Celebrating International Youth Day: Young designers that are taking the fashion industry by storm

young fashion designers

At Elite Labels, we have had the privilege of working with some of the most fresh and innovative talent out there and in our decades of experience within the fashion industry we’re always in awe of the creativity of the younger generation. That’s why on International Youth Day, we have chosen to feature five talents that are already changing the face of the fashion industry.

1. Sindiso Khumalo

Khumalo is a sustainable textile designer based in Cape Town. Central St Martins graduate, Khumalo, studied architecture at the University of Cape Town prior to moving to London, where she went onto study a Masters in Design for Textile Futures. Sindiso Khumalo founded her eponymous label with a focus on creating modern sustainable textiles with a strong emphasis on African storytelling. She designs the textiles in her collections by hand through watercolours and collage. 

Over the years she has developed a uniquely colourful visual voice, which draws upon her Zulu and Ndebele heritage, and also speaks to the land of Kwazulu Natal, where she is from. Sustainability, craft and empowerment lie at the heart of the label. She works very closely with a NGO in developing handmade textiles for her collections.

In October 2015, she won Vogue Italia `Who’s On Next Dubai” competition. Fashion and empowerment is what Sindiso feels very passionate about. She has spoken at the United Nations on sustainability in fashion and is currently working closely with the International Trade Centre Ethical Fashion Initiative. She has presented her work at Milan Fashion Week (on schedule) with the support of Camera Nazionale della Moda. 

2. Supriya Lele

Lele is a British-Indian womenswear designer based in London. “I want to create a modern feminine dialogue between two cultures which focuses on the female body and has an openness and lightness within it,” she told Vogue of her work.

Supriya Lele is the designer behind the acclaimed eponymous label based in London. Her work is deeply rooted in her own cross-cultural point of view, examining her Indian heritage and British cultural identity whilst creating work from a decidedly female viewpoint that tells a nuanced and delicate story. 

Lele completed her MA Fashion (Womenswear) at the Royal College of Art in July 2016. Upon graduating, she was selected to showcase her work as part of Fashion East, debuting at London Fashion Week in 2017 with a presentation in the Tate Modern. After showcasing under the Fashion East scheme for three seasons, Lele was awarded full NEWGEN sponsorship from the British Fashion Council. In 2020, Lele was awarded a portion of the LVMH Prize fund which was split across all 8 finalists for the first time. 

Lele’s work has been featured in publications such as British Vogue, Vogue Runway, The New York Times, Vogue Italia, Vogue India, i-D, Dazed & Confused, and The Gentlewoman. 

Her ready-to-wear collections are carried by stores including Dover Street Market, Browns and SSENSE.


3. Nicholas Daley

Daley graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2013 and launched his eponymous label in 2015. Since the brand’s genesis, Nicholas has continually explored his dual-ethnic heritage, being of Jamaican and Scottish descent: he widely questions and reflects the notion of multiculturalism within the British identity.

Placing great significance on craftsmanship with his production within the UK and Japan, Nicholas works with recognised artisans creating bespoke textiles and fabric finishes for every collection.

For the last six seasons Nicholas has been supported by The British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN designer programme showcasing his collections during London Fashion Week Men’s. He was also the recipient of the 2019 International Woolmark Prize Semi-Final Award and most recently an LVMH 2020 Prize finalist.

He has collaborated with iconic brands such as Adidas and Fred Perry, continuing his creative narrative into new areas of the fashion market.

4. Tomotoka Koizumi 

Tomotoka Koizumi is a Japanese womenswear designer based in Tokyo. He is known for his cotton-candy creations, which were the talk of New York Fashion Week last winter.

Koizumi’s interest in fashion began from seeing his fashion-loving mother in his childhood. His encounter with the book John Galliano for Dior in his early teens was a very eye-opening experience and inspired him to become a fashion designer. His own brand “TOMO KOIZUMI” was successfully launched in 2011, after a boutique owner was attracted and picked the dress – which he created while he was a university student.

In February 2019, his very first runway show took place in New York with the support of the world-famous Katie Grand, Marc Jacobs, and KCD Public Relations. 

Bright colors and bold silhouettes are the significant characteristics of his made-to-order collections and costumes with celebrities and artists worldwide favoring his bright and beautiful  designs.

5. Priya Ahluwalia 

Multi-award winning label Ahluwalia was launched in 2018 by Priya Ahluwalia. Ahluwalia represents the intersection between near and far, past and present. The label combines elements from the designer’s dual Indian-Nigerian heritage and London roots. It explores the potential of vintage and surplus clothing by giving existing material a new life through various textile and patchwork techniques. This means that many Ahluwalia pieces are one of a kind.

Inspired by art, music and literature, much of the work created by Ahluwalia go beyond her collections and include collaborative campaigns, books and films. Ahluwalia is deemed as a pioneer in the fashion industry and is regularly featured in press from all over the world, from the New York Times and i-D to Vogue and many more.

This inspiring round up have already achieved so much within their respective areas and we cannot wait to see more. To find out how we can help you get your brand off the ground, inspire you with decades of experience and curate a dedicated team of experts around you, fill out our contact form and get in touch today.