New York Fashion Week may have less of a hold on marquee names like Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger — none of whom have plans to show collections next week — but emerging designers still see it as a prime opportunity to gain visibility and express their points of view, even if it's only to an online audience.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has put a pin in IRL events (for the most part), we're still looking at a full schedule of digital Fall 2021 debuts during New York Fashion Week, mostly taking place between Feb. 14-18. As usual, there are several brand-new names on the two official calendars expected to present their latest via IMG's NYFW: The Shows platform or the CFDA's Runway 360 portal, if not both.
"The digital fashion week format provides new opportunities to reach a global audience, both for international brands participating remotely and emerging designers operating with lower budgets," Noah Kozlowski, director of designer relations at IMG, told us over email. "We are committed to providing solutions for designers to participate in NYFW regardless of whether they are showing a Fall 2021 collection."
Also as usual, there are some pretty interesting stories behind these up-and-coming brands, some of which have already generated significant buzz. Learn a bit about them before they achieve the milestone that is showing at NYFW.
Mehera Blum's Blumera is known for one-of-a-kind statement accessories, all of which are hand-carved with natural wood or solid brass by local artists from around the world. A number of celebrities have been spotted with her bags, and "Orange Is the New Black" star Uzo Aduba will headline the brand's Fall 2021 video, debuting Feb. 17 at NYFW.com.
Chaance is a brand-new high-end South Korean streetwear label designed by Jihoon Andy Shin and Taisuke Fujimoto. Its first NYFW appearance will comprise menswear and womenswear, and will take place Feb. 14 on NYFW.com.
Queens, NY-bred Colin LoCascio launched his namesake line last fall with a delightful Fran Drescher-inspired collection. The RISD grad is also the design director of Kendall + Kylie, having previously worked for brands including Marc Jacobs and Adam Selman. He's also done custom work for stars like Ashanti, Cardi B, Gigi Gorgeous and Bella Hadid. He'll debut his latest collection on Feb. 17 at NYFW.com.
Mohamed Malim, who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, launched Epimonia in 2018 with a mission to change the narrative around supporting refugees by repurposing refugee life jackets into tees and sweatshirts. The line will make its NYFW debut Feb. 18 at NYFW.com.
Los Angeles-based Marc Keiser and Andrew Clark launched their line in 2017 and design around an aesthetic they describe as "gritty nocturnal glamour." Think graphic sweaters and hoodies, black cargo pants and lots of leather. The brand will debut its latest offering on Runway360 on Feb. 16.
Los Angeles-based Doni Nahmias launched his namesake menswear line in 2018. Taking inspiration from the skate, basketball and surf cultures he was exposed to growing up in Santa Barbara, the designer is already stocked by influential retailers like Ssense and The Webster. He will debut a Fall 2021 collection called "Lost in the Sand" on Runway360 on Feb. 16.
Pizzaslime, a social media entity and merch line that I'm too old to understand, will evidently make an official foray into streetwear on Feb. 16 at NYFW.com. Nick Santiago and Matthew Hwang, both WME clients, are behind the collection, according to IMG.
Sincerely Ria is a womenswear line by model/actor/designer Mariama Diallo. According to the brand's website, it's "a love letter to every woman," designed for "the unapologetic woman who embraces who she is and celebrates her curves." She'll make her NYFW debut on Feb. 14 on NYFW.com.
Sydney-based Emily Amelia Inglis launched the luxury womenswear line Studio Amelia in May 2019. The brand is defined by a polished, tailored minimalist aesthetic and a thoughtful approach to sustainability through the use of deadstock and recycled materials. She'll show her latest collection on Feb 15 at NYFW.com.
Black in Fashion Council x IMG
Feb. 14 and 15:
Feb. 16 and 17:
House of Aama
New York Men's Day
Feb. 15, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., Runway 360
Ka Wa Key
The Stolen Garment