Luxury labels to watch: London womenswear brands to have on your radar
London’s luxury scene can be defined by young designers that have merged their own cultures and upbringings to that of the bustling city’s lifestyle in which they are based. Many have been, and often still are, backed by the British Fashion Council (BFC), which uses its NewGen initiative to put a spotlight on upcoming influential names in the industry. This has seen many debut on the London Fashion Week runway or host presentations during the prestigious event, giving them a platform to share their stories through their bold collections. FashionUnited has compiled some of the most notable luxury brands to look out for in the coming season and beyond.
16Arlington is a brand founded and launched by Marco Capaldo and Federica ‘Kikka’ Cavenati in 2017, and prides itself on merging European couture with womenswear tailoring. Cavenati unfortunately passed away in November 2021, however in spite of her passing, Capaldo is keeping the brand running and continues to release seasonal collections that continue to define the duo’s values, often drawing inspiration from Kikka herself.
The brand already counts a number of famous faces among its fans, including Lady Gaga and Jorja Smith, and has seen added success through its regular presence on London Fashion Week’s runways. The brand covers multiple categories, including ready-to-wear, occasionwear, footwear and accessories. Its most recent SS23 collection came as a tribute to Kikka, taking inspiration from the late designer’s habit of borrowing Capaldo’s clothes, with looks that fell under the ‘Forget Me Not’ theme.
Points of sale
Next to its own webshop, 16Arlington can be found on a number of luxury e-commerce sites, including Farfetch, Net-a-porter, Ssense and Matchesfashion. It is also stocked in various high-end department stores, such as Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Browns, where it exists either as a concession or shop-in-shop. Meanwhile, multibrand retailers like Flannels and End. also count the brand among their stock.
Its reach across countries is quite expansive, with multiple locations throughout the UK and Europe, namely in England, Greece, Italy, France and Switzerland. It is also stocked in Shanghai’s LMDS and counts a number of Middle Eastern retailers among its partners, including locations in Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Department stores in the US, like Neiman Marcus and H.Lorenzo, further stock the brand.
In 16Arlington’s ready-to-wear lines, prices typically start from around 300 pounds for a top and can vary depending on the item. While some dresses are priced between 850 to 3,000 pounds, jackets can range from 1,200 to 6,500 pounds. Footwear and accessories prices sit in the range of 250 pounds, for mini shoulder bags, to 1,295 pounds for studded platform boots.
China-born Yuhan Wang formed her brand after studying at Central Saint Martins, with her graduate collection initially included in London Fashion Week’s Fashion East line up for three seasons, starting in 2018. The young designer has now expanded out of the category to host shows under the BFC’s NewGen programme, where she displays collections that draw inspiration from the merging of traditional Asian ideals and Western culture.
Wang was awarded the first runner-up of the L’Oréal Young Talent Award in 2016 for her graduation collection, and was also shortlisted for the 2020 LVMH prize. Many of the designer’s pieces put an emphasis on sustainable and ethical production, with past creations having utilised the likes of recycled cotton, faux leather materials, reused fabrics and local suppliers. Her values also shone through in her SS23 ready-to-wear collection, which referenced famous female pilots, as seen through the use of helmet headwear and parachute bags alongside her signature lacey wares.
Points of sale
In the UK, Yuhan Wang is currently only stocked in department store retailer Browns and online site Farfetch, next to its own webshop. Meanwhile, the brand has a strong presence in both the US and parts of Asia. Dover Street Market in New York and LA count the brand among its stock, while retail partners located in Osaka, Shanghai and Chengdu also feature the brand’s collection.
Yuhan Wang tops are priced between 190 and 560 pounds, while its dresses sit at around 440 to 1,000 pounds and its coats reach up to 730 pounds. For accessories and footwear, the brand sells various jewellery and neck pieces at an average of 200 pounds and its selection of shoes typically goes for around 630 pounds.
Sinéad O’Dwyer has already made a name for herself through her emphasis on conversations surrounding body and inclusivity. The Irish designer and Royal College of Art graduate has established herself through sculptural pieces that explore the way we perceive our body and how it appears to the outside world. Her values particularly ran true for O’Dwyer’s debut London Fashion Week show, where she displayed her SS23 collection on a highly diverse cast of models as part of the event’s NewGen TikTok show space.
Her challenge of body dysmorphia within fashion aligns her with similarly notable female designers that are also carving out the space for inclusivity and has seen her honoured in initiatives such as Dazed 100. Speaking to AnOther magazine, O’Dwyer said: “When luxury fashion completely excludes the majority of people, I think it has a really big mental health impact. Through my own realisation that I really struggle with body dysmorphia and eating disorders myself, I understood that a really powerful aspect of that was access to garments that make you feel like you’re part of luxury fashion.”
Points of sale
Sinéad O’Dwyer has limited availability and mostly appears on independent online retailers. While the brand doesn’t operate a webshop of its own, it is heavily featured on luxury marketplace Ssense and the US’ H.Lorenzo, where shoppers can access a large part of the collection. Indie retailer LA-based The Cool Hour also stocks the brand, while Hong Kong e-commerce platform Goxip houses most of Sinéad O'Dwyer's collection.
Dresses by Sinéad O’Dwyer retail from around 500 to 900 pounds, while the brand’s selection of tops go from around 300 to 450 pounds. Harness-like leggings and other similar pieces typically go for anywhere in between 500 and 1,100 pounds. The brand’s shoes sit at around 600 to 900 pounds.
American-Chinese designer Chet Lo has cemented his place in the industry through his avant garde designs, celebrity clientele and his ability to make a statement on the runway. The Central Saint Martins graduate crashed onto the scene with an array of contemporary knitwear pieces, which has seen the likes of corsets, dresses and flares take new, spiked formations – an element that is now Lo’s signature. The brand’s popularity has been backed by a host of notable fans, including Kylie Jenner, Dua Lipa and Doja Cat, among a cohort of others.
Lo joined the Fashion East roster and went on to take part in the BFC’s NewGen project. The designer made his solo catwalk debut during London Fashion Week’s September 2022 event, offering up bulbous accessories and clingy knits that saw Lo play on his East Asia heritage. Next to the colourful line, Lo also presented a selection of denim trousers created in partnership with Isko, a sustainable denim producer.
Points of sale
Chet Lo operates his own e-store, where customers can purchase items from the designer’s latest collections and browse available made-to-measure pieces. Next to this, the brand can also be found on luxury e-commerce websites Ssense and Farfetch, and in London department store Selfridges. It is further stocked in Milan concept store Numero Trenta and multibrand American retailer H.Lorenzo.
Chet Lo’s prices for its selection of tops and bottoms sit at around 200 to 550 pounds, each often designed to be paired with a matching piece. The brand’s dresses typically retail between 650 and 1,500 pounds, depending on the length and style. Accessories, including gloves, bags and tights, sell at prices starting from 150 to 675 pounds, the latter of which applies to its signature Bunny Bag.
Founded in 2017, Poster Girl was formed by Central Saint Martins graduates Francesca Capper and Natasha Somerville, who met while studying womenswear design. With experience at top fashion houses, including the likes of John Galliano and Christian Dior, the two developed strong expertise from the industry before forming the label. The brand itself follows a “high gloss aesthetic” which is backed with the use of sophisticated craftsmanship techniques.
Its eye-catching designs have already captured the attention of a number of famous faces, such as Paris Hilton, Kylie Jenner and Vanessa Hudgens, giving the brand a sought-after following. Its essence was further built on for the brand’s latest SS23 collection, shown during London Fashion Week, where the duo presented their signature take on redefined femininity, through rhinestone encrusted hardware, flowing chiffon and laser cut latex. Next summer will mark the brand’s first foray into the luxury bag market, expanding its accessory line-up and breaking it into a new category.
Points of sale
Next to the brand’s own e-commerce site, where customers can shop both clothing and underwear, Poster Girl is also available on multiple luxury marketplaces, including Farfetch, Revolve, Ssense and Browns. It is also featured in British department stores Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, as well as retailer Flannels. The brand can further be found in smaller scale, concept retailers, such as Annie’s Ibiza and Désordre boutique.
Poster Girl dresses typically sit at prices between 100 and 1,200 pounds, with prices vastly differing based on the design and cut. While the brand’s coats range from 1,000 to 2,100 pounds, its tops and bottoms can fall somewhere between the 60 and 900 pounds marks. The brand also offers a selection of underwear and tights, that see prices start from around five pounds and go up until 360 pounds.
Masha Popova is the eponymous brand of the Ukrainian-born womenswear designer. Popova has made a name for herself through experimental denim designs that look to exhibit her Ukrainian heritage and childhood upbringing. On graduating from Central Saint Martins with a BA and MA, Popova went on to intern at Maison Margiela and Celine, growing her experience in the industry and contributing to the development of her signature style.
For her most recent collection, Popova channelled her frustrations with the situation in her home country into a line that aimed to mirror her sentiments. This resulted in deconstructed, overprinted pieces, with swirling patterns, embossed designs and bold silhouettes. Popova puts an emphasis on the use of denim, a material she has previously stated as being a versatile fabric to work with. Speaking to Vogue, the designer said: “It carries character, emotion and energy. Denim can express many different feelings.”
Points of sale
Masha Popova operates its own e-shop, which is updated in accordance with collection drops. Outside of this store, the brand has a limited retail presence, however it is still featured on luxury marketplaces Farfetch and Ssense. The brand can also be found via independent multibrand retailers, like Italy’s Tessabit and the UK’s Shyness store.
Masha Popova’s selection of jeans typically retail for around 200 to 500 pounds on various e-commerce sites. The brand’s tops come in at prices between 150 and 550 pounds, meanwhile footwear, most notably Masha Popova’s denim boots, can often be spotted in the price range of about 600 pounds.