This story first appeared in the November 26, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
DESIGNER: Aedan Macdonald
BACKGROUND: Macdonald, a former carpenter at a high-end custom furniture shop in San Francisco, moved to Los Angeles to open a designer boutique called Foundry in 2012. After designing a capsule collection to be sold in the store, he realized his true passion was design and refocused his career.
CONCEPT: Los Angeles-based contemporary line with a techy, Space-Age feel; the spring collection features a collaboration with multimedia artist Pilar Zeta.
LAUNCHED: 2014 for spring 2015.
VISION: “It’s really special everyday wear,” Macdonald said. “We’re working with basic silhouettes for something wearable, but with our holographic leathers and digital prints, they’re still statement pieces.”
PRICE RANGE: $90-$800
POINTS OF SALE: Exclusively at NastyGal.com this spring.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram: @holographicunvrs
MODELS: SHELBY/MUSE, GISELE/ONE, RIA/SILENT; HAIR: CLAY NIELSEN/OPUS BEAUTY; MAKEUP: CHEYENNE USING CHANEL COSMETICS/ARTMIX CREATIVE; FASHION ASSISTANT: MILTON DIXON
TEAM: Alex Gilbert and Jennifer Noyes
BACKGROUND: Gilbert, a third-generation denim maker, founded Paper Denim & Cloth in 1999. She met Noyes, who started her career in sales at Prada USA, while Noyes was working at Hatch Showroom.
CONCEPT: New York-based women’s line of classic, minimalist sportswear with nods to men’s wear tailoring and American sportswear pioneers Bonnie Cashin and early Calvin Klein.
LAUNCHED: December 2014 for pre-fall 2015
VISION: “Utility and style [were] at the root of American sportswear when it launched — like, say, an evening gown with pockets,” Gilbert said. “M. Martin is about that day-to-night ease. It’s laid-back luxury for confident, strong women like ourselves [who] have multipurpose lives and still want to feel chic and pulled together.”
PRICE RANGE: $195-$1,500
POINTS OF SALE: None yet.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram: @mmartin_official
DESIGNER: Lisa Folawiyo
BACKGROUND: With a law degree and no formal design training, Folawiyo began designing clothes at home after taking time off from working at a law firm.
CONCEPT: Lagos, Nigeria-based collection of modern silhouettes with nods to traditional African aesthetics and fabrics.
LAUNCHED: 2005 as Jewel by Lisa; re-branding for spring 2015.
VISION: “To create beautiful, modern pieces for global women across the world,” said Folawiyo. “This vision has always been fueled by the need to transform and redefine the idea of African fashion.”
PRICE RANGE: $450-$1,500
POINTS OF SALE: ModaOperandi.com and ShopBazaar.com for spring.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter and Instagram: @lisafolawiyo
TEAM: Anne Deane, president and founder; Jacob Park, creative director; Sinéad Lawlor, design director; Giselle Ghofrani, director of design development and production
BACKGROUNDS: Following her graduation from Duke University, Deane entered the finance world, but ditched it to pursue a career in fashion. She tapped her friend Park, a stylist, to help develop the brand. Together, they appointed the design team: Lawlor formerly designed at Diane von Furstenberg, while Ghofrani held design roles at Vera Wang and Marchesa.
CONCEPT: New York-based advanced contemporary women’s wear featuring luxe, ethically sourced fabrics and alpaca knitwear.
LAUNCHED: Fall 2014
VISION: “We never want Öhlin/D to be about severity,” said Park. “It is fun, fresh and easy. The collection is less about identifying trends and more about finding a second skin.”
PRICE RANGE: $200-$800
POINTS OF SALE: Ohlin-d.com
SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter and Instagram: @ohlinofficial
DESIGNER: Sayaka Tokimoto Davis
BACKGROUND: Tokimoto Davis grew up in Japan, where she attended Bunka Fashion College, graduating in 2004. She worked locally as a knitwear designer for five years before moving to New York in 2009, when she joined United Bamboo.
CONCEPT: New York-based contemporary collection featuring modern, minimalist silhouettes, bold colors and asymmetric cuts.
LAUNCHED: 2012 for fall 2013
VISION: “My core elements are something organic contrasted with the unusual,” Tokimoto Davis said. “A lot of it comes from my roots, the Japanese aesthetic.”
PRICE RANGE: $295-$1,000
POINTS OF SALE: La Garçonne, Assembly New York, Mill Mercantile, Jumelle, Weinstein’s and Kick Pleat in the U.S. and United Arrows in Japan.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram: @sayakadavis
— JESSICA IREDALE
DESIGNER: Sara Hankin
BACKGROUND: After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in fashion design, Hankin held women’s design roles at J. Crew and Ralph Lauren.
CONCEPT: New York-based contemporary women’s line marked by a refined ease, clean silhouettes and subtle detailing.
LAUNCHED: Fall 2014
VISION: “I’m focused on creating pieces that are progressive yet timeless, forming a wardrobe of elevated essentials that express an effortless modernity,” Hankin said.
PRICE RANGE: $195-$995
POINTS OF SALE: Currently: Darling. For spring: Brooklyn Fox and Tosianyc.com.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter: @tosianyc; Instagram: @tosia_nyc
COOPER & ELLA
DESIGNER: Kara Mendelsohn
BACKGROUND: With a dual degree in psychology and art history from Lafayette College, Mendelsohn moved to New York to pursue fashion and held top sales and merchandising roles at Calvin Klein Collection, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Thakoon and Michael Kors.
CONCEPT: New York-based line of colorful, accessibly priced tops and dresses named after Mendelsohn’s two children, featuring original prints. In partnership with The Hope Foundation School in Bangalore, India, one hot, nutritious meal is provided to a child in need with every item sold.
LAUNCHED: February 2013
VISION: “Because I was targeting top-tier department stores, I knew that the product had to be elevated in design,” Mendelsohn said. “My customer is looking for something sophisticated, but the price point is what makes it accessible. And I don’t skimp on quality by giving that to her.”
PRICE RANGE: Tops, $88-$150; dresses, launching for spring, $225-$240.
POINTS OF SALE: Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Cusp by Neiman Marcus, Scoop, Harvey Nichols and Shopbop.com.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter and Instagram: @cooperandella
DESIGNER: Katherine Feiner
BACKGROUND: Feiner studied couture and textiles at the London College of Fashion and held design internships at Vera Wang, Preen and Jill Stuart before landing a merchandising job at Burberry.
CONCEPT: New York-based contemporary collection of feminine silhouettes in flowing fabrics with colorful prints developed in-house.
LAUNCHED: 2012, then relaunched as contemporary in 2013.
VISION: “We’re making these clothes for a feminine, classic woman,” Feiner said. “It’s about the places we go, where we want to go and how we want to feel. The whole thing was about my mood and who I wanted to be and how I wanted to look. It’s about making memories — really living in your clothes.”
PRICE RANGE: $130-$465
POINTS OF SALE: Neiman Marcus and Katherinefeiner.com
SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter and Instagram: @katherinefeiner
HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE: LACAR EAR CUFF, FALLON EARRING; M. MARTIN: STACY ADAMS SHOES; LISA FOLAWIYO: MALONE SOULIERS SHOES; SAKAYA DAVIS: STACY ADAMS SHOES; OHLIN/D: ROBERT CLERGERIE SHOES, GEORGE FROST NECKLACE