SUPER has always been a dynamic talent scouting platform. The special SUPER TALENTS new countries to watch area points the spotlight at the most interesting creatives on the fashion scene and on the most promising brands, selected in cooperation with Sara Maino of Vogue Italia and Vogue Talents.
The protagonists of this edition are talents and designers from emerging scenarios like Thailand, China, Portugal, as well as from Russia and United Kingdom.
The names of this edition’s Talents are: Alexander Arutyunov, Inês Torcato, Jirawat Thamrongkittikul, Julia Seemann, Kinabuti, Little Shilpa, Loh, Neous, Percy Lau and Takara Wong.
Alexander Arutyunov (Russia) – Alexander Arutyunov, a Moscow-based Georgian designer who established his fully accessorised brand in 2011. The artistic and cultural traditions from the land of his birth are manifested through collections with a full-frontal street and contemporary impact. Each season the collection is enriched with new elements: bags, backpacks and belts. Even a line of jewellery was added in 2014.
Inês Torcato (Portugal) _ Portuguese designer Inês Torcato infuses her eponymous brand with her passion for art and an almost intimist approach, a reflection of the perceptions that others have of us when we are wearing a certain look. She graduated in Fashion Design in 2014, and her creations explore forms through sartorial deconstruction: blazers, shirts and outerwear are reinterpreted through combinations of different materials, from the purest wool to technical and high performance fabrics. All her garments and accessories are made in Portugal with the highest quality.
Jirawat Thamrongkittikul (Thailand) – Born in Chonburi, Thailand, his designer creations start with crosstitched embroideries, customised and reinterpreted through his distinctive style. The stylistically unique and versatile results resonate with chic nonchalance, creating garments that retain old-world and vintage influences.
Julia Seemann (Switzerland) _after graduating in Fashion Design in Basel in 2014, Julia Seemann worked for Vivienne Westwood and Meadham Kirchhoff in London. In 2015, the Vfiles platform chose her to present her graduation collection during New York Fashion Week, attracting great attention from fashion experts and a wider public: the pop star Rihanna was photographed in one of her outfits on the day after the presentation. The creations of this Zurich-based designer combine youth subcultures and underground influences from the 1980s and ’90s with a geometric, minimalist garment structure and a subtle irony. For FW 2017, she is collaborating with British graphic designer Vaughan Oliver – one of the best known designers on the indie music scene – to create prints and embroideries that merge the respective styles of the two designers.
Kinabuti (Nigeria) – Founded in Nigeria in 2010 by Caterina Bortolussi and Francesca Rosset, it’s a label that fashions garments with naturally chic style, which it owes to the workmanship of local artisans. Out of this brand a social, non-profit business has been formed, the Kinabuti Fashion Initiative (KFI), its primary aim is to develop Nigerian fashion, giving young people a chance to learn professional techniques and know-how.
Little Shilpa (India) _ Shilpa Chavan, who divides her time between London and Mumbai, studied at Central St. Martins and the London College of Fashion. In 2009 she showed her creations at the Headonism exhibition curated by Stephen Jones for the 25th anniversary of London Fashion Week. Her collections range from headwear to jewellery to clothing, following an ensemble aesthetic in which journeys, memories and inspirations combine together in creations that embrace a genuine lifestyle. Each piece, from hats to jewellery, is made by hand, combining different materials. That way no piece is ever the same as another.
Loh (Russia) – A Young fashion brand based in Minsk, the Loh creations pivot around the use of colours, textures and proportions and the way these elements interact with each other, producing surprising results. The garments become a means of liberal expression for a personal style, between irony and sensuality, in a frolic of tulle, faux fur, print and embroidery.
Neous (UK)_ understated, handcrafted shoes with minimalist detailing, for the woman who’s confident in her femininity. That’s how this creative duo formed of Alan Buanne, who used to work with Nicholas Kirkwood, and designer Vanissa Antonious, define the style of the Neous creations. It’s a contemporary style of footwear that combines their love of abstract Modernism and clean lines with the finest Italian footwear tradition. A signature of the brand is their use of unexpected colours in graphic combinations and of materials that are both classic and innovative at the same time: hand-woven macramé, transparent and synthetic fabrics, calfskin and butter-soft suede.
Percy Lau (China)_ all creation serves as proof of the beauty that existed before us, after us and forever more. That’s the mantra behind the work of Percy Lau, a designer who created her eponymous brand of accessories and eyewear in Hong Kong in 2013. The designer projects all her natural creativity into her eyewear, with broad stylistic references that draw on the worlds of art and architecture. From Dadaist influences in the shapes of the frames, to overlapping lenses, to total deconstruction of the accessory, which is reinterpreted through zips inserted into the frames and the use of unusual materials. Then there’s her eyewear line inspired by the street style of the Harajuku district of Tokyo, with brightly coloured lenses.
Takara Wong (Thailand) – Inspired by the dialogue between different cultures and subcultures – from underground to punk – the designer Thakorn Wannawong, resident in Bangkok, launched his own brand in 2015. The concept of “trial and error” is central to his creations allowing him to experiment different techniques and materials and blend them into sporty silhouettes. It’s as though imperfection is the distinguishing element of every garment.