Emerging Fashion Designers:
Spring 2010 Edition

Born in Vietnam and raised in Los Angeles, Phong Hong graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. He was a winner of the Fashion Angel Awards and debuted his Femme Noir collection at LA Fashion Week. The line was a cocktail of edgy, neutral colors, with romantic bows and ribbons, gold zippers, and rose-colored silk chiffon dresses. My favorite piece was the "Violet Ivy,” a violet, silk, asymmetrical sheer lace chiffon mini dress with a balloon sleeve.
By: Christina Ghadanian
Low-key, high quality, and inspired by Spring; here’s the scoop on some rising stars before they make it big. These designers presented their Spring ready-to-wear 2010 collections back in September and October of 2009 at the New York and Downtown Los Angeles Fashion Weeks. I volunteered in LA at the Geffen Contemporary at the MOCA shadowing the coordinator and was fortunate enough to see the runway shows live and feel the garments! So amazing. Below, I’ve selected five of my favorites, not only for their innovative designs, but also for their commitment to creating cutting-edge clothes for women to feel beautiful, feminine and fashionable.
Jonny Cota and Katie Kay are the masterminds behind Skingraft. From circus performing they found their way into the fashion world through building eccentric costumes. They presented their collection in LA with structured underground vibe mixed with high end couture, inspired by Amelia Earhart. The show featured aviator caps and leather harnesses, blue leather vest, leather jackets, military inspired coats and a lot of attention to detail. Skingraft clothing can currently be found at the flagship store located on 125 W. 4th St. Los Angeles, CA 90013 and their online at store.skingraftdesigns.com.
Born in Chicago, raised in Leon Guanajuato, Louis Verdad began his fashion career at the Art Institute of Chicago. His inspiration consists of the fashion conscious society women of Mexico, first ladies of the world and elegant couture designers. At LA Fashion Week, Verdad introduced his Louver collection, which portrayed his expertise in matching sophistication with modern female allure. A nautical undertone, palette of cream, navy, gold, tailored dresses, pantsuits, and high waist skirts poured on the runway. The styles were classic, gentle, and sleek focusing on structure and cut. Find his collection at department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and online at Saks Fifth Avenue. 

Lee moved to New York City from Korea at the age of 14 to study fashion at Parson School of Design. After designing a high-end collection for Christiane Celle, she decided to launch her own. Lee presented her line at  New York Fashion Week for Gen Art’s Fresh Faces in Fashion. It combined old world charm with modern tailoring and featured dressy tunics in grays, cognac and sheer coral. Above are my favorite outfits, so dreamy! You can find her collection at Calypso, Christopher Fisher, and Lester’s.

Vicente Villarin, like Min Young Lee, moved to NYC to attend Parsons and presented her line at Gen Art’s Fresh Faces in Fashion at New York Fashion Week. Her collection could be summed up in three words: Bright, bold, and beautiful. It consisted of flowing soft fabrics with a femme spark and clean, cut black suits and dresses. The inspirations influenced intense structure in a delicate nature, shaping the form through precise and fluid fabrics. Visit www.vicentevillarin.com to check out store locations and her merchandise.
5 Up-and-Coming Fashion Sensations to Keep an Eye on.
Phong Hong.
Louis Verdad.
Min Young Lee.
Vicente Villarin.
These emerging designers are definitely ones to keep an eye on in the following months. Their talent in making clothes is made to empower the female form!

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