14 Fashion Brands We Bet Will Reach Viral Status in 2022

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of House of Sunny; Courtesy of Ottolinger; Courtesy of Peter Do

For fashion editors, the end of the year is a bittersweet moment—it's a time to reflect on the trends we will depart from, the It items that defined the year, and the viral fashion brands that took the year by storm. While strolling down nostalgia lane in stilettos can be fun, there's something even more exciting for the fashion set: thinking about the future of fashion. Nothing piques our interest more than predicting the next big trends or the fashion brand that will make its mark in the zeitgeist. The possibilities of where fashion will go are so exciting, and I know I'm not alone in that sentiment. So in anticipation of what 2022 will hold, I reached out to seven experts in the fashion industry to have them share their insights into which fashion brands defined 2021 and which fashion designers they predict will set the tone in the new year. Their buying, styling, and designing experience makes them the ultimate forecasters for what's to come, and if you're smart, you'll jump on the bandwagon before it's too late. 

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of Telsha Anderson-Boone

WHO: Telsha Anderson-Boone, Founder of T.A.

For those who aren't familiar with your work—what do you do? And how did you break into the fashion industry? 

I'm the buyer and owner of T.A., a boutique based in Meatpacking, New York. Before opening the store, I was in social media and influencer marketing and decided to open T.A. in 2020.

What does it mean to you to support rising talent? Why, in your opinion, is it essential to buy from and wear newer labels?

Supporting rising talent is giving them a consistent platform to showcase their perspectives. It's essential to buy from and wear new labels because it provides space for a new identity to be recognized within the fashion industry. There are a lot of new labels out there that genuinely need support from retailers, customers, and larger department stores—the way those brands can "quickly" get recognized is from direct-to-consumer purchasing.  

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of Ottolinger

What brand do you feel took 2021 by storm? Why do you love them? 

Theophilio took 2021 by storm, and not only is the brand carried in-store and by other amazing retailers, but they're a brand with a true identity and purpose behind what they produce.

Can you share a fashion brand you predict will be big in 2022?

There are so many incredible brands that I'm rooting for in hopes that they will get the recognition they deserve in 2022. But based on the fashion set's embrace of risqué trends like built-in G-strings and flossing this past year, I'm predicting Ottolinger will be a fan favorite. Their bold, deconstructed pieces set them apart from the pack.

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

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Courtesy of Scot Louie

WHO: Scot Louie, Celebrity Stylist

For those who aren't familiar with your work—what do you do? 

I am a celebrity fashion stylist. I started working with recording artists, models, and actresses Ryan Destiny, Kehlani, Lil Kim, and Iskra Lawrence.

What does it mean to you to support rising talent? Why, in your opinion, is it essential to buy from and wear newer labels?

Supporting new talent is vital to me. Newer brands really need visibility, resulting in sales for an independent brand. Rising talent often brings a fresh outlook to the ever-changing fashion industry, and as a stylist, that is essential for my creative process.

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of LaQuan Smith

What brand do you feel took 2021 by storm? Why do you love them? 

Twenty-twenty-one was a big year for Christopher John Rogers. Besides being a Black-owned brand and a CFDA winner, CJR is an immensely talented designer. His work has inspired us all to embrace dressing up again. As a designer, he has so much range, and I know we have yet to see the best of him.

Can you share a fashion brand you predict will be big in 2022?

In addition to Christopher John Rogers only going up from here, I believe that LaQuan Smith is another designer poised to take over in 2022. Smith is an excellent designer, and it's exciting to see large retailers like Moda Operandi and Luisaviaroma carrying his pieces. Smith's label checks all the boxes; It's sexy, fun, feminine, and strong.

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of Ana Kannan

WHO: Ana Kannan, CEO & Founder of Toward

For those who aren't familiar with your work—what do you do? And how did you break into the fashion industry? 

I am the CEO and founder of Toward, a responsible fashion and beauty platform that does the hard work of thoroughly vetting brands to determine whether or not they're environmentally and socially conscious. Amid the pandemic, I identified a blind spot in the retail market for customers who value truly responsible fashion and beauty but don't want to sacrifice style and quality. 

What does it mean to you to support rising talent? Why, in your opinion, is it essential to buy from and wear newer labels?

Supporting rising talent allows us to support designers on their sustainability journeys from the very beginning. Small brands don't face the many red-tape restrictions that prevent bigger designers from improving environmental efficiencies and reducing their impact. New, conscious designers are essential to the fashion ecosystem because they lead the way forward in the sustainable fashion movement. These brands prove that you can consume responsibly without sacrificing style or quality. 

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of House of Sunny

What brand do you feel took 2021 by storm? Why do you love them? 

One brand that I think took 2021 by storm was Sleeper. Not only does the brand carry whimsically designed pajamas and loungewear, but they also have a focus on transparency and environmental sustainability. With fans ranging from Brie Larson to Elle Fanning, the free-spirited nature of the brand appealed to all who were excited about being able to step out of sweats but who still wanted the comfort of loungewear this year.

Can you share a fashion brand you predict will be big in 2022?

One brand I love is House of Sunny—their funky faux fur–lined sweaters and their printed pants are so fun and of-the-moment. I'm also a fan of Reike Nen and Rejina Pyo. All three labels mix vintage details with modern silhouettes to create fresh yet timeless pieces.

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of Marjon Carlos

WHO: Marjon Carlos, Fashion Journalist & Founder of the podcast Your Favorite Auntie

For those who aren't familiar with your work—what do you do? And how did you break into the fashion industry? 

I'm a journalist, editor, and host of Your Favorite Auntie—a new kind of advice show from someone you listen to. I always like to say that I broke into the fashion industry through the side door: I was in academia and luxury retail before journalism and then launched a freelance writing career, contributing to Elle, Vogue, Refinery29, before coming on full-time as Vogue's senior fashion writer. 

As a writer, much of your role is about discovering new talent. How do you find new brands? And is there one thing you think makes a rising fashion brand worth following? 

I'm blessed to be a part of such an incredibly rich and diverse creative community in the city, so I'm constantly surrounded by talented people who are then putting me on to equally talented, emerging work. I think our industry is supersaturated, so the folks that catch my eye possess a sharpened POV and real, true skills. You can just see it in the stitching, fabrication, and storytelling. I'm not interested in hype.

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of Peter Do

What brand do you feel took 2021 by storm? Why do you love them? 

Other than my dear friend Christopher John Rogers, who rightfully took the CFDA home this past year, another designer that I love is Peter Do. He's been in the game for a minute, but the industry is catching on to his genius. I went to his show in September (my first in nearly two years) and was blown away by the tailored suiting and how sensual and fluid it all felt. I thought, "This is how we want to dress these days."

Can you share a fashion brand you predict will be big in 2022?

Not that Raul Lopez needs any introduction (he's a fashion legend), but I am so excited by the relaunch of his brand, Luar, and the success of his tote bags. When I say everyone, I mean everyone: Dua Lipa, Troye Sivan, all of Brooklyn. I wore mine home to Dallas for Thanksgiving, and my best friend's auntie bought one on the spot! I love that he can have that ripple effect.

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of Jacqueline Zenere

WHO: Jacqueline Zenere, Stylist 

For those who aren't familiar with your work—what do you do? And how did you break into the fashion industry? 

I am a stylist, but my background is entirely editorial. I started at W magazine and then spent my most formative years at Modern Luxury, styling over 300 covers and editorials. I grew to realize that working on cover shoots and working with the talent and developing a trusting relationship are even more rewarding, which landed me where I am now. When styling a client, my mind goes to storytelling first. When choosing a look, I always ask myself, Why this designer? Why this design? Why this glam? Each aspect is thought out and considered to convey the desired message.

As a stylist, much of your role is about discovering new talent—how do you find new brands? And is there one thing you think makes a rising fashion brand worth following? 

The simplest way to pinpoint a designer to follow is to signify themselves with new ideas. Once you put the time in and study the archives, you can separate between the new and the derivative. In terms of discovering designers, that almost implies I seek them out, when, in actuality, it is the other way around. They come to me so much to a point I can't ignore—either on Business of Fashion, Instagram, on the street, from publicists, so many ways.

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of A.W.A.K.E. Mode

What brand do you feel took 2021 by storm? Why do you love them? 

A.W.A.K.E. Mode was on my beat this past year. I have continued to dress my clients in their designs because they each have that Occam's razor edge I look for. It's almost the feeling like the answer is right in front of you all along, and then when you discover its collection, I finally see what I've been looking for.

Can you share a fashion brand you predict will be big in 2022?

Nanushka was another brand that I've found myself turning to when styling clients, and I'm excited to see what they'll create in the new year. Of all the possible design routes each piece could go in, Nanushka always goes the simplest route, which produces these incredible, cool pieces.

I also am waiting with bated breath for the return of Phoebe Philo in 2022. In my mind, along with many, many, many [others,] … the fashion industry's cornerstone of cool is returning from a much-missed hiatus with a namesake brand. Her tenure at Celine turned the tide of taste at the time and continues even still.

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of Chief Ugo Mozie II

WHO: Chief Ugo Mozie II, entrepreneur & designer

For those who aren't familiar with your work—what do you do? 

I am a creative entrepreneur and designer. My work spans from fashion branding to creative direction.  

As an expert, much of your role is about discovering new talent—how do you find new brands? And is there one thing you think makes a rising fashion brand worth following? 

My favorite part of my job is discovering new brands and bringing them on to bigger platforms. I discover a lot of brands and designers on my trips. I travel often and love to submerge myself within cultures and lifestyles and draw inspiration from culture and history. Instagram, fashion weeks, and word of mouth are my most significant sources of finding rising brands.

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of Tongoro

What brand do you feel took 2021 by storm? Why do you love them? 

Telfar took 2021 by storm. They became the must-have bag for people all around the world. I've been a supporter and friend of the designer for over 10 years now. To see Telfar finally getting the recognition and respect he deserves is just magnificent and affirming. More affirmations to young aspiring creatives of color that their dreams are valid.

Can you share a fashion brand you predict will be big in 2022?

There are so many, but two brands I think will take next year by storm are Theophilio and Tongoro. Theophilio brings an edgy, everyday Caribbean flair to the fashion world, and Tongoro does the same with African prints and beautiful silhouettes.

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of Maisa Mumtaz-Cassidy

WHO: Maisa Mumtaz-Cassidy, Founder of Consciously

For those who aren't familiar with your work—what do you do? And how did you break into the fashion industry? 

I'm the founder and CEO at Consciously, a curated sustainable-fashion marketplace that makes shopping by your values a seamless experience. I pursued fashion relentlessly to the initial dismay of my South Asian family, who wanted me to study medicine or law, and began by studying fashion marketing. After school, I worked in the manufacturing industry in Bangladesh, which sparked my passion for bringing about positive change in the industry. I saw firsthand how exploitative the industry could be, and it led me to build Consciously.

As a buyer, much of your role is about discovering new talent—how do you find new brands? And is there one thing you think makes a rising fashion brand worth following? 

I'm constantly being introduced to brands from connections within the sustainable-fashion space. In terms of brands worth following, on our platform, we have sustainability criteria made up of eight values that act as a checks-and-balances system to ensure the brands we're partnering with are creating social and environmental impact. What makes a rising brand worth following is authenticity. I see more of the newer brands being transparent in how their business is run—from the founder's story to what a day in the life of running a business looks like, including hiccups along the way. People want sincerity, even from companies.

Viral fashion brand predictions 2022

Photo:

Courtesy of Mien

What brand do you feel took 2021 by storm? Why do you love them? 

One brand I discovered this past year and love is Industry Standard. Their basics are a must-have in every woman's wardrobe. Not only is their loungewear elevated enough to wear out, but it's all produced in L.A. in small batches, so it's better for the environment. 

Can you share a fashion brand you predict will be big in 2022? 

I'm hoping 2022 will usher in more conscious consumers and more conscious brands. Long gone should be the days where a brand isn't size inclusive or sustainable. For me, I'm predicting that Mien will make it big in the new year. They're our best-selling brand on Consciously, and that's because their products are super-high quality, and they have beautiful pieces in a variety of colors that are made in extended sizes.

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