With the fash-pack gearing up for Milan Fashion Week AW15, this Wednesday, Marie Claire looks at the new guard of hot young Italian labels to watch out for this season…
35-year old Italian-Haitian designer Stella Jean is the poster-star for new talent coming out of Milan right now. Her aesthetic is the perfect blend of bold artisanal prints, referencing her Creole heritage, and feminine Fifties-style silhouettes. And for those designers out there just starting out in the ultra-competitive fashion industry – take comfort in Stella Jean’s own struggle to the top. After being rejected for two years running in Italy’s prestigious Who’s On Next competition, in 2011, she finally won. Now she’s one of Milan’s hottest show tickets and has celebrities such as Rihanna donning her creations (the singer posted snaps of herself in a Stella Jean shirtdress at the White House last year). And Stella Jean’s dream customer? ‘Mrs Obama!’ she says, chatting exclusively to Marie Claire Runway. ‘She’s a symbol. The wife of the first black president.’
Marco de Vincenzo
Since presenting his eponymous collection in 2009, Marco de Vincenzo’s brand has been creating some serious buzz. He designed bags for Fendi for 13 years before launching his own ready-to-wear label. His standout SS15 collection saw models shimmying down the runway in a colourful concoction of silk-fringe dresses. Must. Have. Now.
Sicilian-born designer Fausto Puglisi is hot property right now. Even before he presented his first full-scale fashion show at Milan Fashion Week in 2013, Puglisi had created costumes for Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. at Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show and was appointed artistic director for French label Ungaro in 2012. His own creations are the perfect mash up of classic Roman references, to reflect his own Italian origins, and interest in American culture (he moved to Hollywood in the late Nineties). This marriage of cultures was evident in his last collection, where he paired fierce gladiator shoes with metallic bomber jackets.
Two years on from Stella Jean’s triumph in the competition, Vienna-born Arthur Arbesser was named the Who’s On Next winner in 2013 for his SS14 collection and was this month shortlisted for the prestigious LVMH prize (a scheme for emerging designers, launched in 2013, where the prize winner will receive €300,000 and a year-long mentorship). The Vienna-born designer moved to Milan after graduation from Central Saint Martins – and subsequently worked for seven years at Armani. Arbesser’s creations are known for combining tomboy-style silhouettes with unconventional fabrics. Want to work a skirt knitted out of nylon fishing line? Arbesser’s your man.