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July 31 2014

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16 posts tagged "NEWGEN"

Who Might Be the Next Alexander McQueen? NewGen Spring 2015 Designers Announced

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newgen-sizedSome of fashion’s greatest talents have been NewGen winners, from Alexander McQueen to J.W. Anderson to Christopher Kane. Today, the British Fashion Council announced its next crop of rising stars who will receive support from NewGen and Topshop to show their Spring ’15 collections at London fashion week. Who will be the next Mary Katrantzou or Nicholas Kirkwood? According to the NewGen committee, it’s Lucas Nascimento, 1205, Marques’Almeida (Fall 2014 collection, pictured, left), Ashley Williams, Danielle Romeril, Faustine Steinmetz, Ryan Lo, and Claire Borrow. (Many of them are making their return to NewGen, but Williams and Steinmetz are first-timers.)

As part of the program, each of them will present on the LFW schedule (September 12-16), and they’ll have their own showroom for four hours after their show for sales appointments with buyers.

NewGen is the BFC’s primary outlet for supporting the best of London’s up-and-coming designers. Chaired by Sarah Mower, the NewGen committee selects designers they believe have the creativity, design aesthetic, and point of difference to handle NewGen’s program. The BFC also gives each designer individualized support and access to business seminars to help them build their global brands.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos

Opening Ceremony Heads to Shoreditch

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magritteOpening Ceremony fans in London’s trendy Shoreditch neighborhood are in for a treat. The Ace Hotel, a longtime OC collaborator, will debut a pop-up shop at its Shoreditch location at the end of July. (If you’ll recall, the Ace Hotel in New York City also opened an OC pop-up in 2010.) WWD reports that the Max Lamb-designed store will pop up at 106 High Street.

In addition to Opening Ceremony’s men’s and women’s collections, the shop will sell the new René Magritte capsule (pictured) and pieces by local NewGen designers Faustine Steinmetz and Marques’Almeida.

The pop-up coincides with the temporary closing of OC’s Covent Garden shop, which will undergo renovations.

Craig Green, LC:M’s Golden Boy, Talks Designing a Fantasy

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Craig Green“I am scared,” laughed emerging British menswear designer Craig Green. The 27-year-old, who previously presented with Fashion East and Topshop’s MAN initiative, is referring to his very first London Collections: Men solo show, scheduled for 11 a.m. on Tuesday. The runway event is sponsored by the BFC’s Newgen Men. “It’s nerve-racking. It’s just me. Alone. I don’t know if people will even come!” His jitters are understandable, but Green need not worry about the latter. The designer, who graduated from Central Saint Martins’ prestigious MA course back in 2012, is one of London’s most exciting up-and-comers. And his forthcoming show is one of the most anticipated on the calendar.

Green’s collections, which up until last season have incorporated sculptural wooden frames carried by the models, seamlessly combine the artistic and the commercial. They offer clothes that feel fresh and cerebral on the catwalk but that aren’t intimidating on the sales rack. That is in part thanks to Green’s utilitarian sensibility, which he picked up from his very practical north London family—his father is a plumber, his mother a nurse, and his uncle a carpenter.

Green caught the eye of Dover Street Market after his second show—the retailer not only stocks his wares in London, New York, and Tokyo, but also asked him to create an LC:M window installation. He decided to make a giant octopus in the same cerulean hue that will feature in his Spring ’15 lineup. The beast is currently swimming in DSM’s London storefront. But the retailer isn’t the only institution that has recognized Green’s talent. He was nominated for a British Fashion Award last October, was a semifinalist in LVMH’s inaugural Prize for Young Fashion Designers competition, and has collaborated with the likes of David Beckham and Adidas, Grenson and Mr Porter, Topman and Purified footwear. (He has a Champion USA team-up on the way, too.) There’s no arguing that Green’s star is on the rise. And maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t need to be so concerned about his solo debut after all. “It’s actually quite exciting,” he conceded.

Ahead of his Spring ’15 show, Green spoke with Style.com about his vision, his critics, and his dreams, like building a sturdy brand and moving out of his mom’s house.

You’ve basically exploded in the last year. How are you handling all the attention?
More like my head has exploded. I think I’ve aged more in the last two years than I had in the previous ten. I feel very fortunate to not dread coming into work every day. And I get to work with people who are friends of mine. I’ve had lots of support from Newgen, the BFC, and Fashion East. The BFC actually gave me a free studio for the next two years, which has been very helpful.

Dover Street Market has been very supportive of you as well. How important do you think DSM’s early embrace of your work has been to your success?
Dover Street Market is amazing and it’s always been a dream store for me to be in—it’s always been my number one. I just never thought I’d actually get there, especially at such an early stage. They’re the most incredible company to work with. Everything they do is so well executed, and they’re very respectful of my vision. I wish everyone worked the way Dover Street does.

Craig Green

It’s very impressive that you’ve stayed true to the artistic vision you cultivated at Central Saint Martins. You haven’t wavered from it for a second. Has that been difficult?
There is definitely a lot of temptation. Everyone has a different opinion, and you can’t let that affect you or what you’re doing. You have to use that criticism constructively. It can end up being a positive thing. But it’s definitely hard to stay true to my aesthetic.

Even though you have this cerebral side, your clothes have a realistic, utilitarian twist. They shine in the context of your conceptual catwalks, but can also easily be worn by a normal guy walking down the street.
That balance has become more and more important for us. In the beginning, I just wanted to make amazing imagery, as well as amazing clothes, because I wasn’t really selling. But now it’s essential to have that balance between what we want to show—an emotion and a fantasy—and something that’s accessible and can fit into the real world.

There have been a few people who don’t get the artistic elements of your work. For instance, David Gandy, who’s an LC:M ambassador, made some dismissive comments on television about your Spring ’14 collection, which, for the record, received rave reviews from actual fashion critics.
That was my first [runway] show out of college. I didn’t know how it would go. It was a rush to get everything done. I didn’t have any money. I had no studio. I was relying on favors, and I didn’t really know what the hell I was doing. So when that happened, I was a bit down about it. But then people came out with positive opinions, and I realized that the collection was something that was challenging people. Some people loved it and some people hated it. It was an extreme thing to show. I think every designer wants to challenge people and push things forward and take risks. That’s what keeps fashion exciting and that’s what we love to do. I love the excitement of Oh my God, are we really going to show this? Are we really doing this? It’s not like we’re going to do something crazy every time, but I think designers always need to push.

Spring '14 craig

Do you think menswear is changing in that respect?
I think it’s really the time for menswear. London finally has its own menswear shows, men are a lot more open to suggestions…I think it’s still not going to grow or evolve at the rate of womenswear, but more people are interested in it than they were. Even if you look at BA shows, you’re seeing a lot more menswear students. People are finally seeing the possibilities in menswear, which is really exciting.

How, if at all, did your north London upbringing affect your aesthetic?
I guess I’ve never really known anything else. A lot of my aesthetic—and my perspective—comes from my upbringing and my family. The main reason I got into fashion is because I love to make things. So if I wasn’t doing this, I’d probably just be somewhere making things. I love that we get to do projects like the Dover Street octopus installation. I love making a show. And my family is filled with people who make things. My dad is a plumber, my uncle’s a carpenter, and my godfather is an upholsterer. I remember when I did art projects in school, I used to call my godfather and ask him for upholstery, and then I’d call my uncle and ask him how to make something out of wood. In my house, there was always stuff lying around that I could make things out of.

Is your family proud of all your success? Do they get the fashion thing?
I guess so. I don’t know. They don’t really get the fashion world. But I’ve put my life into it, so it’s not like they’re saying, “Ugh, I don’t get what you’re doing.” They enjoy it. They like it more when I do something like the octopus. That being said, they’re really supportive, and I could never have gotten to where I am without their help. I still ask them for help now. They’re amazing.

Craig Green Dover Street

The generation ahead of you—Christopher Kane, Nicholas Kirkwood, et al.—are making it on the global stage in a way that, with few exceptions, London-based designers haven’t in a long time. Does that put pressure on you? And do you want to follow in the footsteps of, say, Jonathan Anderson, and get a big investor?
[Those designers' success] helps. It makes me think it’s all possible. It’s inspiring, and it’s gotten people to look to London more than they used to. I try not to think too much about investors and all that because what I’m doing now is so much different and bigger than what I imagined I’d be doing two years ago. It’s terrifying, but good. Of course, this is a real business, and I want this to grow into a real brand, a real company. And things are going well. We’re surviving. Two years ago, we were struggling. For Spring ’13, we couldn’t afford any fabric, so we made everything out of washed calico—which was actually kind of amazing because we made something out of nothing. But now we have the ability to say, “Hey, we want to use that fabric. Let’s get some and try it.” We have more resources to try things and do what we want.

What goals do you hope to achieve over the next few years?
I hope to stay in business! Survive! Move out of my mum’s house, maybe. These are life goals. But honestly, I hope to just be able to continue doing what we do. I’d love more brand awareness, to reach more people, and to do bigger shows. That’s always an aim. But as long as we’re able to make what we love, I’m happy.

Photos: Lucy Carr-Ellison; Courtesy Photo; InDigital Images; Courtesy Photo

NEWGEN Announces Its Fall ’14 Recipients

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Simone Rocha Spring '14This morning, NEWGEN, the British Fashion Council’s Topshop-sponsored emerging talent scheme, announced the seven new talents who will receive sponsorship to present their Fall ’14 collections during London fashion week in February. Fledgling designers and brands including 1205, Marques’Almeida, Lucas Nascimento and Simone Rocha (left) will receive support for their runway shows while designer Ryan Lo, a Fashion East alum, will receive funding for a presentation. Meanwhile, Claire Barrow (another Fashion East grad) and Danielle Romeril will house their new collections in an exhibition space. The NEWGEN committee, chaired by journalist Sarah Mower, MBE, selects designers based on their creative strengths and distinct points of view. Past awardees have included Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Jonathan Saunders, and J.W. Anderson.

Photos: Courtesy Photos/div>
Photo: Marcus Tondo/ Indigitalimages.com

Mary Katrantzou Joins NEWGEN

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MAry KatrantzouSince its inception in 1993, the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN has supported the best and brightest of London’s young designers, fostering their transitions from fledgling talents to global stars. Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Thomas Tait, and Simone Rocha are just some of its many success stories. Strangely, though, a designer has never sat on its prestigious judges panel, until today. The initiative announced that former NEWGEN-er Mary Katrantzou will join industry movers and shakers such as Sarah Mower, Kate Phelan, Yasmin Sewell, Ruth Chapman and more on the platform’s selection committee. Katrantzou, who launches her e-commerce site today, will step into her duties straight away and help choose the womenswear designers who will win sponsorship for the Fall ’14 season.

Photo: Getty Images