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Erkan Coruh Is Who Is On Next


Three new names to know: Erkan Coruh, Jerome C. Rousseau, and Claudio Montias. The trio of designers—Coruh for ready-to-wear and Rousseau and Montias for accessories—were just named winners of Vogue Italia‘s annual Who Is On Next awards. The victors were announced at Rome’s AltaRomaAltaModa haute couture week, which just kicked off in the Italian capital.

Coruh’s Spring collection, Radical Beauty, took the top prize. Inspired by the work of Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, it charts, in the Turkish designer’s words, the “dramatic journey from the rigid world of Islam to a vision of feminine beauty.” (In practice, that means everything from head-covering tops paired with mini bustle skirts to a patchwork dress fashioned from raw-edged chamois suede—all made in Italy, one of the contest’s prerequisites. A look from his Fall collection, The Women of Allah, is pictured, left.)

The Canadian footwear designer Jerome C. Rousseau and the Argentine footwear designer Claudio Montias shared the second prize. Rousseau said he was inspired by “glam and disco” for his winning collection; he honed his shoe skills working for Matthew Williamson (who knows a thing or two about both), before launching his own brand in London in 2008. (He now sells to Barneys, Dover Street Market, and Harvey Nichols.)

Winning comes with a plum reward—a slot on September’s show calendar at Milan fashion week and a shoot with one of Vogue Italia‘s star photographers. Last year’s winner, ready-to-wear designer Marco de Vincenzo, says the prize made “all the difference” for his fledgling business. His namesake collection now sells to 26 stores worldwide, and in September, his slinky dresses will be available at Paris’ Colette.


Designer Update