It’s been a century since the roaring 1920s, but both novice and rookie designers alike seem to be pulling inspiration from the Jazz Age this winter. Fur-lined coats and flashy asymmetrical patterns, paired often with vintage classics, have been resurrected as modern wardrobe staples.
Ahead of New York Fashion Week next month, we’ve gathered a short list of local designers based in and near Bushwick to keep an eye out for.
Detroit-born and now in Brooklyn, Aaron Potts has become a recognizable name in the fashion industry. A Parson’s alum, his designs have been worn by names like Dave East, Machine Gun Kelly and Ciara since his brand debuted debuted in late 2018.
Potts’ neutral palettes and androgynous designs are on-brand for modern fashion minimalists. Though his pieces have classic versatility, each features a unique flare and twist that turns heads. The brand has been featured as part of New York Men’s Day for the past few years and is en route to becoming a notable name in fashion.
Founded in 2018 in Brooklyn, Pratt honors graduate Lizzy Gee dedicates her brand to ideas like inclusivity, gender liberation and sustainable fashion. According to her website, her clothes have attracted attention from the pages of British Vogue and have been spotted on musicians like Grimes and Kimbra.
Gee says that her brand is still suffering from a fire that destroyed her design studio in Bushwick last fall. Next month, she is set to put on a show out of the designer boutique she co-founded awhile ago called VERS (see below). That hits February 12t, tickets are be donation based
“My brand’s presentation will be a combination music performance and runway show with local musicians, such as Chelsea Smith, wearing my designs,” Gee told me. Her brand focuses on using recycled, upcycled, deadstock and organic fabric and textiles according to its website
“The designs will be a combination of previously shown work converted and restyled along with new pieces. That’s the beauty of creating reversible and customizable clothing,” adds Gee.
Aside from ethical production, Gee’s focus on androgynous patterns using a vibrant color palette has become a memorable addition to the local fashion industry over the past several years, thanks to her bold experimentation and poppy, modern style that she’s developed over the years. Follow her brand on Instagram.
A prolific name in the New York City fashion industry, the VERS boutique in Bushwick features over 30 local designers. The retailer features streetwear flair, utility pieces, androgynous glam and any possible style you’re looking for.
Self-proclaimed as “clothing for people,” the retailer prides itself on showcasing diverse and up-and-coming local talent, with prioritization towards inclusivity, disruption and social justice.
VERS started out hosting pop-ups around Bushwick in 2014 before opening their independent brick and mortar store in 2021, right on Willoughby Avenue. Aside from supporting a local community of designers, VERS also runs regular pop-ups and collaborations with local tattoo studios, artists and community members in addition to its work in the local queer community.
VERS is located at 1329 Willoughby Avenue. Follow the brand on Instagram.
Zero Waste Daniel
Zero Waste Daniel, also known as zwd, first hit the scene around 2017 after gaining attention from outlets like Buzzfeed and Insider. The proclaimed “zero-waste lifestyle pioneer” got attention for using local pre-consumer recycled waste, along with hard-to-recycle materials to create stunning gender-fluid patchwork and designs that make it a priority to reduce landfill use.
The brand’s founder, Daniel Silverstein, is already becoming a household name in the fashion industry, following complimentary features in Forbes and Vogue following collaborations with names like ThredUp, Alice + Olivia and more. Follow the brand on Instagram.
So maybe gender neutrality wasn’t necessarily on the top of the mind in the roaring 20’s, but modern brands like Rorschach Romance have long been a trailblazer in mixing vintage flair with androgynous and political expression.
“Fashion is Political,” is one of the brand’s favorite slogans, but despite the seriousness of its political stance, the brand hardly takes itself too seriously at all. From multicolor handmade crochet bucket hands to gummy worm studs, Rorschach Romance has quickly established itself as a recognizable brand in the local design community. Follow the brand on Instagram.
Street Wear Fashion Week Returns
The brand SFW Runway features up-and-coming high-end and luxury streetwear designers and its plans to debut near Bushwick and Ridgewood this year during February fashion week, though details about what’s planned are currently scare. Check out the previous runway looks, some event details and tickets here.
SFW will be held at 49 Wyckoff Avenue at the Wyckoff Windows Studio this year on February 11th.
Top images taken by Elia Griffin for Bushwick Daily.