Thanks to the star-studded seating charts and seemingly endless flowing champagne towers, it may seem like fashion week is one big party (and you’re not completely wrong). However, amidst the buzz of it all, it can be easy to forget the very reason these weeks exist: The collections, of course.
Participating in fashion week is far from a simple feat for the designers on the roster—earning a coveted time slot on the schedule takes years of work and countless investment dollars. That makes it all the more exciting each time a new voice breaks through with innovative designs that bring the industry—and the fashion community at large—together.
The list ahead encompasses designers from New York City to Milan whose creative eye, knack for innovation, and forward-thinking views on the art of dressing have made them top labels to watch during the Fall/Winter 2023 season. You’ll find brands like Tanner Fletcher and Andreādamo, who’ve made strides in the development of genderless fashion, Ester Manas, whose ethos celebrates “every woman in every shape,” and Ukrainian label Anna October, which has leaned into the power of creative healing after hardship.
Ahead, see 10 of our favorite emerging designers that we're excited to see thrive this season. Don’t forget to follow along on social media, note what you'd love to add to cart, and take each show as inspiration for having fun with your style throughout this season and beyond.
Puppets and Puppets
At the cornerstone of art and fashion lies New York-based Puppets and Puppets. Founder and creative director Carly Mark launched her career in the art world before transitioning into fashion to establish her label in 2019. “I love making things that live somewhere between wearable and left of center,” she shares on curating her unique design ethos. The brand's current hero products are the bags you see above, which are unforgettable thanks to their 3D snack designs, but the entire ready-to-wear line is just as creative and fun.
What to expect from the label in 2023? “This year, the brand will be spreading its wings internationally, moving into various stores around the world,” Mark says. “I'm very excited to grow the Puppets community this year.”
Founded in 2019 by Ester Manas and Balthazar Delepierre, Ester Manas is a champion of sustainability and size inclusivity within the fashion industry. The Brussels-based brand prides itself on “celebrating every woman and all shapes” through silhouettes that empower and turn heads with confidence-boosting details. The design duo has been recognized by prestigious organizations like LVMH and ANDAM, and the label retails with forward-thinking destinations like Ssense and The Webster.
Alice Vaillant launched her eponymous brand in 2020, after working at the iconic ateliers of Jean-Paul Gaultier and Nina Ricci. At only 27 years old, the artistic director has dressed the likes of Rihanna, Rita Ora, and Camille Razat, and the brand is stocked at coveted shopping destinations like Ssense and Printemps. Vaillant's design ethos taps into her classical dance training at the Paris Opera Ballet School to create collections that embody movement, power, and femininity.
Healing after hardship, Ukrainian designer Anna October uses her namesake label to create pieces that accentuate the inner and outer beauty of her community. “I strive to design pieces that will be loved, and I want women to feel comfortable and better in my clothes,” she shares. “It's my firm belief that the woman's body wears the dress, not the other way around. That's why I continue to create sophisticated silhouettes, which emphasize the beauty and delicacy of female shapes.”
Currently, you can shop Anna October in sweet shades of baby blue, lilac, and sage green in delicately detailed, sweeping silhouettes. Expect to discover what’s next for the brand in 2023 soon.
Dynamism is at the foundation of Act N°1. The idea of a “patchwork” of creativity reigns true in everything from their inspiration to the garments themselves. Design duo Galib Gassanoff and Luca Lin tap their multicultural backgrounds to create innovative collections featuring their signature “hybrid” items—think a skirt attached to pants or a dress-jacket—and landscape prints in tribute to global inspirations from Azerbaijan to China and Italy.
Fashion shouldn’t be strictly formulaic if Tanner Richie and Fletcher Kasell have anything to say about it. With their New York-based label Tanner Fletcher, the design duo taps into the sweetness of nostalgia to create a genderless label that simultaneously looks forward and peers into the past. "Our design ethos is all about creating an inclusive world that transcends labels,” the duo says. “We come at it from a place of emotion, how our designs make us feel, and how they make others feel. This is why nostalgia is such an important part of Tanner Fletcher.”
Designed to make you feel empowered and unapologetically yourself, Andrea Adamo’s Italy-based label of genderless clothing focuses on form-fitting knitwear and leans into a lack of color as a symbol of equality. Adamo called upon his experiences in ateliers like Zuhair Murad and Elisabetta Franchi to transform his knowledge into free-flowing creativity for Andreādamo during the 2020 lockdowns. The brand is now available in legacy retailers like LuisaViaRoma and Harvey Nichols.
In tribute to her Milwaukee, Wisconsin roots, Elena Velez celebrates the artisanal heritage of the American Midwest through metalwork and connects it back to the classical softness of fashion. Her design ethos channels tactile sensibility and utility in a way that feels modern and wearable. Since establishing her brand in 2020, Velez’s fresh perspective has evolved to become an industry mainstay and is available at coveted retailers like Ssense and directly on the brand’s website.
Founded by industry tastemaker Christian Juul Nielsen, Aknvas focuses on thoughtful, well-designed, and undoubtedly innovative daywear. The genderless label is the epitome of desk-to-dinner sensibility—making it a no-brainer that it's become a New York industry favorite. "When designing, I take into consideration my Danish upbringing, my time working in the couture houses in Paris, and my current life in New York,” Nielsen tells Byrdie. "For my upcoming fall collection, I imagine a fantasy of what New York royalty would look like.”
While she founded her eponymous label in 2017, Supriya Lele was an LVMH finalist in 2020 and has since catapulted to the center of the industry, even though the competition was cut short due to the pandemic. The British-Indian designer calls upon her heritage to formulate the design ethos of her namesake label by reconceptualizing her background in a contemporary way through garments that embrace the female form and empower her community.