The Highsnobiety inboxes are inundated on a daily basis with new brands vying for a piece of the spotlight. So, to help you show off your vast knowledge of obscure fashion labels, each month we take a moment to introduce you to a fresh batch of upcoming talent.
Below you’ll find some of the best collections to land in our inbox this month, from a Nigerian-American designer who brings a research-intensive, theory-laden approach to fashion to a young Polish label that revels in artsy-excess. Get to know these brands before they’re massive.
From: Los Angeles, CA
In a Nutshell: Reva Ochuba, the designer behind Ifeoma, cut her teeth as a studio assistant at conceptual fashion label Eckhaus Latta and as an editorial assistant at Berlin-based culture tome 032c. So, it’s no wonder Ochuba describes her own fashion practice as more word-based than image-based.
The polymathic designer’s SS17 collection is a research-intensive and romanticized alchemy of historical influences and contemporary connections, in which the medieval and digital ages collide.
Decadent materials are reworked into smart, seductive and achingly dramatic silhouettes, all in an effort to recall the Medieval age’s sartorial censorship of peasant’s attire (they were banned from wearing velvet) while also addressing un-relatability that’s so prominent in social media today. Somehow, this unlikely synthesis works.
Key Pieces: The Beige corduroy pants, the crisp white pouf-sleeve blouse, a semi-sheer pajama set, and the sheer woolen sweater are all divine.
From: Los Angeles, CA
In a Nutshell: Alyasha Owerka-Moore is an OG in street culture. He’s the man who worked with Russell Simons on his Phat Farm label and then went on to found Alphanumeric, adding a hip-hop edge to skatewear before Pharrell was wearing Shorty’s Skateboards tees in music videos.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that his cousin is legendary street thrasher, Kareem Campbell. With Thee Teen-Aged, Owerka-Moore taps Z-Boy-turned-denim-guru George Wilson on hard-wearing selvedge jeans, classic button-down shirts, and graphic tees with a rockabilly appeal. Taking the Americana wave and adding a bit of youthful rebellion, it’s sort of like a stateside take on Japanese cult label Wacko Maria.
Key Pieces: The Junior Wells flannel shirts feature cat-eye buttons and a contrasting leopard print liner, and the Mr Wilson tapered-leg jeans are made from North Carolina’s Cone Mills denim and will age well with wear.
Drag & Drop
From: Kiev, Ukraine
In a Nutshell: Womenswear brand Drag and Drop is run by two sisters called Anna and Yulia Grazhdan with totally antithetical aesthetics but somehow a polarizing synthesis of different ideas works in their label’s favor. The Kiev-based brand has courted industry attention for a haphazard approach to classic elements of luxury like lace, velvet, and gemstones. It all gets some off-kilter treatment with sumptuous yet strong sportswear silhouettes.
Key Pieces: Sports bras are teamed with lace bodices, oversized white coats with T-shirt dresses: it’s a patchwork of atypical “girliness” and the sporty style of Kiev’s creative underground.
From: Los Angeles, CA
In a Nutshell: This LA-based brand is peddling all the usual streetwear staples like hoodies and T-shirts with their own unique graphic spin. From Virgin Mary-embroidered wares to Edward Scissorhands emblazoned tees, Afterlife is a pop-cultural smorgasbord of zeitgeist-y references.
Key Pieces: The River Jude Phoenix tribute T-shirt is standout.
From: Paris, France
In a Nutshell: This menswear label is committed to capturing the irreverence of contemporary youth culture and its timeless sartorial codes. Designed by Benjamin Brouillet, the label defies the notion that boys must grow up, offering a robust collection of streetwear staples featuring ‘90s-inspired sporty touches like bungee cord drawstrings and mesh vents from the designer’s own youth.
Key Pieces: It’s the intelligent details like detachable sleeves that set this brand apart from the rising pack of streetwear labels.
From: Santiago, Chile
In a Nutshell: This Chilean brand helmed by two friends Leo and Pablo takes its inspiration from their hometown of Puente Alto and its mishmash of corruption, crimes, skaters, hip hop and graffiti artists, punks and skinheads, and South-American opulence.
Key Pieces: Those subtly illustrated polo-shirts with some sheeny, shiny details are unexpected in the best way possible.
From: Poznan, Poland
In a Nutshell: This young ready-to-wear brand is the work of Central Saint Martins graduate Krzysztof Strozyna, and it’s an aesthetic commitment to the art of kitschy-excess. Since graduating the famed fashion school, the designer has returned to Poland after taking part in the British Fashion Council’s New Gen scheme. The latest collection takes reference from American pop-culture, with a strong focus on everyday essentials like leather jackets and denim.
Key Pieces: The studded denim number and those ice-white bell trousers are delicious.
I AND ME
From: London, UK
In a Nutshell: This London-based lifestyle brand is reimagining the possibilities of the wardrobe staple. With a strong focus on denim, I AND ME dismisses trend culture for a focus on the understanding a broader cultural zeitgeist. The result is a stripped-back approach to fashion that fuses timeless shapes, form, function as well as the utilitarianism of denim we all know and love.
Key Pieces: The Cropped denim cargo pants are gloriously simple instead of overworked, and the denim vests are a statement addition.
From: Milan, Italy
In a Nutshell: This Italian streetwear brand is all about the playful graphics. With its tongue-in-cheek name, there’s angsty vibe to this selection of oversized, comfy staples like ice-white hoodies, cropped bomber jackets, and long-sleeve T-shirts.
Key Pieces: The graffiti-inspired bubble-gum pink logo emblazoned white T-shirt is a strong look.
From: Stockholm, Sweden
In a Nutshell: This young Swedish brand is only three seasons in, but it already counts legendary Japanese retailer BEAMS among its stockists. The latest collection is an urban-inspired, contemporary renewal of the eccentric nomad of the ‘70s and this progressive vision comes to life with a selection of expertly modern looks that ooze confidence.
Key Pieces: The velvet T-shirt with contrast ribs and the ribbed fitted mock neck T-shirt offer a hint of opulent excess, while remain resolutely easy staples to co-opt into your existing wardrobe.
Now you’re clued-up on fashion’s new guard, check out the world’s most hyped trackpants.
- Main Image: Ash Alexander