Fashion month is over, and the dust has finally settled. It welcomed the floor to a variety of fresh, up and coming designers who displayed innovation, sustainability and cultural impact. The shows stood out as some of the most powerful of the season and here is our rundown of our top 4 favourite emerging brands.
British-Nigerian fashion and textiles designer Tolu Coker launched her first fashion week runway under her eponymous brand at this season’s London Fashion Week, supported by the British Fashion Council’s notable NewGen program. The designer launched her label in 2018 after graduating from the renowned Central St Martins College, completing a degree in Fashion and Textiles. Coker’s main influences stem from her Yoruba heritage and love of sustainable fashion and this SS24 collection prided itself in displaying all elements of Coker’s vision. Coker’s interests in the themes of spirituality that circulate the African diaspora made its way into her runway with her references to the cultural and spiritual practices that take place within her Yoruba culture. This was demonstrated in the headpieces in her collection with woven images of passed family members worn in traditional funeral practices. This collection was also an impressive example of style within sustainability as most of the pieces were made from deadstock material and pre-and-post consumer waste, all produced in factories in London. Coker mentions her intentional reuse of materials from past collections to highlight the brands philosophy surrounding heirloom clothing and the concept of having long term, quality clothing that can be passed down.
Fabien Zou debuted his innovative collection presentation at Paris Fashion Week. The 28 year old artist brings his Antillean identity into his designs and preaches about the importance of including cultural identity in the fashion world and this collection was no exception. The designer describes his brand as “Caribbean Poetry”, and aims to narrate his personal history growing up in France in a Guadeloupéen family. This collection titled ‘Véyé’ showcases these influences through the textures such as the curly hair used in the hems of the trousers and shoes as a reference to a funeral rites tradition, the silhouettes and colour blocking. Zou embodies this richness of culture in every element of his designs and hopes to evoke a refreshed sense of perspective in relation to gender and beauty within the fashion industry. As well as Paris Fashion Week, Zou also showcased his talents in the Amsterdam Fashion Week and was amongst the varied artists and designers that were part of ‘The HUB by AFW’. He also displayed a look along with other designers of Carribbean descent at GUAP’s V&A takeover this year that celebrated 75 years since the Windrush. This brand demonstrates the bold future of cultural fashion and is definitely one to watch.
Up next we have Torishéju Dumi and her debut SS24 collection at Paris Fashion Week. The British-Nigerian-Brazilian designer had an epic start to her fashion week career with Naomi Campbell opening the show, and the show being styled by the global contributing fashion editor of Vogue Gabriella Karefa-Johnson. The designer debuted her collection “Mami Wata”, inspired by her Nigerian upbringing, and wrappers worn by men and women in her culture. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2021, this debut was nothing short of exceptional, grasping the attention of many amongst the fashion world as a standout first fashion week collection. Dumi made up this collection with the use of deadstock materials, most of which was donated by Craig Green and others from factories around London. Dumi has been vocal about her aims of creating a sustainable industry due to her views on buyers placing smaller orders as “There are millions of designers out there; there doesn’t need to be, like, a 100 pieces of my garments in one store.” This collection consisted of classic silhouettes that took on a contemporary twist, literally, and remained consistent in briefing the audiences of her styles and themes of her brand, making it one of our favourite collections this season.
The London based duo Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena brought us more sustainability and style during London Fashion Week. The SS24 collection consisted of staple vibrant, eclectic pieces that showcase the brand’s identity. Also having their start at Central Saint Martins, the pair vocalise their want of creating a brand that focuses on utilising recycled and upcycled fabrics such as organic fiber and vintage textiles. Their aesthetic comes from their Bulgarian and English roots with the brand being a product of traditional themes within their backgrounds. Their famous pleated skirts are inspired by the Bulgarian “bruchnik” as well as Scottish Kilts, and are made up of deadstock fabrics from both the UK and Bulgaria. This SS24 collection brought grungy folklore to the runway and was staged at West London’s BAYSIXTY6 Skate Park, perfect for the pair’s skater boy meets chic vision. We saw frills, chains, bold zip-up hoodies, oversized leather jackets and layered embellished dresses storm the runway and creating a memorable highlight of the season.
Who was your favourite emerging designer at fashion month SS24? Tweet us @guapmag and let us know.