Renee Hill — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Renee’s passion for design was passed down by her mother, a seamstress who made bridal and ball gowns. And while Hill’s career in the fashion industry is still young (she waited until after she had her family), she already has her own clothing brand Harx4.
Venny Etienne — Dallas, Texas
After styling local fashion shows in his hometown of Brooklyn when he was 20 years old, Venny fell in love with fashion. He attended FIT in New York City then later transferred to Wade College in Texas and received a degree in merchandising and design. He has made a name for himself in Dallas through his own sportswear brand, Levenity, and has already styled big name stars including Cardi B and Michelle Williams.
Tessa Clark — Greenville, Ohio
Tessa’s love for fashion was inspired through her family and her obsession with high-fashion magazines as a teen. After earning a degree in fashion design from DAAP of the University of Cincinnati, she now has her own womenswear line called Grind and Glaze, based in Cincinnati which is inspired by her rural Ohio upbringing.
Jamall Osterholm — Cranston, Rhode Island
Jammall’s style of work is described as futuristic that reinterprets different time periods. He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and most recently opened Spring 2019 New York Fashion Week in September with his third collection through a collaboration with the CFDA.
Kovid Kapoor — Brooklyn, New York
Born in India to a military family meant that Kovid was often moving around the country. He experienced different cultures and traditions which strongly inspired his design aesthetic. He realized that clothing was beyond the fabric — it provided identity and self-expression. Now settled in Brooklyn, his aesthetic for his line combines the two cultures.
Nadine Ralliford — Stone Mountain, Georgia
Nadine’s love for fashion started at a young age. From watching her mother dress up to creating her own designs out of old scraps of clothing, she persued her passion by attending FIT in New York, FIDM in Los Angeles, AIU and MIT. She is now a professor of fashion and has created her own brand called Ralliford Hall Designs.
Rakan Shams Aldeen — Homs, Syria
When he was 5 years old, Rakan developed an interest in fashion and began sketching out different dress ideas. After studying fashion across the Middle East, he moved to Chicago to start up his own brand, Rakan, a luxurious modern line for women which is inspired from Rakan’s love of architecture and history.
Jhoan "Sebastian" Grey — Cali, Colombia
Sebastian’s love of design started when he was young. He developed his skillset while working in his family’s leather business in Colombia, and after being inspired by ballet dancers’ costumes, enrolled in a fine arts school. He went on to study design in Colombia and Florida. After designing his own collections and operating stores in Columbia, he’s ready to make his name known in the States.
Sonia Kasparian — Portland, Oregon
Raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Sonia found art as a way to escape and express herself. Though fine art was always her true love, she graduated with a degree in fashion design. Since then she has worked with names like Nike designing NBA apparel and Team USA Olympic clothing for the men’s and women’s volleyball teams. She served as the Director of Global Branding at Quicksilver, Roxy and O’Neil and is known for creating Roxy’s signature board shorts. Currently, she focuses on creating couture and bridal pieces.
Afa Ah Loo — Lotopa, Samoa
Afa found his niche for fashion from his mother, who would sew clothing for him and his siblings. As a self-taught designer he continues to be inspired by his mom and was recently chosen to create a look for The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange. The final piece, which was made using Samoan materials, was displayed at Buckingham Palace in an exhibit curated by Vogue’s Editor-at-Large, Hamish Bowles.
Bishme Cromartie — Baltimore, Maryland
Growing up in a rough neigborhood, designing gave Bishme a form of escapism. He never received formal fashion training, but learned to sew from his great-aunt. He presented his work for this first time in a solo fashion show when he was 16 years old and has styled stars including Andra Day and Mel B.
Frankie Lewis — Louisville, Kentucky
Frankie starting designing when she created costumes for a local theatre in Kentucky. She continued to hone her skills in college by working as a seamstress and designer for theatre at the University of Louisville. Her upcoming line, called Frankie Lew, includes fashions size-inclusive clothing for all women.
Gary "Garo Sparo" Spampinato — New York, New York
Ever since Garo Sparo showcased hisfirst designs at Absolut Alternative Fashion Week in 1995 he has been on a roll. He’s become known for his conceptual fashion and has designed for many commercial and film clients. He specializes in corsetry, couture and made-to-order bridal and has designed for Madonna and Daphne Guinness.
Hester Sunshine — Santa Fe, New Mexico
Hester found her passion for fashion when she started dressing herself as a young girl and began sewing clothes for her toy dolls. She has degrees in fashion, history and theory and describes the style of her work as “colorful clown couture.”
Lela Orr — Monroe, Louisiana
Lela discovered her love of fashion after reading through international Vogue magazines as a young girl. She followed her passion, got a degree from Parsons School of Design in New York City and has since owned her own brand, Ferrah, which is eco-luxury, all-natural, cruelty-free with zero waste.
Cavanagh Baker — Nashville, Tenessee
Cavanaugh created her own fashion brand when she was in college and has gone on to dress Lucy Hale, Heidi Klum, Miranda Lambert and Marren Morris on her wedding day. Her designs merge timeless style with a contemporary twist and can be found at her flagship store in Nashville.