FIVE EMERGING DESIGNERS ON WHAT THEY’VE LEARNED & THE MARK THEY WANT TO LEAVE

Looking to carve out a distinct place for their visions within the fashion landscape, a highly ambitious and motivated set of up and coming designers is regularly flooding the industry with their ideas and designs. To truly stand out from the crowd, however, you don’t just need the passion, but also the authenticity and thought through brand story to back it up. Because as many young designers continuously enter the industry, not few of them equally quickly have to face the sometimes drowning tasks of production, cohesiveness, and the demand of constant creativity. Nonetheless chasing their dreams, and combining them with an integral social layer, we spoke to five promising emerging talents on how they are facing these challenges, the things they’ve learned – and the ones they are still looking to change.

Hardeman

What is the story behind your latest collection?
Hardeman deconstructs normality, thereby creating a refined shape of “the common”, breaking down social constructions and reflecting or commenting on what we appropriate as “normal”.
Thereby inverting themes that deal with common culture, opening up barriers which define barriers between “high” versus “low” culture. Think cowboys, prom queens, motorcycle daddies, and anything that deals with appropriation and identity. Denim has gone through a lot of revolutions proudly presenting itself as a symbol of freedom, Hardeman hopes to awake a new generation of liberation through denim these days.

When designing who is the person you have in mind?
Instead of personifying the ideal “Hardeman”, the label wants to open doors to a more open social environment which celebrates the individual. Hardeman rows with non gender specific and leaves to the people how they want to wear and be dressed. While the fashion industry often accommodates a “capitalistic” vision whereby a low self esteem is served and soluted by high expense product. Hardeman celebrates the individuals as they come and they are.

What has been the most challenging thing when starting your own brand?
A big part of fashion industry still commutes on values created by commerce. Money is pumped into what brings money. Instead of creating pieces that create economic profit the great appreciation should lie into artists who are presenting radical new visions, ideas, demonizing the spell of political powers and offering solution, through compelling beauty standards. As a young label this is definitely the most challenging and unrespected part of the fashion industry. Which we definitely want to resist and re-approach!

What is the most important thing you have learned about fashion and yourself since then?
The world is at your hand. Don’t let yourself be redefined by rules and regulations. Quench thirst with radical new visions, send fashion off the catwalk and back into society. Believe in the power to do so, as a designer you have a voice. Put it to use, you are privileged. Turn discomfort into fun and persistance into power. Let people reconnect through clothing thereby losing the “importance” of fashion.

IRENE SJ YU 

What is the story behind your latest collection?
For Spring/Summer 2018, I tried to fuse office wear with fun holiday silhouettes as I find the relationship between clothing and occasion interesting, like how people dress to certain events. By mixing the fabrics and shapes that represent different occasions, I aim to re-define the boundaries between these ideas.

How much is it a reflection of your current life and surroundings?
I think there is definitely a certain level of reflection of my mood and everyday life towards the designs whether consciously or unconsciously. It could sometimes be an escape from reality as well.

When designing, who is the person you have in mind?
It depends, for now it is an imaginative women who is cool but sweet and enjoys wearing all things pink and animal print.

What has been the most challenging thing when starting your own brand?
To develop and create the collection in limited time!

What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself, fashion, or the industry since then?

To have a business plan. Be brave and open to collaborations and opportunities. Always look back on what you created, to constantly find what is working and what is not.

What is the mark you’re looking to leave with your brand?
An inspiring, empowering yet fun label that brings romance to real life.

Ignacia Zordan

What is the story behind your latest collection?
The story behind my SS18 collection is the coming of the end of the world caused by the destruction of nature. The wardrobe I created is a uniform for an army of female warriors.

How much is it a reflection of your current life and surroundings?
It is 100% according to my perception of reality.

When designing, who is the person you have in mind?
Female soldiers of the future, someone between Sigourney Weaver in Alien and Bad Gyal.

What has been the most challenging thing when starting your own brand?
Coming from an artistic background, the hardest thing has been finding a balance between pure creativity and the business of fashion.

What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself, fashion, or the industry since then?
Personally, I’ve learned to believe and trust in myself, to communicate better and to delegate responsibility with confidence. In fashion, I realised that many other young designers go through the same struggles I have faced so far. The industry has taught me to deal better with frustration, stress and to be resourceful.

What is the mark you’re looking to leave with your brand?
BE FREE

Julia Seemann

What is the story behind your latest collection?
The Spring/Summer 18’ collection is dedicated to the youth movements in Zurich that stood up for alternative cultural rights in the 1980s and 1990s. About forty years ago, in Zurich, there was no place for underground music subcultures. In 1980, in the late punk era, people went on the street and started the „Züri brännt“ (Zurich is burning) movement, which resulted in the fact that places for alternative culture opened in cities all over Switzerland. But still, however, in the early 1990s regulations for alternative club culture haven’t changed that much. In 1992, about one thousand ravers came together for the first „Streetparade“ in Zurich, a demonstration for love, peace, freedom, liberality, and tolerance. Thanks to the power of these generations things have changed rapidly these days. These significant movements and decades are the main inspiration for the screen print graphics as well as the feel of the collection.

How much is it a reflection of your current life and surroundings?
My collections are always inspired and influenced by the things that interest and inspire me personally like music, art, youth- and subcultures, but also our society and current political movements. Nowadays, there is a generation growing up that is engaged with lifestyle and self-expression through social media and the internet. But there hasn’t evolved something as socially significant as punk and rave culture for decades. So for me, the collection is a reflection of what impresses me about older generations and what I somehow miss or can’t really feel in our generation so far.

What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself, fashion, or the industry since then?
I’ve learned that building up a fashion brand is mainly teamwork. To work with the right people and to trust each other is essential for building up a successful business. I’m very happy to have my partner Flavio at my side who supports me in all aspects, from the creative part to the business side etc.

Maison The Faux

What is the story behind your latest collection?
It a continuation of the concept from our Amsterdam Fashion Week show which is about the creation of a new world and evolution of new humankind: FAUXmosapien.
It is very cult-like and was inspired by Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick. We have set up a performance during the show, sort of ritual in which the models were baptised into Fauxmosapien creatures.

How much is it a reflection of your current life and surroundings?
The concept was an ironic comment on consumerism – quite present in our everyday life and fashion industry. Our current world promotes an unhealthy relationship with objects as we are constantly told to buy and possess more and more. It is turning into obsession which can resemble religion. The collection talks about our extreme preoccupation with objects and presents an apocalyptic vision of how easily manipulated people can be.

When designing, who is the person you have in mind?
We produce humanwear – clothes for people not scared to be whoever they want to be. We do not contribute to formed gender roles and comply to social boundaries

What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself, fashion, or the industry since then?
Not to be afraid to try things out and that collaborations are key – they bring refreshment to every project.

What is the mark you’re looking to leave with your brand?
We want to show that fashion does not have to be too serious! Fashion should be a place of experiment and investigation. For us it is a place of creation and freedom.

 Photography by Tom Dulou

Casting & Production: 20YRS

All images were shot at the Heavy London Showroom during Paris Fashion Week

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