If you’re interested in building out your wardrobe this year, consider investing in some emerging brands. Though they may not have the size or reach of larger companies or heritage brands, they often offer interesting points of view and top-tier constructions. Your dollars will have a great impact on the future of that brand than, say, a publically traded company that has its shareholders to answer to.
Numerous independent retailers stock fledgling brands alongside old standards and are a great resource for staying privy to up-and-coming designers. But if you’re looking for a cheat-sheet to get you started, we rounded up five emerging brands worth keeping an eye on.
Tokyo-based Christopher Hancy founded Beaugan in 2017. The Australian national draws upon his education at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and traditional Japanese techniques like dorozome (a type of mud dyeing) to create a range of elevated “normal” clothing. Garments include lightweight jackets made from handwoven cotton, breezy natural-dyed button ups and handwoven jeans dyed with gunpowder. Check out the brand’s site for more information and shop a few select pieces at Pancho and Lefty.
Dr. Collectors has been flying under the radar for much of the last decade, but seems to be hitting its stride in recent seasons. The brand, which is stocked at Trading Post L.A., is designed by Frenchman Olivier Grasset. Though the brand’s Califoria-made collections initally blended French and American workwear, recent years see the brand in a more exploratory phase — think of it like a Southern California’s answer to Kapital. Indigo-dyed handpainted tees and dropcrotch drawstring trousers complement remade Hawaiian shirts pieced together from multiple vintage Aloha styles.
Alex Mill, the brand headed by the son of former J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler, was initially founded in 2013. Not surprisingly, the small label put out refined wardrobe basics, the kind of tasteful button-ups that placed extra emphasis on great fits and fabrics. But after some recent shake-ups at J.Crew, Alex Mill is also getting a revamp and relaunch with help from Drexler Ventures and former J.Crew chief design officer Somsack Sikhounmuong. The brand now offers both men’s and women’s wardrobe essentials at a very accessible price point. For the family Drexler, this seems very familiar, but as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke…”
Siblings Nicolò and Carlotta Oddi founded Alanui in 2016 with a collection built around one item: a buttonless, unisex, oversized, jacquard-cashmere cardigan. While other luxury cashmere brands like The Elder Statesman and Brunello Cucinelli showcase the incredibly soft fiber in a range of traditional knits designs, Alanui opts for a jacquard technique that showcases different patterns and designs. The brand uses between four and seven yarns to create each cardigan. It takes between five and seven hours to knit each one and another six for it to be assembled.
Though L.A.-retailer General Admission has had a line of clothing for a few years, it recently stepped things up a notch by handing the creative reins to Kyle Ng, the designer behind the wildly popular streetwear brand Brain Dead. The brand released the updated collection in late May 2018 and has continued to drop a range of seasonal garments in the following months. The casual pants and shirts are made in L.A. from American and Japanese fabrics — best of all, they’re very fairly priced and won’t break the bank.
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