoff label in the fall of 2015 after falling into a "quagmire of debt," which caused the designer to lose his studio and archive. At the end of 2016, Meadham got back into the design game with Blue Roses, a fashion line of T-shirts, hoodies and accessories. In an interview with Vogue UK, Meadham explained the concept of Blue Roses further: "A metaphor for 'otherness' of not fitting into the world and not wanting to as well as the illusion of artificial as a blue rose is not a natural occurrence. To me, blue roses are a symbol of defiance, of self-cultivation, in finding strength in what society perceives as weakness." The line is exclusively available at Dover Street Market's outposts in New York and London.
In addition to getting Kawakubo's blessing to be included in Dover Street Market's spring offerings, menswear designers Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell, who regularly show during London Fashion Week: Men's, were among the highlights of Pitti Uomo earlier this month with their new collaboration with Reebok. Plus, the duo was recently awarded the International Woolmark Prize, which includes industry mentorship and a cash reward. It looks like the high-concept brand will only get bigger and better.
Creative director Lada Komarova of Delada joins Soviet Union-influenced designers Gosha Rubchinskiy and Demna Gvasalia of Vetements and Balenciaga at Dover Street Market New York. Russian-born Komarova first launched her clothing line last fall in collaboration with London-based concept boutique A-Machine. Eventually, her cool mix of floral-printed, ruffled dresses and tailored garments with exaggerated silhouettes — the omnipresent elongated sleeves, for example — have garnered the attention of industry insiders worldwide. Expect to see this brand among the street style set very soon.
Though Egg has already been in collaboration with Dover Street Market's London location since 2011, the cult brand is making its U.S. debut in New York this season. In an interview with Another Magazine, co-founder Maureen Doherty expresses her gratitude towards collaborating with the concept boutique for so long, "[Dover Street Market] is a place to discover what is happening in the world of fashion at every level. Our working relationship has always been a joy. Rei has set the stage for openness and individual expression." Egg's designs are minimal but when worn and layered together, they make up a voluminous ensemble that coincides with Kawakubo's exaggerated aesthetic.
Though there's not much to be found online about London designer Elena Dawson — her social media presence is small, and her website only directs users to a barely updated blog — experiencing her Victorian-inspired namesake label firsthand speaks volumes. Dawson's designs are decidedly romantic and deconstructed: waist coasts with distressed edges, crumpled and wrinkled silk blouses and accessories that feel slightly unfinished.
With designer stints in Paris and London, José Luis Bartolomé and Albert Escribano decided to join forces and launch Hereu, a footwear and handbag line that's made in Spain and heavily influenced by their Mediterranean culture. Handcrafted espadrilles and moccasins are modern updates to the traditional footwear, while cutout calf leather handbags are nods to the area's popular grocery and straw baskets. Hereu's kitschy keychains are made up of crabs, fish skeletons and seashells.
We've been fans of Martiniano Lopez Crozet and his signature "glove shoes" even before the Argentinian-made footwear hit "It" item status and became a street style favorite. Though the designer's line is readily available at a number of boutiques, both big and small, it's certainly another level of retail achievement to garner a spot alongside other Kawakubo-affiliated brands.
Rue de Verneuil
After a decade of designing accessories and jewelry, Vincent Ribat, who also boasts a background in interior architecture, started Rue de Verneuil in 2014. The label, named after the Parisian street on which Ribat works from, offers clutches, drawstring bags and totes in structured silhouettes and simple fabrics and colorways. (Think L.L. Bean canvas totes, but chicer.)
Royal College of Art grad Teija Eilola can name Dover Street Market and Barneys as two retailers that have showcased her work in New York. The British Fashion Council teamed up with Barneys on Madison Ave. to display Teija's clothing alongside other emerging and established British brands for two weeks in January, which wrapped up on Jan. 25. At Dover Street, however, Eilola's "couture-meets-daywear" designs feel right at home.
Click through the gallery below to see Dover Street Market New York's "New Beginning" for spring 2017.