Suzy Menkes, fashion journalist for the International Herald Tribune, penned an article called, “Who’s the Next Big Thing…No One!” This article spoke on the ending of a designer century with the likes of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan, etc., and the corporate pressures and fast fashion that new talents will find problematic in building their own businesses and making their own mark in the fashion industry.
But could Suzy Menkes be right? Ms. Menkes, mentions in her October 6, 2006 article in the International Herald Tribune that with regards to “the current state of the industry and a cultural state of mind makes it virtually impossible for any new designer to brand-build in the way that the 1980s seedlings flowered into mighty trees”. One could completely agree with Suzy Menkes viewpoint with the success of retailers providing trendy fashions for lower
cost (i.e. Topshop, Zara, Urban Outfitters, etc) and the band-wagon adoption of luxury designers designing for low cost retailers (i.e. Target – Behnaz Sarafpour, Gap- Roland Mouret, H&M – Victor & Rolf, etc.). Although, such success is a benefit for the retail industry, unfortunately it gives graduates coming out of such schools as Central Saint Martins, Parsons, FIT, FIDM, etc., or the independent ‘who’s who’ such as the Rebecca Taylor, Bruno Pieters, Elena Makashova ,etc. almost a false hope of
succeeding in this industry if they have to compromise their passion for creating what they believe is aesthetically pleasing fashion-wise, in order to compete with the fashion industry’s new obsession for quantity over quality.
However, in the changing attitude of the fashion industry the question that is still being pondered is: Who Is the Next BIG Designer? While reading and analyzing Suzy Menkes’ article, I will admit to maybe coming to the conclusion that she could be right in thinking this way. However, in being the natural born optimist that I am, the fact that there is no ‘Next Big Designer’ just didn’t sit well with me, especially with the overload of talent that is being discovered. Therefore, I did decide to do my own journalistic research on the names, not name, but names to keep your eye on for 2007.
In researching for these talents of tomorrow, an average spectator of fashion would expect me to use those honored from the CFDA as a resource in finding who the next big star of fashion design is. Thus, I’m more inclined to go against the obvious choices of who Anna Wintour and other selected fashion professionalsthink should be celebrated as fashion’s future ‘IT’ boys and girls, though I respect their choices immensely.
These following designers not only have the talent, but unparallel drive to become the BIG names in fashion…even comparable to that of Donna Karan, Manolo Blahnik, Calvin Klein, Versace, if they keep focused both creatively and business wise. Keep an eye on these five. You’re sure to hear and see great things from them…soon:
Mal Sirrah – Malcolm Harris is the founder and designer of Mal Sirrah. Former accomplished stylist, whose celeb clientele include Reese Witherspoon, Lindsay Lohan, Madonna, etc. Can view additional information at www.malsirrah.com
Rachel Roy – Former stylist for magazines and music videos. Creative Director for Women’s and Children division of Rocawear. Can view additional information and shop online at www.rachelroy.com
Kai Kühne – Former creative talent of AsFour. Celeb clientele include Chloe Sevigny,Jennifer Lopez, etc. Can view additional information at www.kaikuhne.com
Christopher Kane – Winner of Harrods Design Award at Central Saint Martins MA Show during London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2007 shows. Current consultant to Versace couture. Can view Spring/Summer 2007 collection at www.style.com
Georgina Goodman – London’s It girl of shoe design. Can view additional information and shop online at www.georginagoodman.com