Next in Fashion, which made its Netflix debut on January 29, brings together 18 of the most promising and needle-pushing designers at work today, seeing them go head to head in an effort to win $250,000 of investment, together with the opportunity to have their final collection stocked on NET-A-PORTER. Not only does it reinforce NET-A-PORTER’s reputation as an incubator for emerging talent, it heralds it as the destination for new designers. Hosted by fashion icons Alexa Chung and Tan France – along with a little help from guest judges, including celebrity stylist Elizabeth Stewart, model Adriana Lima and designer Christopher Kane – each episode presents the contestants with a new design challenge and gradually whittles them down until one winner remains.
As a designer and entrepreneur herself, Chung is particularly proud of how faithfully the series represented the fashion industry at large. She explains, “The show really honors how determined and hard-working the people in the fashion industry are. It can be a real slog. You don’t often think about the creative process when you’re buying a piece of clothing, but you’re not just paying for the fabric and the production, you’re buying into someone’s dream.” For France, the emphasis was on innovation. He says, “This show is all about finding the next major designer. We were looking for someone who could offer us something we’d never seen before – and we found them!”
In the end, the coveted Next in Fashion crown went to Korean designer Minju Kim, who stood out from the very first episode thanks to her playful-yet-contemporary take on feminine style. Shortlisted for the illustrious LVMH prize back in 2014, Kim has been building her label for a few years now but credits the show with giving her the confidence to push her distinctive aesthetic to the limits. So, what’s next for Kim? France is convinced she is headed for “world domination”.
Fans of the series will be glad to know that Minju Kim’s designs will be dropping on NET-A-PORTER on February 10. For the uninitiated, we urge you to check out Next in Fashion – it’s binge-worthy viewing at its finest.