Women’s history month is almost over but here at Fluff know that a lot of issues taking centerstage now, like equal pay shouldn't just be limited to this month. It’s a funny fact that a lot of the people in high positions and that wield power in fashion, thought of as a predominantly feminine industry, are men. From the old 7th avenue garmentos to many of our favorite it-designers (think Balmain, Alexander Wang, Zac Posen, Wes Gordon, the list goes on). The same is true in the fine jewelry industry and beauty. Well, from the Democratic National Convention to Nasty Gal, the times are changing and #GirlBoss is not just a trending hashtag, it’s a rallying cry. In honour of the last shopping Saturday of Women’s History Month, here are some of our favorite up and coming women designers making their mark right now in fashion and accessories, around the world. Look out for their brands in your department store this weekend!
Catherine Sarr of Almasika
With roots in Benin, Parisienne raised and splitting her time between Abu Dhabi and London, fine jewelry brand, Almasika designer, Catherine Sarr is the epitome of jet-set chic. While the brand is in it’s infancy, it is already carried by topshelf retailers like Luisa Via Roma and Colette. Based in London, Almasika fine jewellery is a celebration of the magnificent jewellery and adornment heritage of Africa. Inspired by the history of ancient kingdoms, ALMASIKA fuse iconic motifs with an international sensibility, to create jewellery with universal allure. With an extensive background in luxury, including time spent at DeBeers, it’s refreshing to see a black woman at the head of a fine jewelry brand and “African-inspired” jewelry that breaks the usual motifs of Massai inspired collections.
Donna Kang of Timo Weiland
One third of the dream team behind the immensely popular brand, Timo Weiland, Donna Kang is an absolute force. Majoring in evening wear, art and knitwear, Donna is the only one of the team with a technical fashion background and it’s safe to say that the magic that is Timo Weiland wouldn’t happen without her. Donna is the cool NYC Timo Weiland girl, the life of the party, and wildly enough, as humble as she is talented!
The charm and elegance of her namesake brand seems to come naturally to designer, Tanya Taylor. Hailing from a line of entrepreneurs, Tanya isn’t one to sit on her laurels. She has turned that finance degree from McGill University into a successful New York City based design house. Already worn by a bevy of inspirational women such as Michelle Obama, Lena Dunham and Kerry Washington to name but a few, we definitely look forward to the future of Tanya Taylor.
Phoebe & Annette Stevens of Anndra Neen
Sisters Phoebe & Annette Stevens create the kind of pieces that people go gaga for, stopping you on the street, subway and turning heads asking, “Where did you get that?!” Based in NYC, with the collection being made in Mexico City, where they were born and raised, and often jetting around the world Anndra Neen infuses their global sensibilities and their upbringing. Surrounded by art and artists for all of their lives, it’s no surprise that their designs walk the fine line between jewelry and accessories and wearable art. A major source of inspiration to the sisters is their grandmother, Annette Nancarrow, a jewelry designer and artist in Mexico City who ran in the same circles as women like Frida Kahlo, Peggy Gugegnheim and Anais Nin. Trust us, you need one of their metal bags!
Min Wu is one of the next big design talents coming out of London. Already a Vogue Italia darling, Min’s designs are quirky, cool and effervescent — much like her. While she’s based in London, Min hails from China and her designs are proudly made in China. Quality, detail, high-design, she’s definitely set to change everything you think about Made in China.
E pluribus unum. Out of one, many. The Latin motto, well known from the United States seal was the title of the collection notes for Italian designer, Stella Jean’s menswear Fall Winter 2016 – 2017 collection. It is completely fitting. Exploring the concept of cultural hybridity as she does with this collection is nothing new to the designer. Born in Rome, Italy, of Italian and Haitian descent, Jean’s collections often display the duality of her mixed race upbringing. Bold Creole influenced prints meeting fine Italian tailoring. She’s already caught the eye of Italian great, Giorgio Armani. In 2013, he chose the young designer to present her spring/summer 2014 collection at his traditional show space, the Armani Teatro, during this autumn's Milan Fashion Week. She was the first womenswear name to present there. Worn by A-listers like Beyoncé and Rihanna, with friends like these, we think we’ll be seeing Stella Jean for many years to come.