And they’re off and running. L.A.’s designers, that is. As fashion week kicks into full swing here, WWD takes a look at eight up-and-comers who hope to make a splash in the coming days.

LOUIS VERDAD: His Forties-centric clothes are already favorites of Madonna and Cate Blanchett, but Louis Verdad wants a serious business beyond the red-carpet set. He’s carried at Traffic in Los Angeles, Saks Fifth Avenue nationwide and New York’s Henri Bendel, but he’s on the prowl for financial backing.

DAVIES: After eight years of infusing her cool L.A.-via-London girl style into collections for Richard Tyler and Marc Jacobs, Erica Davies is finally going solo. “I’m ready to make this happen,” the Welsh Central St. Martins grad says. And the future looks good — Henri Bendel and Chicago’s P45 have already placed orders.

PEGAH ANVARIAN: Pegah Anvarian calls her jersey tunics and dresses “Brazil underwater.” She hand-dyes and individually cuts and sews every piece for her sexy one-year-old line, which is already a hit with Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears.

SUSANA MERCEDES: As Guatemalan-born Mercedes tells it, she literally grew up under a sewing machine. “I trained from a very young age with my mother and aunts. I know all the technical aspects. I even know how to fix a sewing machine.”

CATHERINE FULMER: With Jamie King and Selma Blair as muses and best friends, New York-based Fulmer is coming home to L.A. to launch her smart, sensual line, which she put together only last month. “Thank God Matt [Damhave] will be here to help me edit,” she says. “I don’t know what I’d do without my friends.”

JENNI KAYNE: Kayne’s edgy “Valley of the Dolls” looks have been picked up by Barneys New York, Maxfield in Los Angeles and Louis Boston, among others. She assisted Jennifer Nicholson with her line, and before long, convinced her family (money manager pops has a major interest in FAO Schwarz) to let her go solo.EDITTE KESHISHYAN: “It’s not about art or the dress. It’s really about the woman wearing it,” says Editte Keshishyan. She should know, since Jennifer Garner, Brittany Murphy and Tracee Ellis Ross, among others, are fans. She’s carried at L.A.’s Curve and Diavolina and Miele in New York.

TWELFTH STREET: Cali-girl street-chic Twelfth Street is Cynthia Vincent’s third design incarnation since 1998. The new line, named after the street she grew up on in greater Los Angeles, is exactly what she wants to wear — and apparently so do her new fans, including retailer Tracy Ross in Los Angeles.

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