Top 10 Breakout Fashion Designers of 2009


High school superlatives were the end all be all of those angsty four years we all spent trying to be most artistic, best looking, or most likely to succeed (ew). Besides being able to successfully shop at Hollister, or make out with one too many football players, we didn’t exactly earn them.

Luckily, when it comes to fashion, even an elite industry like ours likes to pay credit where credit is due. From celebrities donning their party dresses to presidential nods, there were plenty of breakout designers–some brand new, and others just finally getting the recognition they deserve. Congratulations! Just don’t celebrate with Jungle Juice…you remember how well that worked out in high school. Here’s our list of the top 10 breakout designers this year:

Timo Weiland (above):
First known for his signature neckwear, Timo Weiland launched his first clothing line this year with Alan Eckstein (pictured above), and even starred in a StyleCaster Day in the Life video. We have a little crush on you, Timo.

This edgy and cute line is designed by Vietnamese Wayne D. Lee, and is inspired by punk rock and science fiction. Last year, she won the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award and this year earned the ultimate seal of approval as one of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists.

Joseph Altuzarra launched his first line in 2009 and people freaked out. His luxurious fabrics and killer tailoring made every girl wish she could be an Altuzarra girl.

Jason Wu:
Michelle Obama may have made Wu a semi-household name, but he has the line to back it up, and now he is famous on his own merits. Get used to his name; it’s bound to be around for a while.

Jason Wu Gets Inducted Into the CFDA

Sophie Theallet:
Although her line launched in ’07, the silk kimonos and rich browns and creams of Spring ’10 caught every fashion addict’s eye. Her super feminine designs were a welcome breath of fresh air from black and studs, so much so that she took home the prize as this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award winner.

Prabal Gurung:
In February ’09, Prabal Gurung launched his eponymous line, and everyone swooned. Awarded Best Designer at Parsons, he then spent two years at Cynthia Rowley and eventually became a design director for Bill Blass before launching his own line. Anything Bill Blass-approved, we approve too.

Eddie Borgo Jewelry:
You saw his designs this year on the catwalks for Phillip Lim, Marchesa, Camilla Staerk, Frank Tell, and Jen Kao, and it won’t end there. His geometric pieces are truly one-of-a-kind, and the anti-trend of jewelry. Borgo hates the idea of trends, but loves the idea of style; something we obviously love too.

Kimberly Ovitz:
Inspired by the drapes and serenity of a monk’s robes, as well as equestrian luxury, Ovitz launched her first line this year, and was met with roaring applause. Her pieces are perfect for the everyday, stylish girl who cares about comfort.

Jen Kao:
Having just launched her fourth RTW collection, and having collaborated with Eddie Borgo and Keegan Singh, Kao is definitely a shining star. Her designs are inspired by art she sees on a daily basis.

Rachel Comey:
After beginning her design career with menswear, Comey launched womenswear in 2003, but she really sparkled this past year. Plus, she dresses the likes of Beck, David, Bowie, and Courtney Love.

Shop Rachel Comey Here!