Legacy of New Designers

Do up-and-coming designers have potential to achieve household name recognition like their established brand counterparts?

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Well, for one, I guess that would depend on your household. But when it comes to industry leaders, brands like Chanel (founded in 1909), Dior (founded in 1946) and Louis Vuitton (founded in 1854) have instant recognition, from the most avid fashion lovers, to the uninformed or uninterested persons.

Collaborations with retailerss such as Target, HSN, H&M and Gap have allowed modern designers to bring their work to the masses. Brands like Alexander Wang (launched in 2007), Christian Siriano (launched in 2008) and Kate Spade (launched in 1993) have tapped into a fairly new realm of sales and marketing by releasing limited edition clothes and accessories that boast a designer name without the price tag.

But are these collaborations alone enough to ascend these companies to the brand awareness Chanel has? Or is the playing field a little uneven since there is almost a 100-year age gap between them? Sure, brands that have been around since before WWII are more likely to be common knowledge. That doesn’t mean the new generation of designers is going unnoticed.

As the foremost arena for up-and-coming designers to feature their collections, fashion week has brought them upon a similar platform as established brands for decades. In recent years, fashion week has become an escapade of fashion bloggers and magazine “owners” – some of which have absolutely no idea who is and is not a real designer. We’ve all seen the Jimmy Fallon videos. But since shows need seats filled, PR companies allow in those whose credentials don’t boast employment from Vogue or WWD to inevitably fill them. Despite the presence of some painfully clueless guests, giving this access may be what these brands need.

Though the goal is to have their collections picked up by boutiques and department stores across the country (and world), these designers need to have their work shared and the word spread, as quickly and affordably as possible. A couple hundred tweets and instagrams are posted at the speed of WiFi, and before you know it, brands like Simone Rocha and Julien Dossena end up on W Magazine’s “Designers To Watch” list.

But the question still remains: do those designers still on the rise have the potential to achieve undeniable identification from just about anyone? Only time will tell.


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