Paris Fashion Week is an event I don’t miss. Numerous big name brands such as Louis Vuitton, Rick Owens, and Maison Margiela, all show their best of the best in this short week. However, as much as I enjoyed the big name shows this year, I found myself more intrigued by the lesser known brands of PFW 2020. In this article, I delve into what some of my favorite smaller brands are all about.
The uniqueness of Phipps stems from its distinct narrative about nature. The designs tell a story about the earth. In a way, fashion itself is a concept far from nature, as one of many human-made art forms. Unfortunately, modernity has made fashion an artifact somewhat unnatural, with excessive decorations and non-natural color palettes. However, Phipps embraces nature at its core. His designs include imagery of nature, and often contains elements which are suited for nature-friendly activities such as hiking. Furthermore, his production practices also reflect this idea. Sustainable manufacturing and eco-friendly materials are central philosophies to the brand.
Phipps’s narrative originates, unsurprisingly, from the lifestyle and experiences of the designer and creative director, Spencer Phipps. Spencer Phipps is a young American designer from San Francisco, who is also a rock climber and outdoorsman living in close proximity to mother nature. He frequently travels to sites of great nature from Nigeria to Southern Iceland, where he acquires inspiration for his brand.
Learn more about Phipps here: https://phipps.international/
Stefano Pilati, the creator of Random Identities, is an established designer in the fashion world. Recently, he conceived his own brand Random Identities. As the name suggests, Random Identities is all about creating identity. The central idea Pilati proposes about the brand is that he wants his clothes to be a part of the identity of the wearer, and not his own: hence the term “Random” identities. He described that this ethos makes him feel more ‘honest.’
The brand frankly feels like a breath of fresh air in a fashion industry dominated by logos and signature designs. While most creators are trying to be more and more pronounced in terms of their own identities, Pilati creates designs that can fit an “average” person’s wardrobe. The brand lacks logos or any ostentatious design, reflective of his philosophy. However, Pilati does not forget to include his own design twists in the classic garments he works on such as suits, trench coats, and bombers. It’s almost as if the identity of the clothing and the wearer merges, and creates a completely new self.
Random Identities also embodies accessibility. The clothes don’t cost an arm or a leg, but are set reasonably for the everyday person to spend. His brand is truly bridging the gap between what we define as “clothes” and what we define as “luxury”.
Learn more about Random Identities here: https://www.gq.com/story/random-identities-stefano-pilati-interview
Kiko Kostadinov is one of my personal favorite designers. Best known for his collaboration with Asics, he is responsible for single-handedly making Asics cool again. However, he is much more than an Asics collaborator. Kostadinov’s designs are based on workwear and uniforms. At first thought, the two concepts of workwear and uniforms are pretty boring. Dickies pants, school uniforms, or Carhartt jackets have been around forever, and have defined ‘workwear’ over the years. In contrast to this original concept, Kostadinov’s take on workwear takes a completely different turn. Backed with his immense creativity, Kostadinov combines unique technical materials and utilizes distinct color palettes to create garments that almost seem completely novel. He redefines the concept of workwear, and transforms it into a more modern, refined version. He cares about the smallest details, and creates clothes that look like conceptual art pieces. Due to his ability to create, Kostadinov is always backed with a supporting fanbase with a genuine appreciation for him. For Kostadinov, “good design always wins.”
Learn more about Kiko Kosadinov here: https://www.ssense.com/en-us/editorial/fashion/mackintoshs-prodigy-kiko-kostadinov