7 Emerging Rtw Brands That Stood Out During American Collections Week


Year founded: 2019

Design aesthetic: After-dark glamour: a focus on tailoring and modest dress with an edge.

Inspiration: A love letter to New York, inspired by founder Michelle Duncan’s time spent as a tourist in her own city. Over the holidays, Duncan took advantage of the pandemic-driven, tourist-less city to explore popular sites that she had never visited before. “Even though it’s quiet, this is the greatest city in the world,” she told WWD. Duncan interpreted this love into architectural lines, fine tailoring and a moody élan.

Key pieces: Tailored separates inspired by classic men’s wear, but fitted to accentuate the female form: an Italian gray overcoat, two new trousers (one wide-leg, high-waisted, the other cropped and with fishtail backs, a cropped blazer with signature bleeding heart embroidered decoration). The introduction of moody, deep black, velvet dresses for nights out — a dramatic, cupcake version or slinky body-hugging number with a sweetheart neckline and nipped waist. Updated pleated skirts and modest dresses zhuzhed up with metal grommets, elongated pleated collars and beaded embroideries.

A look from Duncan. Courtesy of Duncan 
Courtesy of Duncan

Marcell von Berlin

Year founded: 2012

Design aesthetic: The label has offered modern streetwear and statement pieces with an urban edge since its inception in Berlin. Due to its celebrity following, the brand relaunched in 2018 and expanded globally with its fashions that stand for “progressive looks by creating powerful silhouettes and worldwide unique statement prints.”

Inspiration: Although founded in 2012, the fall season marked founder Marcell Pustul’s first on the New York Fashion Week/American Collections Calendar. For the collection, he collaborated with stylist and Lady Gaga creative director Nicola Formichetti to amp up the collection. Together, they designed a vibrant and glam assortment with an optimistic look toward the future (coming out of the pandemic) in the forefront.

Key pieces: Saturated suiting in kelly green and vibrant shades of pink; faux-fur jackets with sharp shoulders; short dresses with puffed sleeves and ruffle details, in denim and leather; a feathered strapless gown atop printed catsuit; brightly colored full-length knit dresses with cutout details at the shoulder.

L.A.-based designer Marcell Pustul and stylist Nicola Formichetti prep the fall 2021 Marcell Von Berlin collection film in Malibu, Calif. on Feb. 8, 2020.

A look from Marcell von Berlin. Courtesy of Marcell von Berlin 
Ryan Jerome/Courtesy of Marcell

Social Work

Year founded: 2018

Design aesthetic: Retro influence with a modern twist.

Inspiration: Everyday life during the pandemic in New York City and the ’90s of south China where founder Helen Zhang grew up. The collection is an evolution of a wardrobe that combines comfort and retro touches of what she believes a modern wardrobe will look like.

Key pieces: A detachable belted trenchcoat that comes in tan with white accents that also comes in blue with white accents, a patchwork leather jacket and patchwork boots and a green mohair sweater two-piece set.

Social Work RTW Fall 2021

Looks from Social Work. Courtesy of Social Work 
Courtesy of Social Work

Colin LoCascio 

Year founded: 2020

Design aesthetic: Eye-grabbing, colorful and richly textured.

Inspiration: A return to the playful inspiration of LoCasio’s youth, utilizing color theory to invoke excitement in adults the way children’s toys are designed to incite development in young children. 

Key pieces: Playful printed mesh pieces, such as a floral colorful turtleneck, as well as metallic two-piece sets with cutouts on the thighs and knees, and outerwear via a fuzzy multicolored ankle-length robe coat and a plaid coat with shearling trim, perfect for Galleria Garibaldi from the Cheetah Girls. 

Colin Locascio RTW Fall 2021

A look from Colin Locascio. Courtesy of Colin Locascio 
Courtesy of Colin Locascio

Loring New York 

Year founded: 2018

Design aesthetic: Modern interpretation of art and handcraft by experiencing and respecting tradition and culture.

Inspiration: American artist Cecil Touchon’s typographic abstraction paintings and Fluxus sense of the term “scores,” mixed with the passion and liberation energy from legendary disco nightclub Studio 54.

Key pieces: A variation of soft suedes throughout, from an overcoat in lilac to a cropped jacket in lavender. Standouts included the Hutton dress, a white puff-sleeve cinched waist button down minidress, and the asymmetric ruched ankle-length Martha dress in lilac.

Loring New York RTW Fall 2021

A look from Loring New York. Courtesy of Loring New York 
Courtesy of Loring New York


Year founded: 2015

Design aesthetic: Sade Mims said her design aesthetic is timeless and transcending.

Inspiration: Her inspiration for fall has been to continuously find beauty in the things that are right in front of us. The designers have been revisiting classic styles and developing new iterations.

Key pieces: Yshaia Mini, Maria and Cynthia Bags.

A handbag from EDAS. Courtesy of EDAS 
Courtesy of EDAS


Year founded: 2019

Design aesthetic: Scandinavian minimalism highlighted with luxury details; founder Christian Juul Nielsen cut his teeth at Dior under John Galliano.

Inspiration: Nielsen toyed with pragmatic ideas for comfort, protection and layers, injecting Japanese materials with his trademark couture-like design touches into a men’s wear and women’s wear offering.

Key pieces: His and hers golden-hued parkas; men’s wear striped shirting with bustier details for her and boxy shirting for him; oversize outerwear with a burgundy topcoat or a plaid trench for him and her; 3D boxy knits in baby blue; a bustier evening dress in a windbreaker textured fabric; his debut in accessories, with a few crafty crocheted bags.

A look from Aknvas. Courtesy of Aknvas

A look from Aknvas. Courtesy of Aknvas 
Courtesy of Aknvas

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