Under-The-Radar Brands of 2017

2017 is just beginning, but even now art and culture are drastically shifting around to newer and more popular trends.

Nowhere is this more felt than in the fashion world. The following 10 brands are what I consider to be on the rise in 2017, or in other words, brands to follow.

SISYPHE

My new favorite brand of 2017 is SISYPHE  — a refreshing take on the crowded “streetwear” niche that has exploded in the American fashion market. With a variety of colors and styles to suit a shifting market, SISYPHE has shown a strong start in its home country of Spain as well as in urban American markets. With strong branding, interesting motifs (the omega used on their hats and the prescription prints on their tee’s specifically) and a nice blend of materials. SISYPHE is a brand on the rise.

Manta Ops

With an edgy appeal that is reminiscent of 80’s rock mixed with Eastern European brutalist style, Manta Ops lays it all bare and goes back to basics with its line of modern graphic tee’s, restyled flannels and dark denim. In its most collection, New Cold War, Manta explores the themes of “modern day society and the struggles to connect with each other despite having more social media in our lives than ever.” The collection features graphics sourced from Russian pop-culture with quotations form Robert Greene’s best-selling book The 48 Laws of Power, also cited in Russian. Manta Ops is taking all that you may have loved about your dad’s old band t-shirts and contemporizing it for 2017

NONCONFORMIST

As stated on their website, “Born from the ideas of social movements and uprisings, NONCONFORMIST’s graphics are aimed at disparities within society and acts of social injustice. The collections feature a balance of classic street-wear staples and contemporary pieces mixed in with prints, badging and fine embroidery to complete the details.” The brand, borrowing from social movements and protests, released its last collection (FW16) under the name DON’T WASTE WAR. It featured military stylings with iconic quotations such as “Prisoners to War” and “Don’t hit back, sit back.” NONCONFORMIST stands out as a strong contender in the chic-military niche for 2017.

Pièces Uniques Paris

The Paris-based brainchild of Edmond Luu, PUP is sleek, crisp and refreshing. Using bold colors, sharp lines and strong fabrics, Luu has created a clean but severe style that has garnered strong support in the fashion community. In his most recent collection, WAVE#4 The five elements, Luu pays homage to mother earth with  pieces designed for each of the classical elements, (earth, fire, water, air and aether).

visvim

Established in 2000 by Japanese designer, Hiroki Nakamura, visvim has created a unique name for itself by combing indigenous patterns and styles from around the world with modern clothing and footwear trends. In its SS17 collection, visvim seemed to pursue colors, patterns, and styles reminiscent of the Native Americans — specifically of the American Southwest. All around, the interesting mishmash of patterns, colors and materials prevent visvim from ever having a boring season.

Opening Ceremony

While not entirely under-the-radar, OC has made quite the splash in 2017 by releasing two collections in time for the first 100 days of America’s most controversial president. The first collection, aptly titled the Action Capsule, featured graphic tee’s, crews and tanks featuring empowering words such as DEFY, FIGHT and PROTEST, words that OC claims “capture the essence of what it means to be an American.” In addition, 100 percent of the proceeds from this collection benefit the American Civil Liberties Union. Their second collection, entitled Global Varsity, seems to be a direct affront towards President Trump’s foreign hostilities, with the tagline, “A Celebration of Diversity: Come As You Are,” and a collection of genuine leather Varsity jackets featuring the flag, symbols, colors and native languages of over 50 different countries. OC is firmly stating that fashion can (and should) be political when necessary.

Babylon

With their most recent collection showing gruesome, medieval woodcuts of priests and soldiers fighting demons, Babylon is putting the graphic back in graphic tee. While possibly one of the smallest brands on this list, Babylon has a lot of heart, and a lot of angst. Fueled by the skater  sub-culture of LA, they even feature a skating bowl on the grounds of their flagship store. This is just pure skate-fashion — everything that PAC Sun wants to be.

KITH

KITH is a unique feature on this list because it is more than just a fashion brand. Yes, it does feature its own in-house label and founder/creative director Ronnie Fieg, who designs award-winning styles for men and women, but KITH is also a lifestyle curator. By partnering with various other brands of footwear and apparel (such as Nike, Adidas, Helmut Lang and Beats by Dre), KITH creates curated, multi-brand collections interspersed with its own designs to create a shopping experience completely unlike anything else on the market. KITH’s SS17 collection, entitled OFF-WHITE, features a nice contrast between heavy bomber jackets and flannels and sharp graphic tee’s.

Used Future

Founded in 2009 in Seoul, South Korea, Used Future highlights even more the hot-bed of creativity and innovation that East Asia is showing in the fashion world. With a mission statement of “aim[ing] to refine the menswear by combining youth culture with bold aesthetic.” UF makes a strong case for itself in its FW16 collection that draws heavily on late-90’s-early-2000’s styling to deliver a sentimental, yet modern feel. Used Future will be appreciated by those who can agree that simple colors and modern materials follow the proper progression of fashion.

NID de GUEPES

With a name meaning “The Wasp Nest” and  a style described as “meshing both American youth culture and French high-end sensibilities,” NDG is a daring project based out of Paris that does exactly what it said it would. It takes American styles, such as denim or bomber jackets, and meshes it with high-end final touches to make it worth the label (and price-tag). Their most recent collection focused on distressed denim, variously colored bomber jackets, and branded graphic tee’s.