Who is going to be this year’s Billy Reid or Ann Mashburn? Look to these five up-and-comers in 2013.
1. Hannah Goff. Winner of Charleston Fashion Week’s Emerging Designer competition last year, this SCAD grad won the judges over with her penchant for colorful prints and structured pleating that toggle the line between abstract art and downtown-chic threads. The competition earned Hannah press from industry leaders such as Elle and Fashionista.com, and a spot as one of the headlining acts for the 2013 CFW shows.
2. Read Wall. The D.C.-based prep-school grad came on our radar last fall and reignited our schoolgirl crush on the valedictorian. Read Wall’s eponymous label of button-down oxfords, tapered chinos, and skinny ties are all-American with a youthful edge, a balance he nailed while interning at Vineyard Vines. And as should always be the case in good menswear, the focus is on proper fit and construction. “The READ WALL guy is someone who appreciates quality and fit,” Read says. The designer has already racked up a long list of rave reviews—GQ, Nylon, Details, and Washingtonian are all fans. Why we really love him? Like a true gentleman, Read cares about giving back. For every item he sells, he donates a book for children in need.
3. Loretta Jane. Alabama native Kelli Cooper knows what Southern women want—color, prints, feminine cuts, edgy flair—and that is exactly what she designs for her label Loretta Jane. Kelli graduated from Middle Tennessee State University and cut her chops working under a bridal and formalwear designer in Nashville. Now she feels at home in New Orleans, where her entire collection is designed and made. Her background in formalwear mixed with her love for the retro South and joyful outlook means you can be certain every Loretta Jane (a name she got from merging family names) will be something you can dance in.
4. Isabel Thomas. We found Atlanta-based label Isabel Thomas while shopping at a Bowling Green, Kentucky boutique last month. Further digging proved that we were not alone in our love for designer Taylor Isabel Thomas’s classic, ladylike dresses. Last year AmericasMart Atlanta awarded the Ole Miss student the “Buyer’s Choice” award in its Emerging Designers competition. We can’t wait to see what Taylor has in store with her second collection out this spring.
5. Mix Julep. Brand-new label (the debut collection is Spring/Summer 2013) Mix Julep is sure to be a favorite for on-the-go women everywhere. Savannah native Kathryn Hayes created a line of reversible dresses that are as sophisticated as they are versatile. There are casual shifts for coastal living, A-line numbers for cocktail parties, and sultry fitted dresses for date nights. Each dress has a different print on each side, so no one will be the wiser if you rock the same dress twice.