Last week, a slew of stylish socialites, models and tastemakers gathered at Bergdorf Goodman to fête a small group of designers during NYFW: Peter Do, Cecilie Bahnsen, Peter Petrov, Matériel, Gauge81, Nodaleto, Kika Vargas, Collectiva Concepción and Bassike.
While these names may be new to some, they managed to catch the attention of BG's execs and form part of its ongoing BG Radar platform for emerging talent. Now in its second season (the first class was unveiled in September), the program will once again spotlight a roster of designers through various ways including physical store space, editorial coverage in the BG magazine, window displays and special events.
Darcy Penick, president of Bergdorf Goodman, says that her team had several interesting takeaways from the first time they introduced this program. (Last year's inaugural class included buzzy names like Sies Marjan, Bode and Khaite.)
Bergdorf Goodman execs with the newest BG Radar class.
"One of my favorite surprises was that we found a community building amongst the designers," Penick tells PAPER. "As we were going through fashion week last fall we started seeing other designers show up at each other's shows and presentations to support. We also have alumni of last year's group of Radar brands show up this evening to support this new roster of designers. Building this community of brands is really a special piece of it."
Penick adds that they curated this next crop of talent using a similar criteria from the first time — that's to say, brands that are "doing really special things in their own right" inclusive of accessories and ready to wear. "We love supporting collections that we feel are beautiful and new and offer something different to our customer and the brand," she says.
Among those designers are Cecilie Bahnsen, who was in New York to celebrate the BG Radar event and had just shown her Fall 2020 collection in Copenhagen. "I think as a young designer, it's a dream account and today we'll walk past the window and see the dresses and movement, and you couldn't wish for anything better to establish you as a brand in the US market," she says.
Monika Silva, founder and creative director of Amsterdam-based label Gauge81, echoes Bahnsen's sentiment. "Recognition like this from a renowned household name like Bergdorf definitely puts you on the map," she says. "For any young brand this is really a dream come true. This endorsement is not only magnificent exposure, but also gives us validation and a stamp of approval that will definitely help take us to the next level.
Read on, below, to learn more about the nine designers chosen.
Peter Do has all the makings of being the next household name in fashion. An alumnus from Phobe Philo's Celine, the enigmatic designer (he doesn't show his face in photos) applies a rigorous attention to cut and detail for his eponymous brand, which fuses strong tailoring with a precise minimalist bent.
One of the biggest draws of Copenhagen Fashion Week, Cecilie Bahnsen has developed a cult following for her feminine Danish aesthetic and artisanal statement dresses.
Vienna-based designer Peter Petrov has garnered international attention for his ability to present sharp tailored looks alongside relaxed fluid dresses. He also just recently showed on the runway for the first time during London Fashion Week, bringing his refined, expressive vision to the next level.
One of the first ready-to-wear brands to put Georgian fashion on the map, Matériel Creative Directors Lado Bokuchava and Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili bring a hard edge to tailoring with a pared back sensibility and affinity toward beautifully crafted dresses.
Amsterdam it-brand Gauge81 (pronounced (GO-SH), founded by Colombian designer Monika Silva, blurs the line between casual and eveningwear with comfortable tailoring and a strong focus on day-to-night dressing.
Collectiva is a ready-to-wear brand founded by Concepción Orvañanos that draws on artisanal Mexican techniques and craft to create elevated, feminine designs that are decidedly modern and anything but traditional.
Co-founded by Olivier Leone and Designer Julia Nodelato, this luxury footwear brand takes all the design principles of traditional Italian craft but with a fun and bold mix of colors and architectural shapes.
Kika Vargas' eponymous ready-to-wear label is made in Colombia using local fabrics and materials sourced from all over the world to create sculptural standout pieces that play on proportion and volume.
Much like how its name sounds, Bassike (co-founded by Deborah Sams & Mary Lou Ryan) is a collection of everyday basics and wardrobe essentials with an elevated, high-quality approach approach. They're most known in Australia for organic jersey produced locally in the country's factories.
Photos via BFA