By  on July 21, 2011

ELIZABETH ANYAA

Bio: Raised in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Anyaa studied textile design at Rovaniemi University in Finland. After graduation, she designed textiles and patterns for a local architect there, later moving to Dallas, where she started her own company in 2004. That fizzled a few years later, but she is now giving it another go with an official relaunch of ready-to-wear and accessories.

Collection: Anyaa’s focus is always on the fabrics, most of which she hand-makes, treats and sometimes paints. She felts wool onto silk, cotton and linen, creating alluring patterns and textures — swirling, marblelike motifs on dresses or abstract shapes on scarves. “I think of the wool as an element of embellishment,” she says.

Stats: Wholesales from $150 to $1,500; sold at her own studio-store in Dallas, which she opened in 2007.

P.S.: Anyaa also crafts housewares, such as pillows and bowls, from her homespun fabrics.

Here: Elizabeth Anyaa’s silk chiffon dress and scarf, both with wool felt embellishments. Hue tights.

MORGAN CARPER

Bio: Nebraska native Carper, who studied textile design at the University of Kansas, spent three years working for bridal designer Monica Byrne. When Byrne closed her brand in 2008 to work in-house at Vera Wang, Carper began freelance styling for “very unglamorous jobs,” she says. “I did mainly television commercials — Advil and Firestone tires.”

Collection: Despite her experience in bridal and eveningwear, Carper has her sights set on the contemporary market. “I’m a casual dresser,” she says. “I want the line to reflect my lifestyle.” Hers is a life filled with wanderlust, so each collection is influenced by a different part of the world she’s visited — Mongolia for her fall 2010 debut, Latin America for spring 2011 and Turkey for fall 2011. An abstract print on easy shirts and dresses, for instance, is “a nod to the decaying marble and stone I found in the mosques,” she says.

Stats: Wholesales from $138 to $255; sold at Eva and Condor in New York and Traffic in L.A.

P.S.: Before she launched her line, Carper taught in-home cooking lessons in Brooklyn.

Here: Morgan Carper’s polyester shirt and wool pants. Stuart Weitzman shoes.

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