Over the last few years, the brands founded and designed by women have considerably increased: female creatives are finally conquering a prominent position in the fashion industry, showcasing their own idea of femininity through different style and aesthetics. The most interesting brands of the last few years were created by women, just think of Marine Serre, Natasha Zinko, Koché by Christelle Kocher and many others.
FashionWindows has gathered here 5 emerging brands designed by women: Kara, Di Du, Paula Gerbase, Ellery and Daizy Shely. They are young, upcoming, talented and their brands, although very different from each other, have all the numbers to leave a mark.
Born in China Di Du is one of the most interesting and original names to keep an eye on. After a period of training at SANKUANZand a master’s degree in fashion design just obtained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, it took her just a brief period of time before becoming well-known and chosen by Sita Abellan, Rico Nasty, and above all Rosalía for their looks.
All thanks to her unique style made of futuristic and modern garments, able to bring feminine power through deliberately excessive details: coloured leather, flamboyant cowboy hats, feathers, voluminous bomber, stripper styled platform. These “diva materials”, as she defines them, are the tools chosen by Di to deliver the idea of free sexuality, equality and feminine empowerment. She attributes this need to portray a feminine vision to her upbringing in a country that emphasizes male power, for which many consider her “the new leader in female empowerment in the fashion industry“. Du’s graduation collection is the perfect demonstration of this. Sip in the ocean mixes her Chinese cultural heritage with erotic sculptures by artist Anna Uddenberg and the poster of a Parisian strip club. The result is a series of undeniably original looks, with a futuristic, kitsch twist that combines sportswear and lingerie elements.
Brazilian by birth and English by adoption with a degree at the Central St. Martins, the designer made her bones working for several years as creative director for the sportswear brand Sunspel, then for John Lobb and her refined and minimalist brand 1205. In 2016, she decided to take some time off. She left London and started travelling around Europe.
The love for fashion was too strong though, and after a long break, the designer decided to try again with Gerbase. It’s a line that includes both fine jewellery, mainly from vintage pieces, and thin polyester knitwear, but it also offers a women’s tailoring service that will make tailored clothes. The clothing is designed to comfortably follow the movements of the body and, for this reason, the garments are as thin as transparent paper, made with a single technique of variegated ribbing, without visible seams, as well as those absolutely necessary, which gives the translucent yarn an effortless glamour look. In jewellery, Paula has tried to evoke the unique and evocative charm of family heirlooms handed down from generation to generation and, at the same time, has studied tribal ornaments such as fibulae and circular shapes to replicate the same idea of the movement of Gerbase clothes. The result is single earrings and sculptural rings made of rose gold, stones like rubies and cabochon emeralds that seem to float around the fingers.
2013 when after graduating from Parson’s The New School of Design in New York and working on the design of women’s accessories for Gap, she launched KARA, a line of high-quality, sober and minimalist bags designed for creative and dynamic women. Born in California and raised in Hong Kong, Law chose to call her brand KARA as a reference to the Japanese word “karaoke” meaning “empty orchestra”, not only because she was looking for an easy term to pronounce in every language, but because she wanted a metaphor for the label’s attention to individuality and self-expression. Fascinated by bags because they are an ideal hybrid of functionality and aesthetics, the designer focuses on essential silhouettes, without over structures or logos. The item that best embodies these characteristics is a soft black calfskin backpack with a minimalist aesthetic, embellished with an elegant silver-coloured zipper closure that extends over the entire accessory structure. Shortly after its launch, KARA was accepted into the CFDA Incubator Program and Law and the business grew increasingly by bringing its products to iconic stores such as Opening Ceremony, Barneys or Harvey Nichols and attracting the attention of celebrities and fashionistas. Suddenly Law’s bags appeared everywhere and her leather backpacks became instantly recognizable. Now the proposal has been enriched with new models, from pouch bags to tote bags, but always minimal and made with high-quality materials.
Daizy Shely came to Milan from a small town not far from Tel Aviv with a dream: “Make women feel confident and safe”. But how? Her creative nature and talent suggested the answer: fashion. So, after graduating in Fashion Design at Istituto Marangoni, in October 2013, the girl decided to invest in herself and created the line that bears her name. Daizy Shely, in fact, reflects the strong and multifaceted personality of the designer, her passions for contemporary art, cinema, and music, but also the family. Besides Miuccia Prada, the women of her “clan” are her main inspiration. Sometimes dark and mysterious, sometimes romantic and carefree, her collections mix vibrant colors, prints, and heterogeneous materials. Daizy’s favorite ones include organza, velvet, and feathers, but the real hallmark of her style is the contrasting elements.
Originally from Perth and Parisian by adoption, Kym Ellery is the creative mind of Ellery, one of the most interesting novelties that have conquered influencers and stylists in the world such as Rihanna, Solange Knowles, Cate Blanchett or Elle Fanning. After studying at Central Saint Martins and after having worked for four years as an editor for Russh magazine, the designer took only a few years to deserve a mention in the BoF 500 list, as one of the reference figures in today’s fashion and to become one of the creative favourites of the fashion industry. Business of Fashion describes her clothes as “a weather vane for trends” and Voguerunway.com citing Ms Ellery as a designer who “appears to be succeeding at one of the trickiest moves in the business”, adding: “Paris take note: she intends to stay for good.” This success is due to her womenswear made of sculptural shapes, playful volumes, original details, tailoring inspired by the 70s for silhouettes and cuts and innovative use of materials. Kym describes her own style with these 5 words: voluminous, idiosyncratic, architectural, smart and original.