I was really excited to see lots of pictures of Stella Jean showing in Milan this season, and this was for two very different reasons:
Stella Jean was among the designers we chose as one of the winners when I was on the jury for Vogue Italia editor in chief Franca Sozzani’s Who Is on Next? competition a couple of years ago (while I was still an editor), alongside Averyl Oates, Terron Schaefer, Suzy Menkes, Tiziana Cardini, and Mark Holgate as well as a few others. Based in Rome, Who Is on Next? is Sozzani’s competition for young designers who manufacture in Italy. Stella’s mix of refreshing silhouettes and interesting prints, infused with her Haitian heritage, definitely produced a collection that set her apart from the rest.
What also struck me as brilliant this season is the news that Giorgio Armani lent his show space to young designers for their shows, Stella Jean included. For a long while at Milan fashion week, there was always a real chicken and egg debate about the lack of burgeoning young fashion talent in Italy: Was it because there isn’t an institution like Central Saint Martins or Parsons based in Milan? Or was it simply because there isn’t the support that young designers need? Or a bit of both? Either way, it seems that a few young designers are managing to break through into the Milanese fashion-conscious stream and it’s great to see!
For more information, visit http://www.stellajean.it/.
Photo: Courtesy of Stella Jean