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Another day, another designer. WWD has sifted through the masses, plucking out these seven under-the-radar brands that you should know. For six more designers to watch, see Thursday’s WWD.

This story first appeared in the May 16, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

MAKI OH

Designer: Maki Oh, 26; based in Lagos, Nigeria.

Launch: Fall 2011.

Background: Arts University College of Bournemouth, England.

Wholesale prices: $200 for a silk vest to $1,000 for a silk velvet dress.

Retailers: Maryam Nassir Zadeh, New York.

Brand philosophy: The latest collection was inspired by Jacques Tati’s 1967 film “Play Time,” but there’s always Nigerian influences, such as a fish motif that relates to a Nigerian proverb that means to reap what you sow. Oh describes her collection as “strict, luxurious and powerful, with an element of the blithe.”

— Jessica Iredale

NEXT: Morrissey >>

MORRISSEY

Designer: JR Morrissey, 46; based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Fashion CV: Marist College, Pough-keepsie, N.Y.; designed for Randolph Duke; former owner of Womyn and JR Morrissey Trouser labels, both of which he has since sold.

Launch: Quietly for resort 2011; fall is the label’s full introduction.

Wholesale prices: $28 for T-shirts mixed with silk and leather to $225 for a silk-lined Ponte jacket with lamb leather collar.

Retailers: Joan Shepp and Knit Wit in Philadelphia; Rexer-Parks in Huntington, N.Y., Filly & Colt in Boca Raton, Fla.

Brand philosophy: “Tailored with workmanship that is more artisanal; it’s an understated cool in that the colors aren’t loud and splashy, and the prints are more subdued.”

— Marc Karimzadeh

NEXT: Novis >>

NOVIS

Designer: Jordana Warmflash, 27; based in New York.

Fashion CV: Washington University in St. Louis, College of Art, St. Louis; interned at Zac Posen and Peter Som; design positions at Jay Godfrey and Alice + Olivia.

Launch: Fall

Wholesale prices: $324 for a pleated metallic wrap cover-up to $868 for a backless silk crepe gown with godet detail.

Retailers: American Two Shot in New York, TenOverSix in Los Angeles.

Brand philosophy: “I love combining classic silhouettes with an unexpected bright color, texture or detail.”

M.K.

NEXT: René Storck >>

RENE STORCK

Designer: René Storck, 43; based in Frankfurt, with his design studio in Paris.

Fashion CV: Self-taught, with a tailoring apprenticeship at Alice-Eleonoren-Schule, Darmstadt.

Launch: Spring 2010; fall is the first season in the U.S.

Wholesale prices: $195 for a cotton blouse to $1,800 for a double-face cashmere coat.

Retailers: Chalk in Evanston, Ill., Lulu Brandt in Pasadena, Calif.

Brand philosophy: “The dialogue between minimalism and opulence interests me. Minimalism can discipline opulence, and opulence can enrich the minimalist designs, and this produces an exciting language.”

M.K.

NEXT: Currer Bell >>

CURRER BELL

Designers: Nancy Parker, 36, left, based in London, and Geren Lockhart, 39, based in Los Angeles.

Fashion CV: Parker, who attended Nottingham Trent University, is the founder and creative director of London-based textile studio Nancy Parker Studio Ltd. Lockhart, who studied at Parsons The New School for Design, is the creative director and founder of contemporary line Geren Ford.

Launch: Fall

Wholesale prices: $85 to $110 for airy silk tops and $130 to $200 for silk shift and maxidresses.

Retailers: Scoop NYC; Steven Alan, New York; Thistle & Clover, Brooklyn, N.Y.; La Totalite, Japan.

Design philosophy: “We have paired together timeless prints with seasonless separates to create a contemporary label for a creative and independent woman with a certain joie de vivre,” says Parker. “The aesthetic is very much about the blend of casual with sophistication.”

J.I.

 

NEXT: Furio >>

FURIO

Designer: Catherine Furio, 26; based in Los Angeles.

Fashion CV: Rhode Island School of Design, Providence.

Launch: In 2009, but put on hold after fall 2011 collection so Furio could devote time to missionary work in Cambodia. The line is now relaunching for fall 2012.

Wholesale prices: $165 for a linen bib collar to $1,850 for a Cambodian raw silk and brushed leather skirt.

Brand philosophy: “I am very much about the craft of an artist, and intelligent design. It’s modern with futuristic silhouettes infused with a tribal aesthetic.”

M.K.

NEXT: Avelon >>

AVELON

Designer: Erik Frenken, 36; based in Amsterdam.

Fashion CV: Royal Academy of Art, The Hague and Central Saint Martins; stint in the design department at Alberta Ferretti followed by head of design for women’s wear at Viktor & Rolf.

Launch: In 2008 as a division of the now-defunct denim company Blue Blood; Frenken gained creative control under spring 2011 relaunch.

Wholesale prices: $42 for a cotton T-shirt to $478 for a fox-fur vest.

Retailers: 100-plus stores worldwide, including Opening Ceremony and Harvey Nichols.

Brand philosophy: “I like to place things out of context, like to take a very luxurious fabric and stonewash it; seeing things differently than the way your eye is trained to see it.”

Taylor Harris

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