Five Female Designers on the Verge of A Break Out

With intuitive feminine instincts and a whole lotta talent, Laveer, Leutton Postle, Sophia Webster, Sophie Hulme and Priory of Ten are breaking through with fashion we want to wear now


1. Laveer

Designed by Kate Ciepluch, the former fashion director of Shopbop, Laveer focuses on doing one thing—the tailored jacket—extremely well. A little preppy, a little masculine and entirely hip, these blazers come in a multitude of prints, textures and cuts, ensuring the wardrobe standby will never be boring.


2. Leutton Postle

Viewing the designs of Jenny Postle and Sam Leutton, Central Saint Martins Fashion MA grads, is like looking through an incredibly colourful, complex kaleidoscope. The imaginative knit separates are a playful (and welcome) reminder that fashion is meant to be fun.


3. Priory of Ten

Canadian designer Mei Liu came to fashion circuitously. She left a career as an accountant to decamp to Parsons School of Design, followed by a stint at 3.1 Phillip Lim. Now she brings her business acumen and design talent to Priory of Ten. The contemporary sportswear collection is the epitome of wearable cool: think clean silhouettes with a sexy edge.


4. Sophie Hulme

The bags she launched in 2007 are widely admired, but it’s Sophie Hulme’s RTW line—now in its third season—that has our attention. For spring, she was inspired by the pineapple, which translates into graphic Bauhaus patterns (the fruit also appears in prints and as charms that come with each piece). Its chic but never too serious.


5. A Chat with Sophia Webster

This young accessories designer—and Nicholas Kirkwood’s protegé—is making waves with her unabashedly girly namesake label. We caught up with Sophia Webster at her London Fashion Week presentation to learn more.

Why shoes?

“I began focusing on shoe design during a class on live drawing and fashion illustration that I was taking at Cordwainer’s College. From then on, I was hooked.”

What did you learn from Nicholas Kirkwood?

“Nicholas gave me incredible insight into the design industry. Watching his company grow so drastically over the course of a couple of years showed me the power of drive and vision. He remains a mentor and dear friend.”

What’s been most rewarding about going it alone?

“It’s always nice for me, and the people who work with me, to see the shoes in magazines. I also like it when cool editors, bloggers and stylists actually wear the shoes.”

What kind of woman wears Sophia Webster?

“I tend to infuse my shoes with vibrancy and colour—those qualities remain an underlying theme. A girl who wears Sophia Webster naturally loves to stand out, and the shoes help her to do that.” —Truc Nguyen