More than 30 percent of the brands attending Who’s Next at the beginning of September were taking part for the first time at the Parisian fashion fair. Among them were a number of promising young labels that were launched during the pandemic and are now looking to partner up with multi-brand retailers.
Here are three labels with a responsible approach to fashion, be it with 3D-printed jewellery from algae and coffee waste or PFC-free raincoats with subversive patterns.
Spanish jewellery brand Suagongo blends 3D-technology with nature. All its minimalistic designs from rings to ear pieces and bracelets are made with 3D printers in the Spanish town of Ourense. Despite the futuristic-looking technology, the jewellery's shapes create a visceral organic feel. The layered effect created through the 3D printing process adds a subtle, tactile texture to the pieces.
Suagongo was founded in 2020 by Alba Gonzalez and Raquel Suarez, two friends from the Spanish region of Asturias, which also inspires the collection. Together, they started to research the process of 3D-printing and developed pieces from renewable materials such as polylactic filament with waste from coffee, algae, beer, or willow that adds a distinct colouring to the jewellery.
So far, the brand has developed as many as 30 models, with each collection containing four to five different colourways from different materials. In the beginning, the 3D jewellery was exclusively sold online, but now the label has opened a store in Ourense and is looking to work with other retailers.
Bestseller: Alga earring, Andia bracelet
Points of sale: own online shop, 5 multi-brand stores including in Greece and Spain
Retail price range: 29 euros to 47 euros, from small to bigger 3D pieces
Production: in their own studio in Ourense, Galicia
Sales contact: email@example.com
Womenswear label Nitah combines clean and elegant designs with an artisan feel evoked by hand-knitted and crocheted tops. “It is an inspiration from the Mediterranean and Morocco,” said founder Elise Dupuy at Who’s Next. “It draws from my origins, I am Franco-Moroccan and I am very inspired by craftsmanship.” In a nod to her origin, she also named the label after her Morrocan grandmother and seamstress, Anna Benitha, who passed on her love for fashion.
Dupuy set up her label last year in Lilles, a city in the North of France. The collection is only produced in France and currently consists of 24 items, which does not include colour variations. The hand-knitted tops are made by women from Lille in disadvantaged situations, to help them earn more income.
Nitah began selling to end customers through its own online store and the label has also been sold in various stores in Europe and the US since last year.
Bestseller: Knit tops Alya and Lou, Josy pants
Points of sale: ten multi-brand stores including Maison de Nines in Marseille, La Case Paulette in Berlin and Shop Martine in Toulouse
Retail price range: 100 euros for a shirt to 220 euros for a jumpsuit
Sales contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The idea to found a rainwear label with style came to Bianca Benloukil when she was living in Bali. She noticed during the island’s heavy rain season that the current market for ponchos is “deeply lacking in style” and mostly not sustainable.
Benloukil eventually quit her job at a prestigious creative agency in Paris and moved to Amsterdam last year to found her label Rainodd. Her new home is no stranger to sudden and heavy downpours, either. Rainodd’s online-shop launched last November, and now the founder is looking to connect with retailers.
Rainodd currently offers unisex rain ponchos with five different patterns, which were also designed by Benloukil. She only uses certified fabrics from recycled plastic bottles without PFCs or perfluorocarbons, which are typically used to make rainwear water repellent but contain carcinogenic substances.
And the founder and creative director already has more ideas for rainy weather - like trench coats and bucket hats. The designs are in the drawer, she is just waiting to see how the ponchos are received before launching more products.
Bestseller: rain poncho with LSD and Tortoise pattern
Points of sale: own website and soon at Kiliwatch in Paris
Retail price range: 125 euros
Sales contact: email@example.com