Founded in Stockholm by creative director Jonny Johannson, Acne Studios explores a multidisciplinary design practise that includes magazines, furniture, and art exhibitions, as well as fashion. Its women’s ready-to-wear frequently flaunts a quirky eye for proportion and colour, often creating sharly tailored products in unusual and eclectic custom fabrics.
Since its establishment, Acne Studios has grown into one of the world’s leading fashion houses, with flagship stores in Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo.
Ann Demeulemeester was trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, graduating in 1981. After several years designing freelance, she founded her label in 1985 and showed her first collection in Paris in 1992. With close links to poetry, art, and Patti Smith (frequently cited as a muse), Demeulemeester’s clothing draws on gothic and punk styling and imbues a subtle air of sensuality.
After running her fashion house completely independently for almost 30 years, Ann Demeulemeester made the decision to depart from fashion in late 2013, leaving her in-house design team to carry on her legacy.
Bao Bao was founded in 2010 under the guiding hand of legendary designer Issey Miyake. Exclusively producing bags and pouches focussed on the theme of “shapes made by chance,” the bags and their characteristic tiling have quickly achieved iconic status within fashion circles.
With a sturdy-yet-flexible and playful nature, Bao Bao bags are the ideal staple for busy contemporary lifestyles.
Black Crane was founded by the Los Angeles based duo Alexander Yamaguchi and Momoko Suzuki. Fascinated by their shared Japanese ancestry and the traditions and philosophies of ancient Japan, Yamaguchi and Suzuki create garments that are minimal, utilitarian, and edgy. Balancing interests of environmentalism, responsibility, and sustainability, Black Crane is produced, from weaving up, in its hometown of LA.
Despite being born of thoroughly Japanese lineage, Comme des Garçons takes its name from the French for “Like the Boys.” Why? The simple answer: because founder and creative director Rei Kawakubo thought it sounded good.
Comme des Garçons first showed in Paris in 1981, causing shock for its deconstructivist, distressed appearance. Since then, the label has remained steadfastly at the forefront of fashion’s avant-garde, often producing catwalks full of clothing dubbed “unwearable” by critics and “revelatory” by proponents. Its many successful diffusion labels include the iconic streetwear-focused PLAY, a variety of perfumes, and a collection of covetably left-wing wallets.
Laura Bortolami first flirted with the world of fashion whilst working for Italian giants including Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana during the 1980s. In the early 90s, she first experimented with handbag design, and by 2000 was dedicated entirely to the design and production of her line of jewellery, belts, and bags.
Now renowned for their signature use of metal mesh and idiosyncratic blending of materials, Laura B bags are still handcrafted one-by-one in Laura’s Barcelonian atelier, and sold in boutiques across the world.
Founded in the 1930s in Czechoslovakia, Nehera’s fashion operation once ran over 130 retail stores across Europe, America and Africa.
Resurrected in 2014, the brand is now headed by creative director Samuel Drira, whose experience at powerhouses like Hugo Boss, The Row, and Hermès manifests through a sensitive attention to colour and form. Nehera’s clothing exemplifies notions of luxury through simplicity, creating gorgeous, understated pieces in fabrics of unrivalled quality.
Springing to life from the revolutionary pleating process championed by Issey Miyake, Pleats Please’s range of staples are an unbridled celebration of movement.
Established as an offshoot of Miyake’s main ready-to-wear line in 1993, Pleats Please produces a seasonal selection of simple, elegant clothing in the brand’s signature fabric: a genius technical polyester permanently pleated into gentle, undulating forms. As much fun as it is to wear as it is to watch, all Pleats Please garments also represent the ultimate in easy-care – entirely machine washable and virtually crease-proof.
Rick Owens is anything but a conventional designer, so it’s fitting that his rise to undisputed King of Alt-fashion took a decidedly unconventional path, too. Dropping out of art school, Owens went on to study a technical pattern-cutting course at a Los Angeles technical college, eventually working in a factory producing knock-off luxury garments. Launching his own label in 1994, Owens’ designs quickly caught the eye of fashion’s trendsetters and in 2002 the first Rick Owens runway was held at New York Fashion Week.
Since then, Rick Owens’ private vision for fashion, at once ancient and post-apocalyptic, grungy and refined, has become the ubiquitous uniform of fashion’s dark underbelly.
Hailing from Beirut, Lebanon, Rosa Maria has enchanted the masses with jewellery collections that delicately juxtapose fine jewels with the raw, brute force of the elements.
Rosa Maria’s designs span a spectrum from rough-hewn rings encrusted with hundreds of stones, down to simple polished bands in silver and gold. Unchanging though is the eye for quality craftsmanship, and the prodigious sense for jewellery’s natural talents.
After the runaway success of their menswear line, Melbourne-based design duo Lyna Ty and Melvin Tanaya launched Song for the Mute’s first womenswear collection in 2015 to immediate acclaim.
With a focus on artisanal fabrics sourced from fine mills in Italy and Japan, Song for the Mute has become renowned for their clever and contemporary designs infused with a nostalgic and traditionalist sensibility.
The concept of ‘me ISSEY MIYAKE’ is to make lightweight, compact, comfortable to wear and easy to care for clothing – fashions crafted to accentuate the pleasure of everyday living. Continuing in its quest to develop materials that are a joy to wear, ‘me ISSEY MIYAKE’ presents clothing in richly varied colors and patterns that are perfectly suited to various scenes throughout the year.