BRANDS TO WATCH IN 2021

BRANDS TO WATCH IN 2021

BRANDS TO WATCH IN 2021

by CULTED
10 min

A rising brand is one of the most exciting aspects of fashion. Designers offer fresh and dynamic perspectives, boosting their own career in the process. We’ve picked ten brands that are fast gaining traction, from LVMH Prize winners to CSM graduates and ones whose clothes are already worn by global stars. We’re excited to see these brands grow even more in 2021. 

Mowalola

Mowalola Ogunlesi is a Nigerian designer who dropped out of Central Saint Martins after starting her eponymous brand. Since then, she has been making a name for herself within the industry as she took part in the creation of Barbie’s 60th birthday exclusive doll. She then organised a gallery showing in London called ‘Silent Madness.’ Furthermore, she was awarded the Best New Designer award at the 2018 Fashion Film Festival and designed the highly acclaimed Nigeria Kit for the 2018 World Cup in partnership with Nike. Just this year, Mowalola began to collaborate with Kanye West as he appointed her design director for the Yeezy X GAP project. Celebrating African culture, Mowalola offers predominantly genderless clothing that explores sexuality through colourful PVC and leather. Her designs can be described as futuristic and kaleidoscopic. Mowalola’s designs can be found at Dover Street Market, SSENSE and Opening Ceremony.

 

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Telfar

Clemens Telfar is a Liberian-American designer who has been making waves in the fashion industry, especially due to the creation of his coveted vegan Telfar bag. Many people refer to the Telfar bag as the ‘Birkin for Millenials.’ Ranging in three different sizes and several colourways, Telfar bags seek to be the ‘it’ product that everyone should own. Behind this bag, though, is the talented Clemens Telfar. Clemens Telfar founded his eponymous brand in 2005. He created a genderless fashion ante litteram with concepts of inclusion and homogeneity. The designer believes that fashion is based on an idea of community. This is why, at the beginning of his career, Telfar would showcase his collections at nightclubs and museums. The brand rose to prominence in 2017 when it won the CFDA award for Best Emerging Designer. Since then, Telfar has become a regular at New York Fashion Week and presented for the first time in Paris this year. 

 

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Marine Serre

This French designer was born and raised in Brive-la-Gaillard in the South of France. She then moved to Brussels to study at the prestigious La Cambre, where she graduated with honours in 2016. Her final project ‘Radical Call for Love’ won the interests of stores like The Broken Arm and Dover Street Market. In 2017, she won the LVMH prize in Paris for Emerging Designer and received a one-year internship with the French luxury group. She has worked with numerous high-profile brands such as Alexander McQueen, Maison Margiela, Dior and Balenciaga. Known for curating French-style infused with sportswear and futuristic elements, her brand revolves around pragmatism. Her contemporary sports silhouettes meet the exotic charm of hijab and turbans with monochromatic thermal fabrics. This summer, demand for Serre’s creations outstripped supply. Beyoncé, of her own accord, endorsed the brand, wearing the crescent moon full bodysuit in the Disney-produced ‘BLACK IS KING’ visual album. Many items immediately sold out.  Most recently, Serre collaborated with AWGE to create a limited-edition line, further pushing the brand into streetwear culture.

Cactus Plant Flea Market

Designed by Cynthia Lu, this brand has slowly but surely gained a strong following in the world of streetwear fashion. Initially endorsed by Pharell Williams, Cactus Flea Market has gone on to collaborate with other streetwear pioneers such as Nike, Kanye West, Kid Cudi and Travis Scott. CPFM creates fluid fashion with an eccentric combination. Their melting yellow smiley faces and puff pink phrases have become a signature look. CPFM went on to design merch for Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s project ‘Kids See Ghosts,’ which pushed the brand into mainstream streetwear culture. The brand perhaps got the most traction when it partnered with Nike and launched the VaporMax2019.

 

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Pyer Moss

Founded in 2013 by Kerby Jean-Raymond, the brand is known for its activism and stance towards social justice, notably within the African-American community. Aesthetically presented as deconstructed streetwear, Pyer Moss weaves in a deeper message of rebellion to its collections. In 2016, the brand gained attention for its New York runway show collection. Jean-Raymond decided to open his show with a video in which white cops are seen brutalizing innocent black teenagers. This was in parallel with the #BlackLivesMatter movement which helped spark much-needed conversations, especially in the United States. Due to its courageous and talented nature, the brand was awarded the Rising Star Award by the Fashion Group International and Jean-Raymond was featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 list. In 2018, Pyer Moss launched a collaboration with Reebok, putting the brand on the path to becoming a household name.

 

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Robert Wun

Chinese designer Robert Wun is known for his bold, audacious and avant-garde pattern cutting and shapes. He has had his designs worn by the likes of Lady Gaga, Cardi B and Celine Dion. However, Wun’s creative journey has not always been a smooth road. Initially rejected by his university’s press show, that did not stop the determined designer. In 2012 he started his eponymous brand and now shows at London Fashion Week. Wun’s uniquely cut garments are said to be inspired by nature, as can be seen in some of his designs as they mimic the shape of flowers. In addition, the designer also takes inspiration from strong women, such as Trinity from The Matrix. Wun has spoken about the admiration he has for the women in his life, such as his grandmother who raised his father alone in a foreign country. Furthermore, Wun has been compared to the legendary Alexander McQueen. This has been a great honour for Wun, as McQueen was the one who inspired Wun to enter the fashion industry after seeing his clothing in a magazine.

 

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Filling Pieces

Guillaume Philibert started his brand Filling Pieces in 2009 when he was just 19 years old. Originally an architecture student, Philibert found his passion for streetwear whilst listening to Pharell Williams and Kanye West. This high-end shoe brand is found on the racks of luxury stores like Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Originally based in Amsterdam, Filling Pieces has carved a niche market of bold and textured sneakers within the handful of years it has been operating. The brand is already in the highly desired lists of many streetwear personalities. 

 

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Kiko Kostadinov

Kiko Kostadinov is a Bulgarian born London-based designer who graduated from Central Saint Martins. He gained a lot of attention for his MA graduate show, as he sent his models down the catwalk wearing ‘Morphsuits’ that covered their faces, making them unrecognizable. After this polarizing moment, Kostadinov received support from the British Fashion Council scheme Newgen Men. He then collaborated with Stüssy and Asics, which helped him rise in his career. While the designer initially started his brand as a show on the radio station Know-Wave, he debuted his first collection in January 2018, which included heavy menswear workwear. The young designer has since not looked back, speeding headfirst into the high-end streetwear industry, in which he is already becoming widely recognized.

 

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Ludovic De Saint Sernin 

Originally born in Belgium, Ludovic de Saint Sernin quickly moved to the French fashion capital to launch his self-monikered brand in 2017. Best known for his prolific use of leather, crop tops and tailored threading, the young designer explores the uber-sexualisation and liberation of the body throughout his genderless clothing. In fact, Saint Sernin says he is inspired by the American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who created great controversy during the 70s for his provocative black and white images. By 2018, Saint Sernin was nominated for the LVMH prize for emerging designers. This, and the fact that Rick Owens endorses the brand, has made Ludovic de Saint Sernin a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

Peter Do

While Peter Do himself is at the head of his eponymous brand, it is far from a one-man show. Peter Do prides himself in the collective of the eleven employees he has scouted to contribute and work for his brand. Although Peter Do is a womenswear brand, the design team creates many masculine shapes with exquisite tailoring. Their ultimate goal is to create the blueprint for a new, modern-day glamorous woman. The Vietnamese designer moved to the US when he was 14. Since then, he has grown a mentality of supporting local businesses. He, therefore, sources many of his materials and his workforce within the vicinity of New York. By 2014, the year in which he graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, he was inaugurated with the LVMH Graduates prize, whilst Do only started his label in 2018.  By 2020, Peter Do was nominated by the CFDA for the Emerging Designer award, which has put the brand on everyone’s radar.

 

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