Underdog Fashion - David & Goliath Week


By Emma Nolan

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

We’re all familiar with the fashion greats, the Goliaths so to speak of the fashion industry, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Valentino, Saint Laurent, and the consistently beautiful collections they release season after season, so it’s easy to forget about the newcomers trying to make it in the industry every year. Here is a look at some lesser known and new designers (Davids) who will be unveiling new collections at New York Fashion Week in two weeks’ time.

Rebecca Vallance

This Australian designer is showcasing her Autumn/Winter 2014 collection at New York Fashion Week this year on Feb 7. Rebecca Vallance’s style is very feminine and elegant, structured shapes which provide professional element, yet her looks have the ability to transcend from day wear to night wear. Suitable for many body shapes, and age groups, this collection in particular is a real all-rounder. Overall, as a designer, Rebecca Vallance’s vision is to create pieces that are both “timeless classically constructed and innovative in design.” This brand’s global appeal is steadily gaining a string following both in Australia, London and New York.

Mark and Estel

These two LA-based designers have created a brand that is music inspired and edgy. On the more affordable spectrum of designers’ shows at New York Fashion Week this season, this label combines a rock chick aesthetic with that of a Cali beach girl vibe. Mark Tango and Estel Day behind the brand’s name also perform in a band of the same name, and their eclectic personalities resonate through their collections. Watch them live on the runway on Feb 6 during this year’s New York Fashion Week.

Daniel Vosovic

David Vosovic’s 2011 nature-inspired collection. Image licensed for commercial reuse by New York Magazine.

Next up is a designer who rose to prominence as a finalist on the second season of fashion-based reality show, Project Runway. Born in Michigan, Vosovic’s own brand has now become ubiquitous with New York City where he is based. Vosovic creates a very modern, feminine silhouette with emphasis on digital prints and unique embroidery techniques. Though his pieces are simple, his ability to combine textures creates a great depth to his designs; real investment pieces which are always modern but feel timeless. Watch the Daniel Vosovic show on Feb 6 of New York Fashion Week this season.

Nicholas K

Nicholas and Christopher Kunz are the sibling designers behind another New York based label, founded in 2003. This brand’s very unique approach to combining differing elements produces stunning, yet some unusual pieces. The drapery implicit with their collections is often paired with less traditional forms of sportswear and accents of Native American and tribal details. The brand possesses a truly innovative style and approach, definitely one to keep an eye on. Their latest collection will be showcased at New York Fashion Week on Feb 6.

David Tlale

David Tlale’s collection themed ‘A Celebration of Heritage’ at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in November 2013. Image licensed for commercial use by perma pupa.

This South African designer is known for is elaborate, daring, and dramatic style. Specializing in women’s evening wear, his ornate patterns and designs demonstrate his keen ability to challenge convention and to come up with a unique and unpredictable use of fabric. David Tlale is also an activist in his native South Africa, where he is an ambassador for the Change-4-Ever campaign which aims to alleviate poverty there. David Tlale’s latest collection can be viewed at New York Fashion Week on Feb 9.

Katya Leonovich

Katya Leonovich is a Russian designer and artist who is renowned for her bizarre combinations of materials and fabrics. Her “Beautiful Garbage” concept has seen her combine materials like paper, feathers, plastic ties and aluminum with gentle fabrics like silk and chiffon. Though this method has become Leonovich’s signature with her couture pieces, her ready to wear collections feature less crazy feature yet still maintain the innovative use of texture. Watch Katya Leonovich’s latest collection on the catwalk this Feb 10.

These “underdogs” of the fashion industry have already achieved so much in their careers and have gained much recognition for their skills. However with the sheer number of designers trying to make it in the fashion industry today it is easy to compare these smaller brands against the big names with set the standards each season. Though there are so many “Davids” out there that are competing against the “Goliath” brands that become overlooked, but there are wonderful discoveries to be made from the underdogs of the fashion industry.