Incredible Women. Incredible Fashion. Every Day.

The Fashion Memo

The Vanguard: this season’s emerging labels

L-R, look 1: striped shirt and pants, Bite Studios. Look 2: coat and dress, Le 17 Septembre; bag, Naturae Sacra. Look 3: coat and jumpsuit, Le 17 Septembre. Look 4: coat and dress, Bite Studios; bag, The Sant

Now in its third season, NET-A-PORTER’s The Vanguard mentorship program shines a light on lesser-known, emerging labels that have a new and unique design aesthetic. These are the latest exciting young brands to join the fold. By GILLIAN BRETT

Left: shirt and pants, Bite Studios; necklace, Laura Lombardi. Right: coat and dress, Bite Studios; gloves, Agnelle

This Anglo-Swedish brand certainly has a lot to sink your teeth into. The name is an acronym for ‘By Independent Thinkers for Environmental Progress’, and the sustainable label was co-founded in Stockholm in 2016 by an eco-conscious collective with a shared appreciation for refined, minimalist fashion. Fastidious about fabrics, they begin each collection by meticulously researching and developing new long-wearing options in natural, organic, recycled or innovative materials, such as bio-vegetable leather. For this season – Collection 4 – they looked to elegant women in the art world, such as Peggy Guggenheim, Lee Miller, Sarah Lucas, Méret Oppenheim and Gillian Wearing, for inspiration, blending environmental integrity with aesthetic beauty. “When the clothes you wear reflect not only your personal style but also align with your belief system, you feel more beautiful,” says co-founder and CEO William Lundgren.

Left: coat, 16Arlington; bag, The Sant; headband, Jennifer Behr. Center: coat, Attico; bag, The Sant; headband, Jennifer Behr. Right: coat, Kwaidan Editions; bag, The Sant; headband, Jennifer Behr

Laura Riera, founder of the Barcelona-based handbag label The Sant, was working at an architectural studio when she felt a desire to build something from the ground herself. During a trip to Japan, she fell in love with the juxtaposition of “modernity and tradition, luxury and simplicity, classic beauty and symbolism” around her, and recognized these as the exact same values that The Sant embodies. This memory is charmingly incorporated into the designs through scrunched ‘Kinchaku’-inspired handles (a cloth bag that is closed with a gathered cord, in which Japanese women keep their most precious belongings). Defined by their distinctive shapes, they will turn even the most pared-back outfit into a fashion statement.

Eunhye Shin named her label after her date of birth in the hope that each piece would bring “happiness and love like birthday gifts” to her customers. Those with minimalist tastes will definitely find joy in Le 17 Septembre’s clean-lined silhouettes and muted color palette. Based in Seoul, South Korea, the former blogger found that when she started making her own pieces for her #OOTDs, her designs really resonated with her followers. She is pragmatic about her inspirations: “There is a saying that goes, ‘The best ingredients make the best food’, and I believe good fabrics bring good clothes. Prior to capturing the details of the design, I spread out all the fabrics I have carefully collected from the market and start dreaming and picturing how I could transform them into one final piece.” The results are luxe, no-brainer basics on which to build a chic capsule wardrobe.

Left: coat and dress, Le 17 Septembre; boots, Legres. Right: coat and jumpsuit, Le 17 Septembre; boots, Legres
Shirt, Gauge 81; pants, Area; both bags, Naturae Sacra

Blending vintage elegance with organic materials, Naturae Sacra’s bags are like nothing you’ve seen before. Founder Gizem Pirincciler is inspired first and foremost by nature, as seen by the statement-making resin handles, of which no two are exactly the same shape. Designed in Milan and handmade by artisans in Turkey, the handbag label blends sculptural sophistication with a quirky edge – meaning it’s sure to be snapped up by the street-style set this fashion month. Pirincciler imagines her designs on fearless dressers: “The Naturae Sacra woman, her life and clothing style reveals her assertive attitude. We’re creating the bag this woman needs.”

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown