Fashion Week Kicks Off: Five to Watch

New York Fashion Week kicks off with a blend of old stalwarts and breakout runway stars.

new york fashion weekWith New York Fashion Week buzzing away, Midtown’s Garment District can expect an influx of celebrities and editors clamoring for front row seats at the fashion house galas. Expect everyone from reality staples named Kardashian to class act actors such as Jessica Chastain and Robin Wright to mingle with editors not just named Anna Wintour, in order to preview the goods.

It’s pretty tough for emerging stars to get their designs and creations seen in such a tightly-packed venue that’s full of established design houses—especially when several everyday name brands have recently received a revamp or shifted reins to new blood in order to shake up and reinvent business.

Word is spreading about older stalwarts such as DKNY, Givenchy, and retailers Coach and J. Crew, says, but don’t count out a few upstarts who are guaranteed to tear up the runway.

Fashion bible Elle predicts lightning to strike during Fashion Week for these five new New York-based kids on the block:

Kaelen Howard

For Kaelen wearers, it’s all about presence. Howard’s five-year old line, KAELEN, is full of clean lines and seasonal color, not to mention “quiet power and subtlety” (her words). Kaelen was part of the class of the 2014 CFDA Fashion Incubator program, where she created a digital showcase of her collection alongside nine other new designers.

Who’s worn her: Mindy Kaling, Blake Lively

Baja East

Started by Scott Studenberg and John Targon in 2013, these “loose luxury” guys are committed to creating clothes that make everyone happy and cool. Touted as an “ambisexual” clothing line, their ideas are based upon a confident and sexy appeal. The clothes themselves defy marginalization and if you take a look at some of the celebrities who wear them, you’ll get the idea of how they attract those who tend toward the iconoclastic and who decidedly different drum.

Who’s worn them: Zac Efron, Adam Levine, Jared Leto, Cameron Diaz


Yara Flinn is the design brain behind the label Nomia and she’s been hard at work on her minimalist and modern women’s clothing line since 2009. While that may not constitute being a newbie in the business exactly, she is getting people to sit up and take notice—and has earned her own show.

Who’s worn her: Kylie Jenner

Sandy Liang

On the other end of the spectrum is 23-year-old Lower East Side designer Sandy Liang who pushes the envelope by meshing street with a heaping amount of style. If that seems like oil and water, Liang manages to make these opposites mesh. She counts her Chinese grandmother’s aesthetic as a major influence on her bold and confident designs.

Who’s worn her: Natasha Goldenberg


Back in 2012 they launched with a collection of Italian knitwear for the winter season and this (initially) menswear-focused design team—consisting of two brothers named Matt and Alex Orley and Matt’s wife Samantha—earned a rising star award. Now they’re crashing the ladies wear party with knitwear similar to their men’s line. They deem themselves fashion nostalgics, and even have based their fall line on the American Impressionist paintings of William Meritt Chase.

Who carries them: Bergdorf Goodman, Union


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