vfiles runway announces its spring 2017 designers, and they’re as global as ever
Young Thug wears one designer on his album cover; another wants to “make America gay again.”
VFILES Runway FW15
VFILES Runway just announced its picks for the five lucky designers who will present at its seventh NYFW show next month. Hailing from Italy, China, Belgium, Mexico, and Korea, the talent is as wide-reaching aesthetically as it is geographically.
Past seasons have blasted designers like Gypsy Sport, ASSK, Hyein Seo, Discount Universe, and MosesGauntlettCheng into the fashion world spotlight. The VFILES platform showcases and connects young creatives, with all of the show's designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, photographers, and most models coming up through the VFILES site and accompanying app. This season's judges were Naomi Campbell, Young Thug, Pat McGrath, Mel Ottenberg, and Fear of God's Jerry Lorenzo. This panel also serves as a team of mentors to the designers throughout their pre-show prep.
First on the roster, Alessandro Trincone is an Italian designer who recently studied at Universita La Sapienza di Roma, Polimoda in Florence, and Japan's Osaka Bunka Fashion College. Trincone embodies both the "global youth community" of VFILES, as founder Julie Anne Quay defines it, and the genderless turn that many young, avant-garde, and especially VFILES-associated designers have taken. In fact, the cover of Young Thug's No, My Name is Jeffrey (released yesterday) shows the rapper wearing a full look from Trincone's latest collection, "Annodami," which is full of androgynous Japanese-inspired headwear, gowns, and trousers.
Next on the list is Hong Kong-based streetwear brand Ground Zero, designed by brothers Eri and Philip Chu. With 13 collections under their belt, and a sturdy social media following, the self-described "progressive fashion brand," focusing on both womenswear and menswear, is exactly the type of thing we'd expect to see on the racks at VFILES next year.
Repping Belgium is Rushemy Botter, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp whose menswear collections take a political tone (think army garb and anti-terrorism slogans).
Mexican fashion designer Barbara Sanchez-Kane of the brand Sanchez-Kane has presented at Pitti Uomo and LA Fashion Week. While she technically focuses on menswear, her designs have nothing to do with traditional gender roles. Her latest collection, "Citizen Sanchez-Kane," is described as a world where Mexican women are dominant and the men have to learn to fight for their basic rights, showing the hypocrisy in gender roles and ultimately hoping "make America gay again." Besides the fact that her clothes are beautiful and intriguing, it is refreshing to see a female designer playing with the subtleties in menswear.
Rounding out the group is Korean designer Song Seoyoon is a Parsons grad who explores sustainability and social issues in her work. Her latest collection, "Cut Make Trim," is presented through a lookbook with dolls as models, and highlights the processes and people behind clothing manufacturing in New York City.
Each of these designers brings some element of the VFILES message to the table, and Quay says of this year's lineup, "I think we are really finding where our special footprint is." The platform and the Runway have become easily one of the most globally-oriented, socially concerned, and innovative names in the fashion industry, and this new class of designers fits right in.
Text Blair Cannon
Photo Kate Owen