What does it take for a fledgling designer to cross the threshold of relative anonymity to become a household name? An established retailer’s eye is still a good bet for steady growth, but in 2018, social media, collaborations and pop-up experiments are just as important as traditional wholesale exposure.
FN’s editors scoured the globe to find this year’s crop of emerging talent. Some designers, like Carrie Forbes, Sabah’s Mickey Ashmore and Suzanne Rae have been established for a handful of years but are seeing more traction and expansion of their brands in 2018. There are also plenty of others that have launched brands this year, including Antolina’s Mariela Schwarz Montiel, Taro Ishida and Dahlia Selva’s Danilo Giordano and Stephanie Roy-Heckl. And new markets are beginning to merge with the U.S. — namely, that of South Korea, with Sunyuul Yie of Yuul Yie, Rejina Pyo, and Rei Hongmi Yoon of Reike Nen all making the list.
Now more than ever, for both emerging talent and established designers, social media presence plays a big role in brand building, and even retail buyers are using platforms like Instagram to find new designers and brands to carry — proving that discovery can be a long-term benefit of social media.
It’s the tactic that FN’s cover star Mike Amiri has used. After launching his brand in 2014 in a basement studio on Sunset Boulevard, the Los Angeles native began to post his creations on Instagram, eventually catching the attention of the men’s buyer at Barneys New York. The brand is now one of the retailer’s largest accounts.
Click through to see the full list of FN’s 2018 Emerging Talent.
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