The lockdowns of 2020 left consumers with far fewer opportunities to galavant with their glad rags on display.
A blend of social media outlets have broadened the way that fashion enthusiasts receive their style information. The popularisation of digital-based showcase and shopping solutions have heavily influenced the way in which consumers curate their wardrobes and personal style. Innovation and originality have become key amid the pandemic, with new and exciting fashion up-and-comers gaining popularity amongst an increasingly digital landscape.
Here are a few of FIB’s picks for the best up and coming labels to watch in 2021:
Founded in New York, creative director Aurora James established Brother Vellies to branch out from her career in journalism, art and music to found the business in 2013.
Aurora James had the goal in mind of introducing the market to her favourite traditional African footwear. She has a strong focus on creating and sustaining artisanal jobs in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Morocco. Brother Vellies creates boots, shoes and sandals in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts.
James, a Toronto native, celebrates traditional African design practices within the label and has a strong focus on exploring design techniques and keeping traditions alive. Handmade artisinally across the globe, Brother Vellies showcases luxury accessories which celebrate culture, timelessness with a focus on humanitarianism.
Shop the brand here.
New wave avante-garde, deconstructed wearable art. This Albanian designer established her eponymous brand in 2017 after completing her BA at the London College of Fashion.
Soon afterward, Ssense came on board as a stockist, bringing the label into reality. It has visual similarities to Helmut lang, Demeulemeester, Alessandro Dell’acqua and embraces a 90s aesthetic with drapery and sheer, deconstructed threads. A contrast of severity and duality sums up the toe of Dojaka’s work, it’s lyrical and subversive.
In 2020, Bella Haddid wore a VMA’s look from Dojaka’s AW2O collection, quickly catapulting the brand to the status of ‘it-girl’ label. After Hadid posted an instagram photo of the look, it sold out almost instantly.
Picks from Nensi Dojaka AW21
This year, Nensi Dojaka was one of five designers to showcase her AW21 collection via Fashion East curator Lulu Kennedy, signalling the more progressive tone of London’s emerging fashion talent.
“Layered over the top of shirts and dressed that are held together by what feels like minimal means, tailoring is an exciting addition to Dojaka’s repertoire. Double pleated trousers paired with tuxedo jackets take centre stage, while signature organza bodices underpin the tone of the collection. Dojaka’s work is evolving before our eyes, and it’s clear to us that the brand will expand as swiftly as it came into the limelight.”
Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena met at Central Saint Martins in 2011, bonding over a love of handmade and secondhand creations. Conceived in 2017, their English-Bulgarian brand has since started to gain enormous traction. With traditional patchwork fabrications and a punk-like twist, the brand boasts clientele such as Harry Styles, Michaela Cool and Madonna.
The pair’s Fall collection, ‘Class of 21’ is a nostalgic mix-tape of memories. Underlined by tones of inclusivity, it is an exploration of characters.
Shop the label at Farfetch.
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