From next-gen couturiers to bright young things, modern menswear icons to the return of Queen Phoebe Philo... these are the labels to know in 2022.
1. The bright young couturier: Andrea Brocca
The elite world of couture is famously tricky to crack, but for 25-year-old Italian-Sri Lankan designer Andrea Brocca it’s been a whirlwind tour. Not only did he complete studies at the ultra prestigious École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and London’s Central Saint Martins, he was also awarded Guinness Book of Records’ youngest couturier aged 16. He’s since worked at Temperley, Prabal Gurung, Ellery and Bottega Veneta and dressed everyone from Lady Gaga to Rina Sawayama. The debut collection he dropped at Paris Couture Week this summer is made entirely from deadstock fabrics such as silk moiré, organza and sustainable leather and has been picked up by many a Vogue cover and celebrity; not least Jourdan Dunn, who wore his spiral rose gown to the 2021 British Fashion Awards in December. Watch this space.
2. The upmarket upcycler: Conner Ives
Before Conner Ives even graduated from Central St Martins, he was stocked in several high-profile London boutiques and dressing the likes of Adwoa Aboah and Rihanna — the latter of whom snapped him up upon graduation to help get Fenty off the ground. It is only since this summer therefore that the LVMH Prize finalist has been entirely focused on his own designs — think ready-to-wear and evening wear upcycled from discarded fabrics in an array of delightful rainbow hues. If you’re looking for a hit of sartorial happiness, look no further.
3. The affordable dress label: Day 6
Looking for a flirty new ‘fit that won’t break the bank? Introducing new London label Day 6, which launched in June 2021 and majors in fun and sexy print-centric pieces at an affordable price. It’s all designed, milled and produced in the UK, meaning minimal waste. The ruched mesh minis and slit-front flares will be perfect party pieces come summer.
4. The rising star: Maximilian
For anyone keen to blag it as a fashion insider, Maximilian Davis is the name to know. The London College of Fashion graduate launched his brand Maximilian in 2019 and has thrived through the pandemic, with Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, and A$AP Rocky all sporting his designs. After Michaela Coel wore his cut-out back dress to the Baftas in April, searches for the brand increased 49 per cent month-on-month. Mark our words, 2022 is the year Maximilian will hit the big time.
5. The shirting specialists: Basic Rights
When it comes to chic, utilitarian menswear, few do it better than London label Basic Rights, launched by The Vaccines guitarist Freddie Cowan in 2016 and loved by everyone from Robert Downey Jr to Sacha Baron Cohen and Idris Elba. Made using fabrics sourced from the limited, end-of-roll supplies of luxury brands’ production lines, Basic Rights specialises in slick shirts that feel five star, but for half the price. Plus, they plant a tree for every item sold. What’s not to love?
6. The sportswear supremo: Saul Nash
London’s menswear scene is having a renaissance, and choreographer and designer Saul Nash, 29, is at the vanguard. Bridging the gap between sportswear and luxury menswear, his considered designs fuse technical fabrics and zippers with flowing silhouettes to create elevated pieces designed to move in. He’s been an LVMH Prize semi-finalist, a Newgen recipient and a finalist for the International Woolmark Prize 2022, and the sophomore collection he released at London Fashion Week in September was a dynamic wardrobe that’s catnip for casualwear enthusiasts.
7. The edgy tailoring experts: Labrum London
Sierra Leone-born, London-raised and Nike and DKNY-trained Foday Dumbuya started Labrum London from his living room in 2014 with a mission to make modern menswear combining West African and British heritage. His SS22 show at London Fashion Week in September made a splash with a live performance from African band Balimaya Project and tie-die unisex tailoring created in partnership with artisans in Sierra Leone. If you haven’t heard of Labrum, you’re about to.
8. The cool new cossies: Louisa Ballou
Looking to up the sass on your next holiday? Look no further than super sexy Nineties-inflected swimwear label Louisa Ballou, whose tropical prints, cut-out silhouettes and signature spherical hardware have already made excellent Insta-fodder on the likes of Bella Hadid, Kylie and Kendall Jenner and Megan Thee Stallion.
9. The colourful bling: Bea Bongiasca
In 2021, we learnt the power of dopamine dressing through embracing colour in our wardrobes. For 2022, its time to extend the rainbow to our bling, and there’s no cooler name in colourful jewels than Bea Bongiasca. The Central Saint Martins graduate makes sculptural, stackable pieces from stone and pastel-hued enamel that are guaranteed to brighten the dreariest of January days.
10. The vegan bag brand: Mashu
Once upon a time, choosing a vegan leather handbag brand meant sacrificing on style and luxuriousness, but no longer. Mashu, which launched in 2017, creates sculptural bags inspired by art deco interiors and Cycladic architecture from leathers made from pineapple and cactus, deadstock fabrics and repurposed wood. It really is cool to be kind.
11. The hot heels: D’Accori
If you know your Amina Muaddi from your Mach & Mach then hot new London-based heels brand D’Accori is one to have on your radar. Despite only having launched in late 2021, its sky-high metallic party platforms have already been worn by Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Doja Cat and Megan Fox. Get thee to the disco.
12. And the yet-to-launch brand…
Phoebe Philo’s namesake label is set drop this year, and Philophiles are already at fever pitch. Keep your Celine-loving eyes peeled...