From the project Vogue Creativity Issue of March 2021

What was probably one of the most difficult years in history has absolutely not held back the creative flair of designers, whether new or already established. For emerging talents it was a particularly difficult year, independent brands had to juggle a thousand uncertainties, some even created their own collections from home facing the difficulties of digital presentations, or ‘phygital’, as they say now. But, as you will see, they took up the challenge, and they won.

On the occasion of our Vogue Creativity Issue project which brings together the 27 Vogues of the world around a single theme – creativity – we embarked on a journey around the world on Zoom – from London to Lagos, from Brooklyn to Guangzhou – to get to know 10 young people better very interesting designers whose perseverance testifies to the strength of creativity in times of crisis. Here’s what they told us …

Susan Fang

© Photography by Jessica Gianelli

Who is it: Susan Fang, 28 years

What’s this: A futuristic womenswear label based in London and Shanghai.

Why we like it: in the final at the LVMH Prize in 2019 and in 30 Under 30 of Forbes, the Chinese designer Susan Fang he left his mark with his surrealist creations. “Our vision is not driven by trends or style, it is the expression of a mirage of artistic illusions”.

Creativity according to Fang: “It must be innovative, innovation becomes culture, and it can be further cultivated”.

Steven Stokey-Daley founder of the SS DALEY brand

© Photography by Jessica Gianelli

Who is it: SS DALEY

What’s this: London brand that wants to break down the stereotypes of menswear.

Why we like it: Steven Stokey-Daley, 24, was born in Liverpool, studied at the University of Westminster and made a big splash when Harry Styles wore some of his pieces in the video for Golden. Of his aesthetic, Daley says: “In its essence it is rooted in overturning British traditionalism, to explore queer narratives that remain silent in the melting pot of heteronormative ideology.”

Creativity according to Stokey-Daley: “For me it is an outlet for my hyperactivity, which is incessant, and dominates my mind at all times of the day”.

Asata Maisé

© Photography by Jessica Gianelli

Who is it: Asata Maisé, 27 years old

What’s this: A Delaware-based label with a focus on unique and sustainable pieces

Why we like it: Asata Maisé has a real passion for mixes of prints and bright colors and has made a name for herself on Instagram with her patchwork creations which, she explains, want to “preserve craftsmanship, and are an ode to nostalgia”.

Creativity according to Maisé: “Creativity means expressing yourself freely with the tools we like best. Learning to sew my own clothes was the most liberating thing I learned to do in my life, through fashion I have been able to reinvent myself many times “.

Antonio Vattev of AV Vattev

© Photography by Jessica Gianelli

Who is it: AV Vattev

What’s this: London menswear brand that revisits the uniform concept with eye-catching details.

Why we like it: “The philosophy of my brand is rooted in my Bulgarian origins, in my creative family in London and in my personal aesthetic taste”, says Antonio Vattev, 27, a graduate of Central Saint Martins, who creates workwear garments with the accuracy of techniques couture, combining silhouettes that tell a story.

Creativity according to Vattev: “Creativity means freedom”.

Yueqi Qi

© Photography by Jessica Gianelli

Who is it: Yueqi Qi, 25

What’s this: Guangzhon-based brand known for intricate ornamentation.

Why we like it: The former Central Saint Martins (CSM) student and former embroidery designer for Chanel couture, in 2020 participated in GucciFest. Born in China, Qi explores her origins and culture through her work, which she defines as “nouveau Chinoise”. “My brand philosophy is an extension of my experience, suspended somewhere between renunciation and determination,” he explains.

Creativity according to Qi: “Creativity is ‘problem solving’, it’s like language: everyone has access to the same vocabulary, but it’s the order of the words and the intonation that make things truly unique”.

Adeju Thompson of the Lagos Space Program

© Photography by Jessica Gianelli

Who is it: Lagos Space Program

What’s this: Gender-neutral Nigerian brand featured in the Milan Fashion Week Fall Winter 2021 men’s fashion calendar.

Because we like it: Adeju Thompson, 29, Lagos-born non-binary designer * explores her genre through experimental collections and concepts. “It’s very important for me to subvert the most outdated ideas about gender in African society,” says Thompson. “I create from a vulnerable point of view, from something that is not visible in the place I come from”.

Creativity according to Thompson: “It is freedom, for me it is a way to analyze and think about my identity in a critical way”.

Goom Heo

© Photography by Jessica Gianelli

Who is it: Goom Heo, 29 years old

What’s this: London-based brand that questions the archetypal codes of menswear.

Why we like it: “It’s bold: it’s masculinity mixed with feminine elements,” says Heo of his eponymous label. “We want to show a new idea of ​​menswear.” A graduate of CSM, Heo has made herself known for the romantic way she subverts menswear, and is preparing to participate in her third season at Fashion East, the London talent incubator.

Creativity according to Heo: “It is something very personal. Be yourself “.

Marshall Columbia

© Photography by Jessica Gianelli

Who is it: Marshall Columbia, 25 years old

What’s this: Brooklyn-based brands known for their colorful décor plush bags.

Why we like it: The designer has already launched an it-bag, and Miley Cyrus wore one of her lively creations at the Backyard Sessions performance in 2020, so we wonder why Marshall Columbia decided to launch his eponymous label just last year. “I want people to have fun wearing my creations,” he says.

Creativity according to Columbia: “Stylists do not reinvent anything, they invent a world in which their creations live”.

Talia Byre

© Photography by Jessica Gianelli

Who is it: Talia Byre, 26 years

What’s this: London brand that creates garments inspired by family tradition with a focus on quality.

Why we like it: Talia Byre, who graduated from CSM and is preparing to make her debut at LFW, explores the concept of family and its origins in the North of England with her brand, creating timeless, yet sensual garments made to last . “For us, inheriting family clothes is the height of luxury,” says Byre. “Our intent is to show the passage between generations that is modern, intelligent and matriarchal through our work”.

Creativity according to Byre: “An opportunity to express your most authentic essence”.

Sebastian A de Ruffray of Sevali

© Photography by Jessica Gianelli

Who is it: Sevali

What’s this: Eco-conscious Parisian brand that creates clothes using upcycled materials.

Why we like it: Sebastian A de Ruffray, a thirty-year-old designer of Chilean origins, loved by the likes of Lisa of BLACKPINK, Rosalía and Alexa Demie, is making a lot of talk with his upcycled creations with couture refinement. “Our intent is to question the obsolescence of the fashion system by pushing the boundaries of upcycling,” he says.

Creativity according to De Ruffray: “It is the ability to transform an idea into reality. To focus on an idea, and always remember what you want to communicate “.

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