Truth is… 2020 was not looking good for the state of fashion even before coronavirus impacted the market. The ongoing changes in supply chains and consumer behavior had forced brands to face a disorienting future and try to adapt to a fashion system that no longer existed. The “new normal” currently has no expiration date. In order to survive and evolve, the industry is turning to the Internet for creative and business possibilities from developing innovative e-commerce solutions to investing in virtual influencers. The post-covid priorities are also driven by the aspiration to eliminate textile waste and focus on sustainability strengthening the sense of creative community worldwide.
The first edition of Global Talents Digital took place this June powered by the Russian Fashion Council and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia. It featured 50 designers from 20 countries merging augmented reality, digital clothing, and virtual models. Audience could use QR codes to explore all looks in detail. What’s more, TikTok has collaborated by introducing a hashtag #перезагружаюмоду (translated from Russian as rewiring fashion) to widen the access and appeal of the program. Nearing 30 million views to date, the hashtag is facilitating this vital conversation among the users of the world’s youngest and most dynamic social media platform. Now, these 11 designers are a sure bet to follow into the unpredictable future!
Jake Liu @jakeliuxx (Australia)
Multifunctional, transformable, genderless garments are Liu’s signature style that alludes to the concept of deconstruction of modern beauty stereotypes. His collection No, Everlasting Eternity embraces the body/garment relationship without conforming to conventions of cut or style. Shimmery trousers, wooly tops, silky kaftans, and corsets convey a flamboyant futuristic vibe.
Regina Turbina @regina_turbina1 (Russia)
Ophelica is a fully digital collection where make-believe materials meet traditional classic-cut silhouettes. Featureless cyber-models walk the runway in psychedelic tie-dye wide jeans, shorts, and raincoats reminiscent of the 1990’s and honoring Yves Klein’s iconic blue palette. The mix of metallic tones and textures with furry inserts on pants and vests synthesize hopes and fears du jour.
Florentina Leitner @florentinalight (Austria)
A postmodern Cinderella inspired this exuberant collection full of fun prints with dalmatian spots and doll heads, flowers and geometric shapes. The short film by Marnik A. Boekaerts featured models in a medieval castle competing in sporting events such as tennis, Zumba, and tug-of-war. Flowery dresses and shimmery sky-blue catsuits paid their dues to British design ideals inhabiting grand halls, ancient chambers, and lush gardens. Summer, where art thou?!
Vanesa Krongold @vanesakrongold (Argentina)
Imagine waking up next to yourself! The Swamp and Psychedelia collection is a journey of rebirth, poetry, and femininity. Twins immersed in a Suspiria-like trance with telekinetic and telepathic powers perform ritualistic movements in light silken maxi dresses in psychedelic colors. The mix of jacquard and high-tech fabrics enhances the magical approach to revealing surrounding realities we maybe willfully oblivious to.
ALKHANASHVILI @_alkhanashvili_ (Georgia)
There is a difference between embracing change and rejecting stability. What if some are destined to swim against the tide? In her short film a futuristic long grey coat hugs a young man’s body while he wanders around the city at night on his skateboard. The Make Him Listen to Himself collection introduces a menswear ideology wherein one’s attire is an exact representation of how one feels on the inside. Georgian creatives fight the burden of censorship in Tbilisi as a modern political metropolis.
Annaiss Yucra @annaissyucra (Peru)
Some (in)justice is too important to be forgotten. The designer found inspiration in two stories of incredible resilience of Peruvian women. One is the life of Lina Medina who became the youngest mother in history at the age of five. The other is Yucra’s own grandmother who was given away to settle a family debt when she eight years old. The humanitarian crisis of exploitation of girls must end! The collection is presented in partnership with Ivaany, the first black virtual influencer, in order to radically challenge awareness on racism, class inequality and beauty standards for the future generations of women warriors.
Rabbithole @rabbithole.brand (Russia)
Knitwear is not all Christmas sweaters! Taking cues from yarn bombing as an activist practice, Ekaterina Tsareva’s collection is brilliantly utterly reckless in its use of geometric ornaments, ultra-short miniskirts, neo-romantic pieces, and complex color and texture combos. Digital reality dictates rules before we may be ready for it, so it is refreshing to paradoxically combine familiarity and originality in cosmic motifs. A willingness to take risks is the only way achieve a free spirit.
Linus Leonardsson @linusleonardsson (Sweden)
Blurring fun and glamour can be a way to emphasize social issues such as the demolition of gender conformity and the importance of sustainability. Feast and fantasy come together in 1970’s inspired garments made with recycled materials to ensure lowest environmental pollution possible. The Rare New World collection upgrades traditional conservationism under the onslaught of opposing cultural forces. Be bold, be brave, be ABBA!
Rahel Guiragossian @rahelguiragossian (Switzerland)
Doing away with the idea of seasons in fashion, the designer wonders if clothes can be created to last for centuries, just like art. The joy of intergenerational legacy is evident in the choice to use paintings of her grandfather, father, and brother to add sentimental value to garments and accessories. The abstract floral prints in bright strokes and expressive shades wrap around the body without cuts. This allows the designer to deliver waste-free production. The collection includes beautiful footwear as another rebuttal of fast fashion ideas.
Guido Vera @guidoveracl (Chile)
The brand’s motto – Simple design for complex minds – connects the business principles of sustainable fashion to indigenous artisanal heritage and endangered fauna of the vast Chilean landscapes. The On the road. Issue 3 collection is rooted in the legendary Punta Arenas gateway between the oceans and Antarctica and is concerned with human-made droughts and other avoidable catastrophes. The use of faux fur, non-waste accessories from recycled plastic materials, and natural Peruvian cotton champions a minimalist look for modern nomads.
Anciela @anciela_london (Colombia)
Designer Jennifer Droguett Espinosa is part of the Renaissance that has transformed the city of Medellin from infamous crime hub into the center for Colombian fashion and textile industry. The composition of valleys, mountains, and colorful houses are found in weaved fabrics and prints, creating conceptual garments featuring voluminous pockets and stand-out handmade details. Social change is possible with community effort. The incorporation of NewLife yarn made from recycled plastics salvaged from the ocean furthers the narrative of transformation and hope.