MICHAEL H.
Provenance: Michael Houghton, 42, achieved a modicum of fame as Ally Hilfiger and Jaime Gleicher’s fashion-loving pal on MTV’s reality show “Rich Girls.” He’s tight with the Hilfigers, whom he calls his “spiritual family,” and even lent a designing hand for the first Red Label collection in 1999.
Sales: This is his first collection.
What to expect: Twenty-five men’s and women’s looks inspired by Keith Richards’ louche look, and the possibility of everyone’s favorite Rich Girl, Ally, on the runway.
Bonus track: Houghton’s party band, Michael H. and the Bashers, featuring Andy Hilfiger on bass, will play post-show.

RUFFIAN
Provenance: Inspired by the Elizabethan ruff, Brian Wolk, 30, started Ruffian, a line consisting solely of accessories such as collars and belts in luxe fabrics in 1998. In 2001, Wolk partnered with Claude Morais, 35, a Paris-based stylist whom he met in New York. This is their first season of ready-to-wear.
Sales: The accessories sell at Barneys and Takashimaya in New York, at Liberty and Harvey Nichols in London and at Bon Marche in Paris, no doubt providing an in for the ready-to-wear.
What to expect: Thirteen lucky looks ripe for a cocktail party. According to Wolk they’re “very Yves Saint Laurent meets Elsa Schiaparelli under the tutelage of Jean Cocteau.” Ooh la la!

MENICHETTI
Provenance: Far from newbie status, Roberto Menichetti, 37, has designed for Cerruti most recently, before which he headed the Jil Sander design team for five years and then launched Burberry Prorsum.
Sales: This is the launch collection, but WWD reported last week that Menichetti’s business plan includes hitting 100 retail stores worldwide for his first season and, over the next five years, opening 50 freestanding boutiques.
What to expect: Menichetti takes a less-is-more approach to fashion, concentrating on subtle features such as innovative textiles and the minutiae of tailoring.
X-treme designer: He’s an avid windsurfer and also races in the Paris-Dakar motocross rally.SHANNON STOKES
Provenance: Beating out more than 600 applicants, Stokes won Perrier’s Bubbling Under award, a collaboration with Metro TV’s Full Frontal Fashion, in 2002. In addition to winning $10,000, he also scored a job at furrier Cassin, where he still works. Perrier signed on to sponsor Stokes this season as well.
Sales: This is his first show.
What to expect: About 30 looks with an evening slant, including Cassin furs.

SASS & BIDE
Provenance: Australians Sarah-Jane Clarke, 29, and Heidi Middleton, 31, started their high-end denim line in 2000, branching into a full collection in 2001. After turns in Australia’s Fashion Week and the last two seasons in London, they’re ready to take on the Big Apple.
Sales: S&B boasts an enviable list of retailers — Barneys, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Kirna Zabete and Louis Boston, among many others.
What to expect: “It’s a mix between the 1940s and modern-day punk,” says Clarke.
Fun fact: Clarke and Middleton helped spread the super low-rise denim message Down Under.

DIMMER/D’VRSI
Provenance: Designers Leila Azar-Kia, 28, and Travis Wells, 31, both graduated from Parsons in 1998 after steering their career tracks from medicine and law, respectively, to fashion. This is their fifth women’s collection and third men’s collection.
Sales: Private clients so far. The designers hope the show will spur retail momentum.
What to expect: Twenty tailored, structured looks each for both women and men.

LIBERTINE
Provenance: Cindy Greene, 35, and Johnson Hartig, 33, started their collection of reworked castoffs in September 2001. Despite residing on different coasts and working in a seemingly saturated medium, Greene and Hartig have managed to build a solid label and recently won $20,000 from Ecco Domani.
Sales: Retail jackpot! Maxfield in Los Angeles, Barneys in New York, Joyce in Hong Kong, Colette in Paris and Harvey Nichols in London.
What to expect: Between 50 and 60 looks combined of women’s and men’s that continue Libertine’s slightly twisted, artsy approach to classic trenches, khakis and button-downs.
Star style: Fans include Emanuel Ungaro designer Giambattista Valli, Brad Pitt and Mick Jagger.LELA ROSE
Provenance: Texas native Lela Rose has been quietly building a solid business with her colorful, delicate dress-based collections since 1996.
Sales: She’s a retail darling, selling at Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Ultimo in Chicago and other boutiques across the country. She hopes the show will not only boost domestic sales but garner her international attention.
What to expect: Twenty charming looks in a charming setting — The Inn at Irving Place.
First frocks: Rose dressed the Bush twins for their dad’s inauguration ceremony in 2000. Barbara even interned there in summer 2002. Other dedicated fans include socialite interior designer Celerie Kemble and much of the young New York social set.

PHI
Provenance: Phi (pronounced ‘fee’) is the new label from Susan Dell, 40, the wife of Dell Computer Co. founder Michael Dell, who scrapped her five-year-old eponymous label last year. Phi’s creative director is Tim Gardner, who has held top design positions at Calvin Klein and Jil Sander
Sales: Not yet, but Dell shares her husband’s marketing savvy as well as his ambition.
What to expect: With Phi, Dell takes an edgier and more sophisticated direction.
First frocks, part two: While fellow Texan and first-timer Lela Rose dressed the Bush twins for the ceremony, Dell designed their dresses for the Inaugural Ball.

MILLY
Provenance: Michelle Smith, 30, launched her girlishly preppy collection in spring 2001. The FIT grad interned at Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior before going it alone.
Sales: Milly sells in about 200 stores worldwide, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Scoop.
What to expect: From 35 to 40 glamorous looks to dress up in. “I got so tired of the whole jeans-and-Sherpa boots thing,” says Smith.
“Sex” appeal: Smith’s creations turn up frequently on “Sex and the City” girlish prepster Charlotte.ARLEQUIN
Provenance: Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Arlequin was created by former circus performers May Nogoy, 31, Marcelle Seelig, 24, Alex Lugo, 24, and Stiofan O’Curried, 31, who met in San Francisco. They made a foray into fashion designing costumes for performances. They relocated to Buenos Aires almost two years ago.
Sales: No retail sales yet, but Arlequin has created costumes for Britney Spears, Alicia Keys and Courtney Love.
What to expect: Thirty-five looks inspired by the quartet’s collection of antique parasols and lingerie.

YELLOW FEVER
Provenance: Brooklyn native Jamison Ernest was recording with his band Yellow Fever when an injury to his vocal chords sidelined that project. So he started making T-shirts, later moving on to pants.
Sales: New York’s Atrium and Bagutta Life. Canadian department store Holt Renfrew put in an order for spring.
What to expect: Bold-faced names from back to front. His show will be styled by Francesca Versace (daughter of Santo), “directed” by screenwriter/director James Toback and will feature Lola Schnabel’s artwork, curated by Vito Schnabel. Expect some more bold-faced names (Gisele, Heidi Klum and Rachel Weisz) in the front row, too.
Diddy knows best: Ernest is thinking big. “I’m going to try and follow the route that Puffy did,” he says. His first move toward synergy takes the form of mini cds attached to the tags of the pieces he produced for Holt Renfrew.

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