The Only 3 Fashion Designers You Need to Know in 2019
If you were obsessed with every single bag from Cèline in 2017 and fawned over anything adorned with Gucci’s double-G insignia in 2018, we’ve got news for you: There are other designers to get familiar with in 2019. Here, we’re breaking down the three biggest names in fashion today and why you need to know them.
What does a working woman really want to wear? This is the question that Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta seems to be mulling over, ever since he joined the Italian luxury brand as creative director last summer. Think smart trousers with extra long hems that purposely drag on the floor and a basic black dress with a sharp, geometric neckline. These are pieces that mean business, but still feel feminine and personal.
Still, Bottega Veneta is probably best known for super-luxe accessories. In fact, the brand is practically synonymous with a carefully woven leather material that combines a timeless technique with many gotta-have-it silhouettes. BTW, that woven leather is technically known as intrecciato.
The Talking Point
Bottega has produced the bag of the season and named it simply : The Pouch. It’s a cushy leather clutch that looks like the hybrid of a high-fashion clam and a rolled over paper bag. Iterations in all colors and finishes (including that signature leather weave) have been spotted tucked under the arms of every important influencer and top model on IG. The coin purse version costs $630, the original goes for almost four times that and a hot pink croc iteration has an eye-watering price tag of $23K.
Perhaps you saw a certain American actress turned royal say “I do” last year in a stunning boatneck gown? Yeah, Meghan Markle’s wedding dress was the creation of Clare Waight Keller, the designer who took the top job as Givenchy’s artistic director—the first woman to do so—in 2017. As the former creative director of Chloé, she has long been known for her ultra-feminine designs (and cult-worthy handbags), so the fashion world was excited to see what Waight Keller would do under the notoriously subversive Givenchy label. And she has delivered, in the form of slightly goth-but-still-girly dresses and, yes, even more really good handbags (Markle has already gotten her hands on this one).
Royals aside, Givenchy is now tapping into a younger customer base, having recently named Ariana Grande as the face (and, er, the ponytail) of the storied brand.
The Talking Point
Waight Keller has clearly done a stellar job of democratizing Givenchy—so it comes as no surprise that she ushered in the brand’s very first sneaker collab. In partnership with Onitsuka Tiger (the shoe label that the designer herself wears), these shoes intertwine the hushed luxury of a fine French maison with the precise, performance-minded touch of the Japanese footwear company. And for $550, these are a total steal for anything bearing the Givenchy name.
Zendaya recently stepped out in a sunshine yellow strapless minidress (you can pre-order it for a casual $3K) with a matching turban—and we were hardly the only ones drooling over her cheerful fashion win. The getup was the creation of Wes Gordon, the fashion wunderkind who took the reins from Carolina Herrera at her own namesake brand in 2018. Gordon, who’s only 31 years old, is infusing the traditionally refined brand with his own youthful POV that, honestly, looks like the sartorial interpretation of a sunny spring day. Think playful party dresses with ultra-poufy sleeves and abbreviated hemlines, ironic embroidered motifs—like little horses—and plenty of sparkling embellishments.
The Talking Point
Despite his generally adored collections, Gordon isn’t a golden child in everyone’s eyes. In early June 2019, a few of his creations from the Resort 2020 collection were accused of cultural appropriation by Alejandra Frausto, the cultural minister of Mexico. In a letter to the brand, Frausto called attention to frocks embroidered with flowers and birds that are specific to the community of Tenango de Doria in Hidalgo. She also noted a shirtdress whose stripes were alarmingly similar to serape, the woven textile from Saltillo.
Gordon attributed the collection to a “Latin holiday,” citing the source of his inspiration as a jaunt to Mexico he took with his husband. Herrera herself hails from Venezuela and in a statement, she said that she was “a great admirer of Mexico.” The brand hoped that the collection would show respect and recognition for the work of Mexican artisans, but did not apologize or pull the designs from their range; in fact, you can currently pre-order those exact pieces of contention on Moda Operandi, at this very moment.