As the leaves turn brown on Manhattan’s city streets, Spring/Summer 2019 trends will rule the runways, proving that you have to be ahead of the curve to be in vogue. It’s hard work to make your presence known in an industry that changes so rapidly, but three local artists will showcase their designs, talent and creativity to crowds of thousands as part of one of the biggest fashion events in the world — New York Fashion Week (NYFW). We caught up with these creatives moments before they left to talk with them about their inspirations, current designs and what being part of NYFW means to them.
Label: Topping Designs
The Lowdown: Army veteran, feminist and founder of Topping Designs, Duane Topping, is preparing for his second season at NYFW. For his current line, he found inspiration in a powerful, anonymous quote that illustrates how strong a female is and can be — “He whispered in her ear, ‘You are not strong enough to weather the storm.’ She whispered back, ‘I am the storm.’” These compelling words inspired Topping to design his line for the woman who is classic but has a force within her that is one to be reckoned with. “This line has a story — in the beginning, there is a calm before, then by the last piece, the person wearing the garment becomes the storm,” Topping said. “With these pieces, I feel like it’s possible to be both classically demure and empowered.” Topping hopes his clothes speak powerful words of feminism and strength at his show, which will be part of Art Hearts Fashion on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.
Label: Sarah Simon Styles
The Lowdown: Young hairstylist, Sarah Simon, anticipates her first time at NYFW will be filled with amazing learning experiences as part of a team working with celebrity stylists, Ted Gibson and Jason Backe. “I’ve always known about Ted and Jason. They are the best hairdressers, period,” Simon said. “I want to make sure I’m the best so I’m surrounding myself with the best in the industry.” Growing up, Simon always enjoyed providing makeovers to others so a career in hair seemed like it was her destiny. After graduating from beauty school and working with a Paul Mitchell salon, Simon is now her own boss and in charge of her own fate. “Now I work for myself and I’ve been working for myself for nine months,” she said. “I’ve been doing better than when I had an assistant and have had so many opportunities being on my own.” Sarah will assist with hair during 14 different runway shows, Sept. 6 through 9.
Label: Ingjin San (The Fashion DJ)
The Lowdown: Originally from the country of Myanmar, Ingjin San moved to the states to tap into her creative side and pursue a career in the fashion industry. Inspired by the world around her, San feels happiest when designing. “For me, it is not just about becoming a fashion designer, it is more about creating something and doing what I love,” San said. “Then seeing my designs come to life makes me so excited. I feel like I’m being true to myself and living my best life.” For her Spring/Summer ’19 NYFW line, she designed clothing outside of her normal realm and pulled inspiration from New York City. “I am using material that I’ve never used before, different techniques and I’ve really focused on using architectural inspiration in my designs.” San will show at The Roosevelt Hotel on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 8:30 p.m. with The SOCIETY Fashion Week.