First Look: The Caleres Emerging Designer Award Finalists At STLFW

By Sarah Stallmann
In Style

Caleres and the Saint Louis Fashion Fund are ensuring all eyes will be on St. Louis this fall when one lucky designer will be awarded with the $25K Caleres Emerging Designer Award during Saint Louis Fashion Week on Nov. 4. The finalists were officially announced to a crowd of fashion VIPs and industry veterans at a chic cocktail event in Manhattan last month. Representing a broad spectrum of styles and tastes across the American ready-to-wear sector, each designer will bring something fresh and unique onto the STLFW runway.

Jordana Warmflash | Novis

Washington University graduate Jordana Warmflash launched Novis right here in St. Louis and is making her big return for the presentation of her SS16 collection. Known for its attention-grabbing prints in bold colors, Novis has earned its place on the racks of several boutiques across the globe and in the closets of trendsetters whom Warmflash describes as “confidently vibrant and proudly irreverent.”


Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta | Eckhaus Latta

Described as “sublime weirdness” by VICE, Eckhaus Latta is exactly that—in the most fashionable way possible. The brand is known for its impressively unique and artistic showings: Interest gained momentum in 2015 after a runway show that featured a lettuce-strewn runway and male models with painted-on tube socks. All spectacle aside, co-designers and Rhode Island School of Design alums Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta have crafted an innovative concept designed to question the conventional, spark conversations and leave the industry at the edge of their seats.


Azede Jean-Pierre

Azede Jean-Pierre’s designs represent the juxtaposition of nature and city life: shapely and tailored, undone and clean, feminine and edgy. The Haitian-born Savannah College of Art and Design graduate has already carved out her niche in the editorial world, thanks to a prominent presence in the press, and hopes her upcoming sales strategy will follow suit. Jean-Pierre’s classic cuts boast surprises galore, pushing the boundaries of fashion and art with a collection right on the verge of nationwide popularity.


Katharine Polk | Houghton

Malibu native Katharine Polk started Houghton with a bang in 2011, and the buzz hasn’t wavered. Chosen as Womens Wear Daily’s “New Designer to Watch” and Style. com’s “Next Big Thing,” Polk has taken on both the ready-to-wear and bridal markets, crafting a timeless catalogue of garments that are made to last. Houghton is inspired by Katharine Houghton Hepburn, Polk’s namesake, and their shared penchant for menswear (alongside more feminine pieces) is a common theme in the designer’s line.


Julie Haus and Jason Alkire| Haus Alkire

A brand that prides itself on quality and attention to detail, Haus Alkire—by husband-and-wife duo Jason Alkire and Julie Haus—is a partnership as poetic as its clothing. The label stands out in the industry for its impressive use of unconventional high-art prints photographed by Alkire and then transferred—often by hand—onto garments that exemplify the brand’s structural and graphic aesthetic.


 The story appeared in the September 2015 issue.

Update: Brandon Sun has withdrawn as a finalist for the Caleres Emerging Designer Award citing personal reasons. Sun wishes his fellow designers well and hopes to show in St. Louis in the future.

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