Kiko Kostadinov just showcased a stellar Spring/Summer 2024 womenswear collection in Paris, crafting a feminine, ruffle-filled collection which went heavy on the stripes, textured patchwork and girly tech-wear-infused dresses. Behind the designs are Laura and Deanna Fanning, the dynamic twin-sister design duo responsible for turning Kiko Kostadinov’s womenswear into the infectiously cool, it-girl-approved brand it is today.
Laura and Deanna Fanning were born in a suburban neighbourhood in Melbourne. This environment feels a million miles from London life, being based in Wood Green and showing collections in Paris. However, their first taste of fashion came from a childhood spent Down Under, with their grandmother being a bridal dressmaker in their native Melbourne.
With a longing to work in fashion, Laura and Deanna set their sights on London, with the latter enrolling on the BA Knitwear course at Camberwell College of Art in 2013. Laura made the move in 2016 after studying at the Melbourne Institute of Technology. The pair enrolled on the prestigious Central Saint Martins MA Fashion course as a duo, slowly but surely carving out their path.
After forming both personal and professional relationships with CSM alum Kiko Kostadinov (Deanna is Kiko’s girlfriend), who founded his eponymous label in 2016, the pair were tapped to head the womenswear arm of the Kostadinov brand. We got a taste of Kiko’s womenswear direction as part of the brand’s FW18 collection, which saw textured, earthy dresses and two-piece suits worn with leafy headdresses. On foot were on-brand ASICS (a regular collaborator of the Kiko Kostadinov brand, with the founder serving as Creative Director of the ASICS Novalis line), continuing a theme seen throughout the brand’s womenswear collections.
Now, more than five years in, earth tones intersect with a utilitarian-focused yet traditionally feminine aesthetic, seen in designs such as the Kiko Kostindo Women’s Ballet Hybrid. Arriving in a two-tone metallic green and incorporating a cushioned sole, the fusion of muted, natural tones and function-first design properties shine through.
Importantly, Laura and Deanna Fanning’s collections don’t just feel like a women’s interpretation of the menswear line, but instead a label with its own vision, bound to the Kostadinov brand with shared ideals. In both lines, we see a rag-tag kitsch coolness combined with an authentic blending of old and new.
The brand’s FW23 womenswear show saw vintage 1950s-style bonnets paired with the brand’s signature sneaker-meets-shoe footwear offerings. These historical threads are also woven into the brand’s menswear items, as shown in its SS23 show, which took inspiration from the Ottoman Empire, a deeply personal collection rooted in Bulgarian founder Kiko Kostadinov’s home country.
This approach has proven successful, too, with the Fanning twins striking the balance between success and sales. Its footwear and accessories are high-up on hot girl wishlists, with the Ribbon High Boots again incorporating an ethereal functionality that is irresistible to the cool crowd. The womenswear brand has been spotted on London’s cool-girls like Mira Al-Momani, as well as pop princess Dua Lipa, serving as a testament to the brand’s strength. This cult localised appeal is maintained in its home city by producing designs that transcend London, being appreciated worldwide.
Undoubtedly, one the most popular designs produced by the Fanning sisters is the Trivia Bag – the Napa leather arm candy spotted on Bella Hadid and Iris Law, to name a few. The bag’s success comes down to its versatility. There’s an option for every wearer, with more faux snakeskin and gold-chain styles teased in Tuesday’s SS24 show. The bag is easy-wearing, undeniably cool and instantly recognisable, a vital selling point for today’s social-savvy generation. Its rigid, slightly squashed, yet structured build is versatile and easy on the eye, being cool without feeling lofty or exclusionary.
Beyond the Trivia bag, Laura and Deanna Fanning have carved out their identity at the Kiko Kostadinov brand, drawing on a somewhat shared aesthetic as the menswear label whilst also bringing their own approach, often seen its knitwear offerings (skills honed by Deanna at Camberwell) and wearable garments and accessories. The twin sister’s approach feels both girly and grown up, ultimately creating pieces that look just as at home on the tables of the Spurstowe as the arms of superstars.
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