Young Designers' Struggle and Support to Make It in Fashion

In a world oversaturated in almost all areas, is it possible for new designers to break through the bunch and move into the mega-brand area of fashion?

A few supers defined what it means to be a designer, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Schiaparelli, and another era of greats replaced them, Lagerfeld and Saint Laurent among them, but today, when it comes to designers, the fashion industry seems to be overwhelmed with youngsters fit to fill legend's shoes, and also start their own legends. While this initially seems like a step forward for fashion, in reality, this is a case of too much of a good thing.

Most young designers prove themselves by working for a larger, well-known fashion house, and then go on to establish their own houses. This was the route taken by Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, John Galliano, J.W. Anderson, Alexander Wang, and countless others. It makes perfect sense: designers demonstrate their talent and gain experience, while, hopefully, freshening up an old brand. But there are only so many heritage brands to acquire an abundance of new designers. And if new designers choose create their own brand right away, the funding and support simply isn't there. This isn't a new problem.

In fact, it's not even ignored. This past week, I read two articles about opportunities given to young designers. The first, by  Julien Neuville for Business of Fashion, was about Paris's resurrection as the world's fashion capital, caused by new funding for fresh designers. Undoubtedly, there is no lack of young talent in Paris, which becomes evident in the promising brands with French government backing. The second article, by Susanna Lau of the Style Bubble, addressed the struggle of young designers, but more importantly, Machine-A, a London based company bringing talented, design graduates's collections to the mainstream.

If there has to be a problem concerning the amount of talented designers, I'm glad that there's too many, rather than too little. Competition encourages designers to work harder and produce brilliant material; it pushes them to be the best they can be.

Eleanor O'Connor

Jim Chen Hastang Hu

Lee Bodkin

Louis Pileggi

Martin Hanley 

Photos from Suzy Menkes' Instagram of Central Saint Martin's BA Graduate's Show


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, they show many things, and creativity is most definitely one of them!

  2. I find the route that Alexander Wang and others like went went for instance, the best route. However, many designers through the interwebs and any exposure from getting a celebrity to feature their clothes helps significantly too. Hope they're not all starving designers/artists. x)

    1. Your comment made me think of David Koma, who is designing for Mugler as well as his own label, and has done dresses for Beyonce and Lady Gaga. That seems to be the way to go!

  3. Lovely designs.
    I love how they pull it off

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    1. Yes, these designs are lovely in their own way. I hope to see more like them!