Despite a pandemic that has put so many aspects of life on pause, fashion has persisted as a form of art and community, with plenty of fresh labels making their way into the mainstream. The Spring/Summer 2021 shows—ranging from runways with masked audiences to photo and video presentations—created an opportunity for creativity and adaptation that showed a more intimate side of the fashion industry. At the same time, fashion lovers took to the Internet to express themselves, an effort that has sent some pieces like Orseund Iris' ballerina skirt and Lirika Matoshi's strawberry dress into virality.
Here, L'OFFICIEL gives a nod to the brands that have caught everyone's eyes—be it for their unique aesthetics, vivacious communities, or behind-the-scenes consciousness—and helped us look at fashion through a fresh lens in 2020.
In 2020, Telfar has massively increased its cult following, and for good reason. Its classic Shopping Bag, also called the Bushwick Birkin, sells out within minutes at every drop. Winner of American Accessories Designer of the Year at the 2020 CFDA Awards, Telfar Clemens abides by inclusivity and accessibility, offering high fashion at affordable prices.
In recent years, French designer Marine Serre has garnered praise for her futuristic designs, dystopian themes, and sustainable practices, but it's her signature crescent moon print that took over 2020. It's been spotted everywhere from matching mommy and me outfits on Kylie Jenner and Stormi Webster to catsuits in Beyoncé's Black is King.
Christopher John Rogers
Christopher John Rogers has been everywhere lately, from dressing Beyoncé in British Vogue to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Vanity Fair. Named American Emerging Designer of the Year at the 2020 CFDA Awards, Rogers' use of bold colors and prints in everything from elaborate eveningwear to tailored separates has been a much needed dose of serotonin, keeping fashion exciting.
A 2020 CFDA Award for American Menswear Designer of the Year, Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss is one of the fashion industry's champions of social justice. This year, Jean-Raymond launched Exist to Resist, a platform spotlighting the work of organizations like the Innocence Project and Marsha P. Johnson Institute. Pyer Moss is a brand built on celebrating diverse voices and supporting community, collaborating with artists and other Black-owned labels like Brother Vellies.
Led by design trio Jin Kay, Dylan Cao, and Huy Luong, Commission takes the familiar and makes it fresh. With vintage-inspired floral prints scattered among pinstripe separates for the Fall/Winter 2020 collection, the New York-based label presents polished pieces that mix masculine and feminine details.
With Priscavera, New York-based designer Prisca Vera Franchetti is creating a wardrobe for the coolest of today's youth. Playing off unique ideas, Franchetti included tourist shop-inspired tees and sweatshirts amidst her usual array of fun prints and silhouettes for the Spring/Summer 2021 collection.
Founded in 2016 by a collective of Stockholm and London-based designers, Bite Studios puts environmental awareness at the forefront of its process. Wanting to make a big impact on fashion with the smallest impact on the earth, the brand's tailored yet fluid pieces and vegan leather outerwear are meant to last.