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In partnership with AXE, we headed down to the Big Apple’s Chelsea neighborhood to check out the talent on offer at New York Fashion Week through the AXE White Label Collective. A mentorship program that aims to give budding designers a first break into the industry, giving them the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase their wares in the city’s fashion week, alongside invaluable advice courtesy of Esquire Fashion Director Nick Sullivan, legendary menswear designer Billy Reid and ever-stylish pop artist John Legend.

Occurring at the height of New York Fashion Week, the atmosphere was buzzing. Celebrities, lifestyle media and style influencers were on hand to experience the collections and network with the designers at the packed event – with a notable appearance from none other than street style maven and bonafide menswear expert Nick Wooster.

Whipping Post offered up a selection of veg-tanned leather accessories, lovingly handcrafted in Ryan Barr’s Atlanta workshop and presented in various weathered, aged finishes.

At the other end of the sartorial spectrum, EYSOM showed a series of practical-yet-stylish athleticwear, which was conceptualized after LA-based designer Stanley Cheung became frustrated with the lack of stylish workout clothing on offer.

Similarly, 1K revealed a line of minimalist headwear created as designer Kristopher Haigh couldn’t find anything he liked on the market. A spartan color palette was used across a variety of caps adorned with various abstract shapes and motifs, with innovative details like draw cord enclosures utilized on select models.

Oberima Afriyie showcased a menswear aesthetic that took inspiration from Japanese culture, with rugged, rustic fabrics used across an array of pieces that played heavily with detailing and silhouettes.

Finally, ATELIERSAVAS revealed a series of bespoke leather jackets for both men and women, that sported details like leopard print collars and artisanal, premium fabrications.

It was clear from our experience with the presentation’s designers that AXE White Label Collective’s mentorship has been invaluable to them. Fashion is a notoriously difficult industry to break into, and these young talents – who no doubt made the most of their access to industry insiders – certainly have a bright future ahead of them.
Words by Alec Leach
Digital Fashion Editor

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin, where he leads Highsnobiety's digital fashion content.

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