Three New Brands to Watch in 2013

Written By Fashion360Magazine on Tuesday, 9 October 2012 | 00:25

 By: Devin Cole
With fashion week quickly approaching, the anticipation is palatable here in New York City as we wait for the frenzy of glamour that is about to descend upon the city. Fashion week is wrought with a wealth of different shows and parties to attend and often newer designers get lost in the mix as we plan our schedules. We are here to give you the scoop on some up-and-coming brands that aren’t to be missed!

#1 Gunas
Gunas, founded by head designer Sugandh, is a shining example of how you don’t need to compromise your values to have the wardrobe of your dreams. A proponent of conscious consumption and an avid animal-lover, Sugandh has created a line of accessories that is 100% cruelty-free and sweat-shop-free. The name “Gunas” means “Attributes and Qualities of Nature”, a tribute to the creatures that she works to protect. You won’t find a ratty pair of Birkenstocks on this savvy business lady though; her work easily rivals non-vegan accessory lines with its progressive designs.
Once Sugandh started her line she was pleasantly surprised to find that there are a lot of like-minded consumers out there who were thrilled that she was catering to the vegan market so stylishly. Her designs have been proudly brandished by celebrities like Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy, and Anne Hathaway. She has received critical acclaim from numerous publications including Marie Claire, TIME Magazine, Veg News, Fashion Me Green, and Accessories Magazine. This designer has an international perspective on fashion which gives her line a sleek edge that is usually only found in European labels. As a result, her fan-base has swept across the globe with customers all over Europe, in Canada, Singapore, Australia, and Germany.
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A piece from Gunas’s VIBE collection.
After being shocked to find that a conscientious line could look so fashion-forward, I had to speak to Sugandh to find out more.  This eloquently spoken designer’s passion for her work quickly became evident in our short conversation.
Me: What was your inspiration for your 2013 collection?
Sugandh: Well actually we just started a studio in India this year. I have a lot of family that is back in India so I decided to start a studio. I just thought this year that it would be nice if I could dedicate my collection to animals that I specifically find in the Indian environment. So I looked at a lot of peacocks and exotic animals in general. So you’ll see a lot of texture, metallics, beadwork, you will see a combination of all of this
Me: What kind of music are you listening to right now?
Sugandh: I listen to a lot of trance, I love hip hop, and of course because I am Indian, Bollywood music. It is basically just a combination of anything.
Me: Tell me a fact about yourself that I won’t find in your bio.
Sugandh: Well I have traveled to over 25 countries and I speak and understand about five languages. Yeah, that’s not on my bio.
Sugandh’s designs will be featured at the Loveit show during fashion week!
#2 Rotten Banana
rotten banana, civic lee, devin cole, fashion, 360, magazine, designers, new, 2013, hong kongHead designer of Rotten Banana, Civic Lee, has gotten a lot of attention for his ethereal nature-inspired garments. The collection embodies the spirit of this kind-hearted designer who strives to spread love and joy to his customers. Lee was on the Dean’s List when graduating from Parsons and has continued to flourish ever since, being quoted among the Best 50 New Generation of Hong Kong. He also humbly accepted the honor of having his uniform design adopted by the historic Forbidden City of Beijing. As the first Asian Designer, they staged a poetic debut of cultural and fashion exchange <qi of LOVE> at the prestigious Salle des Illustrs, Place du Capitole, France
Now you can get to know Civic a little better before you go check him out during Fashion Week!
Me: What was your inspiration for your 2013 collection?
Civic: To visualize the invisible, joy is an intangible emotion that we visualize and design into our collection. Our customers can feel the joy when they wear our pieces.
Me: If you could give an essential piece of style advice to women what would it be?
Civic: The curve at the back of neck is simply elegance. It’s the part which most women neglect the subtle beauty of it. Be playful, Pull your hair up!
Me: What do you think makes your line different from others?
Civic: Even though Rotten Banana is a womenswear label, each piece of our collection is created in both men’s and women’s fabrics. We are pioneering techniques of structuring. We always drape our garments when conceptualizing each design. Our clients will experience the tailored forms that highlight their body shape yet maintain the fluidity of their feminine beauty.
Me: What kind of music are you listening to right now? Do you have a favorite song?
Civic: Jazz. Well, “New York State of Mind” just popped up in my mind.
Me: What is your favorite part about working in the fashion industry?
Civic: The constant interaction that I have with all types of people. I aspire to share my positive energy that inspires others to keep dreaming. Rotten Banana shares the joy to those who are tempted to give up. It acts as a reminder of why and how they have come this far.
Me: What is your least favorite part?
Civic: Getting lost in translation.
Me: Tell me one quirky fact about yourself that I can’t find in your bio (it can be anything!)
Civic: My name is Civic. Every time right after I introduced myself to new people, they would say it reminded them of the Honda they used to get around when they were younger.
#3 Kahri by KahriAnne Kerr
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Khari is a contemporary women’s line founded by head designer KahriAnne Kerr. Don’t be fooled by her petite stature or her youth, KahriAnne designs with a sophistication that maintains a feisty edge. Not shying away from bold colors and prints, she creates what she calls “hip, funky, rocker, chic, contemporary women’s clothing”. Although she will not be showing at fashion week this season, she is definitely worth mentioning as a new designer to watch.
KahriAnne was never one to blend in and lived by her own style code. Born and raised in Iowa (not exactly the fashion capital of the world), she refused to be confined to her limited wardrobe options and began making her own clothes in high school. After winning “Most Promising Designer” at BYU-Idaho she started her own line in 2002. KahriAnne sold in boutiques in Iowa where her funky designs quickly flew off the shelves. She decided that it was time to take her brand to the next level and moved to New York City.
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KahriAnne gives me a sneak peek of her 2013 collection, inspired by the 1920s, art deco, and music by Sia.  “Her newer albums are very funky and upbeat so I wanted something more colorful and fun.”
Showing no signs of her rural background, her audacious designs caught on in the big city as well. Receiving  the “Rising Star of Fashion Week” award from Lord & Taylor for her Spring 2011 collection, and winning the third episode of “24 Hour Catwalk” by Alexa Chung, she remained poised to become a contender in the contemporary women’s market. KahriAnne has sold in 20 boutiques in the US, Spain, Austria, Spain, and Israel. She has also dressed celebrities like Kanye West, BET’s Melissa Ford, and Keenyah Hill.
KahriAnne graciously invited me to her workroom in upper Manhattan to have a quick chat and get to know her better.
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KahriAnne’s workroom
Me: what do you think makes your line different?
KahriAnne: I call my line hip, funky, rocker, chic, contemporary women’s clothing. I think my stuff’s a little different because I like it to be edgy but not so edgy that you can’t wear it. I think my line is very wearable but a little bit more unique than what’s already out there.
Me: Any other music that you are listening to right now?
KahriAnne: Well this year has been a good year for some of my favorite artists. New Garbage came out and I’m really excited for, in a few weeks, No Doubt. And new Cat Power is coming out.
Me: Is there any beauty product that you couldn’t live without?
KahriAnne: Pretty much all of them, I love makeup! Mascara, in particular.
Me: Any specific brands?
KahriAnne: Anything that’s cheap at the drugstore, Cover Girl, Maybelline, I’m not fancy.
You can purchase KahriAnne’s designs at


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