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5 women-owned brands to discover

Here are the most interesting young designers right now, who promote values like sustainability and inclusion

5 women-owned brands to discover Here are the most interesting young designers right now, who promote values like sustainability and inclusion

During the last fashion weeks, thanks to initiatives aimed at promoting the growth of young emerging brands and upcoming talents, we have seen numerous small brands make their way into the international fashion scene. Although many of these designers started their careers shortly before the pandemic and created the latest collections in the period of lockdown, thanks to their ideas and values they have been able to conquer the public. nss G-Club has selected the 5 coolest emerging women-owned brands of the moment: not only for the looks they offer, but also for the values of sustainability, inclusion and celebration of diversity they promote.

 

Ahluwalia

Priya Ahluwalia, founder of the eponymous brand Ahluwalia, is young but she already has a story of success behind her. Priya started her brand in 2018, after graduating from the MA Menswear course at the University of Westminster, and the following year wins the H&M Design Award 2019. One year later another victory comes, the 2020 LVMH Prize, and the inclusion in the Forbes 30 Under 30. The success continues with the collaboration with adidas, the participation to GucciFest, and two books published. Last but not least (indeed!) The Queen Elizabeth II Award. Ahluwalia combines elements inspired by the founder's Indo-Nigerian origins, and her London roots, and explores the potential of vintage and dead stock clothing, giving new life to waste fabrics and traditional production techniques. The most recent FW21 collection is created through a patchwork of 100% recycled dead stock garments, and is characterized by color blocks in vibrant shades of red and blue and digital prints.

 

Karoline Vitto

Karoline Vitto is a Brazilian-born designer based in London, who, through her creations, enhances and emphasizes the beauty of the female body of all shapes and sizes. The body is the starting point of her creations and the garments are functional to express its beauty. Her success and her first recognition comes with her graduate collection The Body as Material, and in 2020 Karoline opens her own studio. For the second collection The Ladies Pond, Karoline Vitto is inspired by one of her favorite designers, Azzedine Alaïa, in the sinuous and monumental shapes of the dresses, but she wants to “celebrate those areas that we are almost told to hide – bulges, back rolls, excesses of flesh under the armpits and at the side of the waist; the ones we tend to feel most self-conscious about”. Working with materials that stretch and compress, like rubber bands or metal threads, the folds of the body protrude from the cut-outs, becoming part of the garment itself.

 

Chopova Lowena

Chopova Lowena was born from the creative minds of Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena, who met while studying at Central St Martins. For the brand's collections they are inspired by Bulgarian folk aesthetics, sportswear and technical clothing, and other unusual combinations of shapes, colors, fabrics and patterns. The originality of the creations has made the brand one of the most interesting in the emerging fashion scene in London, also thanks to the attention to processes and materials: the garments are made by recycling folkloric and deadstock fabrics in an innovative way and using traditional craft techniques. Also Harry Styles wore the brand's skirts in a campaign for Vogue US.

 

Sandy Liang

Sandy Liang is from New York, where she started the eponymous brand in 2013 after graduating from Parsons. Her greatest sources of inspiration are Chinatown (where her father has a restaurant) and her grandmother, who models for her collections and is still often featured on the brand's IG profile as well as her dog Tim. In 2018 she was included in the Forbes 30 Under 30, and her collections are loved and worn by New York fashion lovers including Kendall Jenner. The latest FW21 collection was designed during the pandemic but does not offer the usual cozy clothing to wear at home, but rather an escape from reality through tulle, pleated skirts, knee-high socks, without forgetting functionality in pieces like puffer jackets and gorpcore sweatshirts.

 

Supriya Lele

Supriya Lele is the Anglo-Indian designer who founded the eponymous brand in 2016. Supriya was among the joint winners of the 2020 LVMH Prize which was interrupted due to the pandemic. Her collections are a dialogue between her British identity and Indian cultural heritage and have also met great success among celeb like Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid, who wore the brand. The latest FW21 collection brings back to the carefree and frivolous Y2K aesthetic, in an ironic and fun way, through the paisley motif that reimagines the flowers of Madhya Pradesh, the contrasting colors, the tight silhouettes. "I am a woman and we women know how to enhance our body", Supriya says and adds about the collection: "Why should men know and why should they decide? We have to decide what is sexy for us."
Supriya Lele recently created a photo book in collaboration with Jamie Hawkesworth, titled Narmada, a moving celebration of Central India's river, people, places and the new generation of Indian girls. All profits from the book are donated to Girl Rising India.