You may not know their names, you won't know their faces, but you will have an opinion on their clothes...
Bold, striking, daring, sleek, classy, contemporary, unwearable (someone will say 'unwearable' gazing through archaic-tortoise-shell-specs with the bottom button of their waistcoat done up) are just some of the words that'll spring to mind.
Wherever you stand, the undeniable aspect of these designers is how they're breaking down the industry conventions.
Flick through the images and learn more about the biggest names of fashion's future...
Unlike a growing number of students at Central Saint Martins, Charles Jeffrey was not sired by an obscure and affluent Middle Eastern prince; so in order to fund his MA in fashion design, he had to get creative. Thus, cult club night ‘LOVERBOY’ was born: a once-a-month extravaganza at Dalston’s Vogue Fabrics reinvigorating London’s gay nightlife one drag queen at a time.
Though the night stopped running in 2016, the LOVERBOY name continues, and Jeffrey’s knack for taking his art school DIY mentality and elevating it through deconstructed suiting and graphic prints inspired collaborations with Björn Borg, MatchesFashion and Topshop – the latter resulting in a capsule collection of Pride-themed T-shirts As a recipient of the prestigious British Emerging Talent prize at the 2017 Fashion Awards, there has been much speculation about what’s next for Jeffrey – including a coveted position as creative director for Vivienne Westwood. One thing’s for certain – we’ve not seen the last of him yet
Shop LOVERBOY at Browns.
2011 Danny Martindale
Never one to follow the crowd, Martine Rose only shows a collection when it suits her – something that continues to serve her eponymous brand well (nobody wants what they can’t have more than the fashion-pack).
However, what Rose lacks in consistency, she makes up for with regular collaborations, which include trainers with Nike, heavy-duty coats with Napapijri, and sunglasses with Mykita – all of which have gone on to become sell-outs. And no wonder – a piece by Martine Rose means streetwear done properly; logomanic oversized T-shirts are offset by nostalgically high-waisted jeans and the kind of square-toed loafers that would definitely make your grandad jealous.
Grace Wales Bonner
2016 Bertrand Rindoff Petroff
Born in South East London to a Jamaican father and English mother, Grace Wales Bonner uses her mixed-race heritage to inspire work that explores black male identity. Known for shrunken tailoring and lavish embellishments, Wales Bonner’s 2014 graduate collection at Central Saint Martins earned her the L’Oréal Professional Talent Award – a prestigious accolade that allows recipients the cash to kickstart their brand and the exposure to (hopefully) make it work.
Drawing inspiration from artists including David Shamman, Kerry James Marshall and Jacob Lawrence, Grace Wales Bonner’s shows always come with a dissertation-sized bibliography of books, artists and historical references, thus earning her a reputation as something of a fashion philosopher and affording her the opportunity to curate exhibitions at The Serpentine.
Wales Bonner’s clothes, a mix of European tailoring married with Caribbean craft, have garnered an international following among both men and women, who are willing to spend hundreds on Wales Bonner’s unique and gender-fluid vision.
Daniel W Fletcher
2018 John Phillips/BFC
When it comes to Brexit, few designers have been as vocal as Daniel W Fletcher. In response to the 2016 referendum, Fletcher used his SS17 collection to campaign for the Remain cause with a guerrilla street-demo-cum-fashion-presentation that set tongues wagging all across London and received coverage in The New York Times.
Fletcher’s signature clean-lined sportswear has earned him fealty from the style-set and his simple, directional pieces offer good ol’ fashioned tailoring with modern sensibilities. With fans including Harry Styles, Sam Smith and James Bay, it’s no wonder his designs are already stocked at SSENSE and ModeSens.
Shop Daniel W Fletcher at SSENSE.
2019 Kristy Sparow
The fashion industry’s current drive for sustainability saw Priya Ahluwalia and her ethically focused designs awarded the
H&M Design Award last December. Though it’s early days (Ahluwalia only graduated from the University of Westminster last year), the prize fund of €50,000 will no doubt further her eco-focussed design mission.
The clothes – an exciting mix of existing garments deconstructed with ethically sourced fabrics to breathe new life into leisurewear – pose a fresh approach of which many stuffier designers should take note.
For more info, see ahluwaliastudio.com