The Shortlist: SoCal Designers We’re Excited About

In general, when we think of fashion, New York City immediately hops to mind as the breeding ground for ultra-talented minds churning out head-turning garments year after year. And it just so happens that whenever we’re in need for inspiration, that’s where our heads naturally turn. But these four LA-based designers prove the west coast has what it takes to become our next style muse.

1 – Fabiana Pigna


What we’re loving: The silhouettes. Everything by this Venezuelan native feels sculptural without feeling cold. There’s a vitality to her designs, something she imbues with details that soften and elevate her garments to new, unexplored levels.

2 – Ziran


What we’re loving: The material, aka hand-dyed “Ziran” silk. Drawing inspiration from her Chinese roots, Kelly Wang Shanahan makes good use of xiang yun sha, a type of sustainable silk that’s made with natural dyes, woven entirely by hand and produced in small batches in Foshan city, Guangdong province.  (The brand claims to be the only to have exclusive rights to the material in the United States).

3 – Utierre 3

What we’re loving: The balance. When it comes to originality, Oscar Utierre—the genius behind the brand—has it in spades. Case in point: this LA-based designer seamlessly combines the delicacy of chiffon with the toughness of materials like chains and metals rings, an unlikely harmony that’s equal parts flirty and wink-wink-worthy. His signature chain bra was already seen sported by singers Azealia Banks and Cardi B.

4 – Vicken Derderian


What we’re loving: The background. If you google the name, you’ll be surprised to find portfolios of Vicken Derderian’s fine art, architecture and landscape design in conjunction with fashion. Using his vision as an architect, Vicken often collaborates with fellow fashion designer Kyung Hwa Kim to create garments that are experimental, architectural and often over-sized with a feminine edge.




LA-based journalist and blogger sharing her deep-seated, honest love for fashion and travel. Check in every week for new stories of exploration and roundups!

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