Every season sees less focus on the world’s fashion capitals – New York, London, Milan, Paris – and more on unexpected cities whose homegrown labels have influenced global trends. For 2019, Culture Trip has picked five up-and-coming scenes on four continents that offer fresh perspectives on style.
Australia has moved steadily into the fashion spotlight in recent years. Pioneering designers such as Toni Matičevski, whose pieces were modelled by fashion blogger and model Nicole Warne for Vogue Australia, Dion Lee, the first person to present a fashion week collection at the Opera House, and sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann, whose namesake brand began as a Paddington market stall and can now be found in high-fashion retailers all over the world, have led the way. Although these three brands have moved their seasonal runway shows to New York, there will still be plenty of emerging talent to spot at Sydney’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week when it comes around in May 2019.
When it comes to fashion, Amsterdam is considered the nucleus of independent denim brands, but local labels’ increasing focus on sustainability is also noteworthy. Mandy Meuwese, founder of Amsterdam fashion and lifestyle PR agency Ganbaroo, predicts a surge in this trend in 2019. “I believe there to be an urgent need for brands that are transparent, socially involved and consciously engaged,” she says. Fashion for Good Experience, a museum exploring fashion’s production chain and promoting sustainability through immersive installations and presentations, will open in October 2019 and the city’s main fashion school, Amsterdam Fashion Institute, will welcome a new director in February. Former lecturer and guest speaker Dirk Reynders will usher in a new era of creativity, and the fashion industry’s key players eagerly await his plans for the university.
Label of the moment, Nanushka, put Budapest on the fashion map when it rose to fame in 2016. The brand’s collections are inspired by the city’s unique culture and for spring/summer 2019 it used only vegan-friendly leather – a trait that’s become popular among younger labels looking to promote ethical and sustainable production. What makes Nanushka special is its commitment to its heritage. While global recognition has earned it a spot on the New York Fashion Week line-up, it still hosts a runway show at Budapest Fashion Week every season, welcoming a new influx of fashion insiders and media interest to the city. Expect to see Nanushka and other up-and-coming brands from Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic on the Budapest Fashion Week schedule this year.
Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo first drew attention to the Japanese fashion scene when they brought their edgy labels to Paris during the 1980s. Now, Tokyo labels (both nascent and established) earn just as much credibility showcasing in their home city, with Tokyo Fashion Week proving time and again to be a breeding ground for exciting new talent. The event, which takes place in March and October, attracts some of the world’s most influential buyers, editors and influencers thanks to its focus on forward-thinking collections and its confident, ever-changing aesthetic.
The onslaught of emerging talent taking over Downtown Los Angeles makes it one of 2019’s key fashion destinations. Major revitalisation efforts coupled with the neighbourhood’s proximity to a booming arts district have turned it into an important fashion centre. Plus, the area’s huge number of manufacturing warehouses offers designers access to local production, attracting major labels such as Yves Saint Laurent and Rebecca Taylor. Row DTLA, which opened in 2017, is quickly becoming an upmarket shopping destination, adding to the commercial viability of the district. Further afield, independent designers are establishing edgy pop-up platforms such as Fashun Tweek to fuse art, music and fashion, and stage seasonal guerrilla presentations. In Greater LA, the biannual Los Angeles Fashion Week – an international event that grows more and more prestigious each season – is becoming a destination for designers who see beyond Hollywood’s glamour and recognise LA as a culturally vibrant city with huge potential.
For more of this series, check out our wishlist article on art and design destinations for 2019.