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Up and Coming Fashion Designers
2020 was an incredibly difficult year for everyone. However, we are coming out mostly swinging with 2021 and the world of fashion is no exception, with plenty of talented designers and stylists making a name for themselves despite the struggles that the last year or so have brought. Let’s take a look at a few of these individuals who are making the future of fashion look bright.
Karina Sharif is a commercial and editorial stylist from Brooklyn, New York, with a background in art. According to her LinkedIn profile, she has been working as a fashion stylist since 2017. Since March 2020, Sharif has been bringing her work to the next level. According to an interview with The Cut, Sharif started to make her own clothing and do everything herself, from the sewing to the modeling. Karina would then take to social media to share the results.
What makes Karina’s work unique is her paper-based clothing, which is super creative - very much the work of a person who loves and appreciates art - and highly marketable. Not only is Karina getting innovative with her fashion, but she is also on a mission to tell the untold stories of black women through her clothing. This inspirational goal and her budget-based, recyclable clothing makes Karina Sharif one you will definitely want to watch in the fashion world.
We are heading to South Korea for the next up-and-comer: a 32-year-old designer called Minju Kim. Kim won first place in the Netflix show Next in Fashion, where designers from around the globe would compete for a $250,000 grand prize as well as a collection of clothing to debut on the high-end fashion retailer website Net-A-Porter.
Kim shot to stardom following her victory and has attained a great amount of success with her collections. Minju’s fashion blends a sweet, feminine elegance with pastel tones and simple yet eye-catching designs. Minju has so much potential thanks to her amazing vision and her fantastic twist on haute couture.
Austrian-Nigerian fashion designer Kenneth Ize made his debut in 2020 at Paris Fashion Week, where he showed off his brilliant eye for fashion and his ability to bring contemporary, worldwide styles into his work. Mostly androgynous, Ize’s work consists of bold block colors and straightforward designs. He loves a simple but eye-catching stripe pattern, and his Instagram account shows off an array of these striped items, including one of his designs worn by actor Timothee Chalamet.
Ize uses traditional Nigerian materials and creates designs and materials via various designers, artisans and weavers from across the world, including asoke weavers from Nigeria and lace-makers from Austria, as reported by Vogue. Ize also told Vogue about the connections his fashion has to his mother, being inspired by her impeccable Sunday best outfits. Ize manages to capture both the personal - with the links to his mother and his heritage - and the worldly, with his focus on working with talented people from around the world. This multicultural nature and fantastic fashion catapults Kenneth Ize to the forefront of fashion this year.
There are the fresh-faced newcomers of the fashion industry, and then there is Andrea Brocca, who was already an overachiever before his graduation from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art in London, one of the most prestigious fashion colleges in the world. Brocca is a Guinness World Record Holder, boasting the record for the Youngest Couturier, which he achieved at age 16. According to an article from Vogue, he opened up a boutique for private clients in Dubai after an internship with Alice Temperley, who is considered by many as the English answer to Ralph Lauren.
You can safely say that Brocca has the drive and determination as a rising star in the fashion industry. That work ethic is backed up by a huge amount of talent, with Brocca’s fashion pieces making their way on to the cover of Bazaar, featured in Vogue and worn by Lady Gaga for Billboard. That's not bad for being 24 years old. In his Vogue interview, Brocca revealed that he has an unreleased series of work that revolves around preserving and evolving fashion to “achieve a sustainable DNA while staying chic and glamorous”. Bold, daring and full of personality and technical flair, Brocca’s work, along with his passion, enthusiasm and sheer talent, make him an up-and-coming designer to watch in the fashion world.