A few of the 30 under 30
1. Azede Jean-Pierre (23)Former Ralph Rucci and Ohne Titel intern Azede Jean-Pierre only has two collections under her belt, but she’s already proven herself quite the chameleon. For Fall 2013 the 23-year-old was inspired by the anatomy of a beetle, which translated into city-slick leather and knitwear with spinal detailing, while Spring 2014 was a colorful urban tea party marked by some pretty great rounded hems. We can’t wait to see what she pulls out of the bag next season.
She also happens to be a friend of mine!
Esteban Cortázar (29)
At the age of 17 Cortázar became the youngest ever designer to show at New York Fashion Week, and at 23 was appointed creative director of Parisian fashion house Emmanuel Ungaro. A dispute with management two years later over sharing creative duties with Lindsay Lohan turned out to be a blessing in disguise; Cortázar has now designed two capsule collections backed by Net-a-Porter, full of structured, athletic-inspired separates and fluid satin and stretch-cady dresses.
Dion Lee (27)
Australian designer Dion Lee makes a case for fashion as both art and science. Spring 2014 marked his New York Fashion Week debut, but prior to that he was stunning critics in London with his architectural silhouettes and technological prowess. His Spring 2013 collection used geothermal heat mapping to abstract the body’s hot zones onto both sides of his fabric, which was then slashed and folded to give his clothes a third dimension.
Olivier Rousteing (27)
When Balmain’s Christophe Decarnin abruptly departed the flashy fashion house in 2009, 25-year-old Rousteing was brought on as his replacement. As it turned out, the designer’s vision for the brand was no less impressive than his Pharrell-rivaling cheekbones: After four years at the helm of the brand, he’s ditched the trash factor and introduced more silhouettes for real human bodies, while simultaneously proving overalls and patchwork denim dresses can be sexy.
Jérôme Lamaar (27)
Jérôme got his break interning for Baby Phat at age 15, becoming senior designer only three years later. But don’t expect any bedazzled velour from his new line, 5:31 Jérôme. Alongside elegant takes on streetwear, such as Swarovski-studded boyfriend jeans, are sleek downtown separates like leather skater skirts and silk anoraks.
Katie Ermilio (27)
As the granddaughter of Grace Kelly’s personal clothier, elegance is in her blood. But don’t be jealous — she also put in the hard yards as a Vogue editorial intern, which is where she started designing her own dresses to wear to work. Since launching her own range of cocktail and wedding dresses she’s caught the discerning eye of Barney’s and become a go-to for industry insiders.
Pedro Lourenco (22)
Good news for people who enjoy feeling old and unaccomplished: Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenço launched his first collection at Paris Fashion Week, to resounding critical acclaim no less, when he was just 19. Now at the ripe old age of 23 he still loudly and deservedly buzzed about. Technique and technology influence much of his pieces, which include aviator-inspired shirts and bomber/blazer hybrid jackets.
Mary Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen (27)
We won’t humor you with an introduction. The Row has likely single-handedly made the ‘actress-turned-designer’ tag one that doesn’t make us want to punch somebody, and while we won’t be forking out $34,000 for a bag any time soon, the long-line separates are things you can look cool in now and when you’re 70. That’s no mean feat.
Alexander Wang (29)
Just making the cut at age 29, Alexander Wang presented his RTW women’s line at New York Fashion Week in 2007 and arrived at the head of storied French house Balenciaga only five years later. With some pretty massive cut-out ankle boots to fill courtesy of Nicolas Ghesquière, he’s chosen to explore Balenciaga’s roots rather than embark on any sort of urban makeover, and has more than proved himself worthy of his liberally-tossed-around wunderkind status in the process.
Thomas Tait (26)
Thomas Tait was just 21 when he graduated with an MA from Central Saint Martins — the youngest person ever to do so, and the same age as Yves Saint Laurent when he was appointed head of Dior in 1957. With that in mind, it’s surprising his collections don’t generate more buzz than they do. But with Tait quietly building on his hyper-modern, athletic-inspired collections with a couture refinement, it won’t be long before the world is noticing.
Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs (28)
Cushnie et Ochs is the collaboration of Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs. The 2007 Parsons Designer of the Year and runner up, respectively, they launched their brand in 2008 upon graduation. That same year they sold their Spring 2009 collection exclusively to Bergdorf Goodman and took out the Ecco Domani Fashion Fund award. They are the undisputed queens of racy cut-outs.
Christian Siriano (27)
Since becoming the youngest Project Runway winner in 2008, Siriano’s namesake brand has become one of the mainstays of the New York Fashion Week calendar. Though known for his red carpet-ready eveningwear, he’s proving he’s capable of girly laid-back luxe too.
Misha Nonoo (26)
If Misha Nonoo’s clothes were people, we would want to be their best friends. They’re bright, sweet, nonchalantly cool and always well accessorized. This season marked Nonoo’s first New York Fashion Week runway show, though she’s been amassing a small army of fans for the last three years.