Thanks to Brand Assembly, six emerging designers were able to present their fall 2015 collections during New York Fashion Week on Thursday.
Hunter Bell, Michelle Kim, Caroline Constas, Nikki Chasin, C. Keller and Maria Dora were all selected to participate in Brand Assembly's The New Class initiative this season. Brand Assembly aims to nurture and elevate emerging design talent by providing infrastructure and guidance, and Thursday's presentations are a new component of the company's business.
"There are different components to what we do, but they are all driven by the same mission — to break down the barriers and let designers design," Brand Assembly founders Hillary France and Alex Repola told us.
"The New Class is just another extension of our mission to break down barriers for emerging designers. We have wanted to continue to give a voice and an opportunity to talented designers who do not have the resources ... to show during Fashion Week and reach an even wider audience. With such a competitive and saturated market, we believe it is important to highlight extremely talented designers and give them that chance to get noticed and succeed."
Presentations took place at YouTube Space NY, an incubator for YouTube creators to experiment in, during one of two time slots. For designer Hunter Bell, who presented during the afternoon session, participating in The New Class was appealing because of the exposure it offered her young brand.
"What I love about The New Class is that it gets your name out there. It helps emerging talent that can't necessarily afford to make something like this come together. Brand Assembly really nurtures talent. They supply you with what you need, and they support you," she told us.
Bell's collection was inspired by the 1970s, and more specifically, the designer mentioned The Rolling Stones and Bianca Jagger as major influences.
"I look at these clothes and they're on racks on a hanger, which is not fun. Seeing the collection come together on stage is more fun. Seeing the girls wearing it and seeing how it's styled is the best," Hunter told us while walking us through her collection.
To launch The New Class, Brand Assembly partnered with YouTube, and as part of this collaboration, participating designers worked with YouTube creators on various projects, such as the hair and makeup styling for Thursday's presentations, as well as interviews and other content to be shared online.
"YouTube's mission is to help people tell their stories, and that is very much aligned with what we are trying to do. They understand what we are doing and as they too exist to give their creators voices (and content), it has been a very synergetic relationship," France and Repola told us.
"Our designers will reach an audience that goes well beyond the traditional presentation model, and the YouTube creator will have access to creators in a different medium. Our combined mission is to promote and support these emerging talents through our individual outlets."