The Future Is Female: 6 Women In Fashion To Have On Your Radar

Undoubtedly, women's fashion is one of the world's most successful industries. The broad market that exists in women's fashion is one that can produce significant change and revolution. Women make up an important sector of the fashion industry. Female designers have long been at the forefront of championing diversity and inclusivity in fashion, pushing for more representation and breaking down traditional beauty standards. Moreover, women consumers are a significant driving force in the fashion industry, making up a large portion of the market and demanding more ethical and sustainable practices from brands. Women have proven time and time again that they are essential to the fashion industry, not just as consumers but also as designers, models, and influencers, driving it forward with their creativity, passion, and unique perspectives.

For many years, some of the top designers in the industry have been men. From the late Karl Lagerfeld to John Galiano, some of the most recognized fashion houses have been led exclusively by male designers. Recently, with the push toward equality and broader representation, female fashion designers have begun to take up space. Maria Grazia Chiuri of Christian Dior and Virginie Viard of Chanel are examples of women shepherding some of the top fashion houses. With more women exploring the role of creative director, we are seeing more up-and-coming designers bringing a significant change in the fashion industry. Many of these female fashion designers are shaping up to be household names you'll recognize for years to come.

Elena Velez

American-born designers have recently found a renaissance with their unique interpretation of fashion. Elena Velez is part of this fresh crop of American designers pushing the industry out of its comfort zone. A Milwaukee-born fashion designer, Velez is touted for her non-traditional point of view of fashion as well as for bringing contemporary luxury to a younger generation. Mixing feminine aspects with harsher, masculine finishes, Velez has found her niche within the fashion industry by being bold with her designs but staying true to the ruggedness of the midwest.

Giving viewers a new perspective on femininity, Velez's brand can only shine brighter as time goes on. Her designs encapsulate includes all versions of what it means to be feminine and not just those dictated by industry standards. Velez tells Metal Magazine, "I feel very much at home in my identity as a woman but admire the more phallic representations of femininity throughout history and culture: The pioneer wife with her husband's gun, the belle époque harlot counting her cash, the virginal succubus sinking ships of wayward men — women who own their desires unapologetically and make no excuses in regards to their capacity for wickedness. I don't think this manifestation of femininity is inherent solely to women – in fact, it's my observation that none have out-mastered the lovelorn and coquettish conquests of heterosexual men." It's safe to say that Elena Velez has captured not only what modern society wants but what it needs.

Rachel Scott of Diotima

It's no secret that the inclusion of all communities in the fashion industry means the addition of ideas that may have not been brought up before. This is what designer Rachel Scott brings to the table with Diotima. Known for her inclusion of several Caribbean techniques like macrame and crocheting, Scott's use of fashion is an inspiration for pushing the fashion industry down the right path. Born in Jamaica, Rachel Scott has made it known that Diotima is all about staying connected and giving back to her homeland.

Beginning her line during the first pandemic lockdown to help collaborate with artisans affected by a global supply shutdown, Scott tells Fashionista, "I've been building relationships with these incredible people who have important knowledge, and I wanted there to be an opportunity for more of a collaborative element. I know how crazy it sounds to start something in the middle of a pandemic, but it just seemed like it was the moment to do it. I really felt it was time to speak for myself and do this project." In addition to her work with Diotima, Scott has collaborated with other designers and brands, including a partnership with New Balance on a sustainable sneaker collection. She has also been recognized for her work by recently reaching the list of semifinalists hoping to win the LVMH Prize. For any designer, the LVMH Prize is an opportunity to scale to the next level and join previous winners like Jacquemus.

Dimitra Petsa of Di Petsa

Everyone knows Greece as one of the most beautiful places to visit and vacation in, however, many don't consider it to be a high-end fashion spot. Athens-based designer Dimitra Petsa has shifted this vision by bringing her bold and unique designs to the masses. Petsa studied fashion design at the London College of Fashion before launching her eponymous label in 2014. Since then, she has gained a following for her playful and experimental approach to fashion, which often features unexpected combinations of fabrics, textures, and colors. To say that many have become fans of Petsa's Di Petsa brand because of its boldness would be an understatement. Touting celebrity fans like Bella and Gigi Hadid via Instagram, Di Petsa is just at the beginning of its journey.

Petsa's designs have been showcased at fashion events and exhibitions in Greece and abroad, including Athens Fashion Week, Berlin Fashion Week, and the Fashionclash Festival in the Netherlands. According to Di Petsa's own website, the brand is most known for its "wet-look" collections. Petsa's use of texture and fabric has escalated the wet look from a technique to a must-have aesthetic. While it is true that this collection has garnered recognition for the brand, it's the woman behind the brand that has been able to successfully push the fashion envelope in a way that's inclusive and beautiful.

Emme Parsons

Although Emme Parsons is no newbie to the fashion industry, it's her new role as creative director of her own footwear collection that has made waves. Launching her brand in 2017, Parsons' goal was to create timeless, versatile shoes that are both stylish and comfortable, two statements that rarely go hand-in-hand. Parsons' designs are characterized by their minimalist aesthetic and attention to detail, with a focus on using high-quality materials and expert craftsmanship. Her shoes often feature simple, elegant silhouettes that can be worn in a variety of settings, from casual to formal. Before having her own brand, Parsons worked as Vogue's Art Director, giving her the knowledge to create the perfect minimalist luxury shoe.

One of Parsons' signature designs is the "Susan" sandal, a minimalist strappy sandal made from soft leather that has become a favorite of fashion insiders and celebrities like Gwenyth Paltrow and Meghan Markle. Other popular styles from her collections include ankle boots, loafers, and mules. In addition to her focus on design, Parsons is committed to sustainability and ethical production practices. Her shoes are made by skilled artisans in Italy, using eco-friendly materials such as vegetable-tanned leather and recycled rubber. Overall, Emme Parsons has quickly become a sought-after brand in the world of footwear, known for its timeless designs, attention to detail, and commitment to sustainability. Her shoes have been featured in publications such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and W Magazine, among others.

Karoline Vitto

As we've seen, women have been on the frontlines of pushing the fashion industry to better practices. There's no better example of this than Karoline Vitto. A prominent supporter of sustainable fashion, Vitto has successfully shown the fashion world that you can be sustainable, luxurious, and chic. Born in Brazil, Vitto created her brand back in 2020 after studying fashion design in Paris and working for several luxury fashion brands. Vitto's goal is to celebrate all of the body parts that the fashion industry has long tried to conceal and shame. Instead of using clothes to hide the parts the industry wants to hate, Karoline Vitto seeks to have you embrace these parts to the world via her designs. Her runway shows often feature models of different ages, sizes, and backgrounds, and she has spoken out about the importance of representation in fashion.

Besides inclusivity, Karoline Vitto is all about sustainability. Using archived materials or sourcing from local stores, this brand is the intersection of sustainable and inclusive, two issues still prevalent in the industry. Vitto's designs are known for their refined aesthetic and attention to detail, often featuring intricate embroidery, delicate fabrics, and unexpected textures. Her collections draw inspiration from a variety of sources, including Brazilian culture, art, and nature. Besides showing at the highly-coveted Fashion East show during London Fashion Week, Karoline Vitto has seen plenty of recognition by having her designs shown in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle.

Nensi Dojaka

Known for her minimalist, sculptural designs, London-based Albanian fashion designer Nensi Dojaka is one of the rising stars of mixing feminine and masculine elements. Dojaka's designs often feature asymmetrical cuts, sheer fabrics, and intricate layering, resulting in a delicate and sensual aesthetic. Her collections are inspired by a variety of sources, including the work of artists and architects, as well as her own personal experiences. According to Nensi Dojaka's site, her success came early on when her master's collection from Central Saint Martens was bought by the shopping site SSENSE. One of Dojaka's signature designs is the "microscopic" dress, a sheer, body-hugging dress made from tulle that is layered over a nude slip. This design has become a favorite among celebrities and fashion insiders and has been worn by stars such as Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa.

In addition to her design talent, Dojaka is committed to sustainability and ethical production practices. Her garments are made in London, using deadstock and sustainable fabrics, and she is actively working to reduce waste and carbon emissions in her supply chain. Overall, Nensi Dojaka has quickly become a rising star in the fashion industry, known for her innovative designs, attention to detail, and commitment to sustainability. Her work has been featured in publications such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and W Magazine, among others. Besides winning the British Fashion Council's 2021 rising talent award, Dojaka has already marked her name as one of the current influential designers.