The season is changing and if you’re looking for a cool look to go with the cooler weather, Phoenix fashion designers have new collections to keep you looking fresh, even if you’re just sitting at home.
Phoenix might not be known as the fashion capital of the country, but it has a vibrant fashion scene. Local designers are creating looks that get noticed and are showing up on celebrities such as Cynthia Bailey, Bella Hadid and Kat Von D.
With tens of thousands of social media followers, Phoenix designers have used their craft to make an impact on the fashion industry locally and beyond.
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Their looks include suits lined with velvet, pops of color, mesh detailing and eco-friendly upcycled garments. These local designers know what customers want and have something for everyone.
Related: Phoenix native is ” putting in the work” and getting noticed.
Here are seven local fashion brands and the designers behind them you should get to know.
JC Donaldson is the founder and designer of Being Dapper, a Gatsby-inspired collection of sport coats, suits and polos for men. From form-fitting cotton suits to sport coats lined with velvet, Being Dapper has a unique look that makes dressing up look effortless.
Donaldson started the company in 2011 with men’s accessories and lapel flowers. Being Dapper made its Phoenix Fashion Week debut in 2018.
Under the House of Donaldson part of his company, Donaldson makes custom shirts, jackets, pants, vests and suits for men and women. A selection of dress shoes, sneakers, hats and accessories is also available in his online store.
Tiffe Fermaint is the owner and designer behind Baby Teith, a clothing brand for kids. Inspired by new wave, 80s rock, goth and a post-punk aesthetic, Fermaint started the company on Etsy in 2013. Before starting a clothing line for children, Fermaint created Avant-Garde runway designs for adults.
Baby Teith styles include onesies that say “baby bat” and a Joy Division inspired “Toy Division” and t-shirts that say “music and motherhood” and “spooky mom,” Baby Teith connects parents and their kids through clothes that celebrate their personalities and love of music. Tattoo artist Kat Von D is a fan of the clothing.
Fermaint recently launched Baby Teith Records, a music label serving up post-punk and new wave tracks for kids.
Kelsey Garner is the owner of the popular clothing line K.S. Garner which offers clothing from size XXS to 4X. Garner’s clothing line includes the colorful form fitting velvet jumpsuits in her “Luna” collection and a variety of shorts and crop tops in her “Maddy” collection.
You can mix and match the pieces to coincide with your own personal style or buy them as a set. Each piece is handmade to order.
Garner released her first full women’s and men’s collection in 2014 and a kids’ clothing line in 2015. While she still has a children’s clothing line, her main focus these days is on her women’s line. Garner recently released a holiday collection that features a velvet dress, bell-bottom pants and skirts.
K.S. Garner also has a unique selection of face masks, rompers, dresses and accessories available online.
Designer Tebo Dambe dressed Team Botswana for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. When she’s not designing for an entire team, Dambe custom makes garments for women, men, bridal parties and children. Her clothing has been featured in Marie Claire and Forbes.
The Scottsdale designer creates her women’s couture gowns with a specific part of the body in mind, the waist. Her gowns are fit, flare and floor-length. The “Zendaya” dress is a bright green gown with a high slit and off the shoulder. “Beverly” is a floor length white, wrap dress, with pockets.
Notable people who’ve worn her garments include model Cynthia Bailey, actress LisaRaye McCoy and former President of Botswana Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
Prolific Arizona designer, Angela Johnson is best known for her tailored ball gowns and garments made from thrifted and recycled t-shirts. She is also the co-founder of the non-profit AZ Apparel Foundation and F.A.B.R.I.C., an Arizona-based fashion incubator.
Inspired by her grandmother to become a designer, Johnson got her start in L.A. working in design and production for X-Large Manufacturing, the line owned by Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys. Johnson’s upcycled T-shirt designs have been on display at the Tempe Center for the Arts and she’s received several awards including the Tempe arts and culture award for innovation in 2019.
Currently, Johnson’s collection features a reversible blazer, corset, ballgown and a mini dress all made of recycled t-shirts. It’s available online.
Shades of Rose
Lauren Burnham-Luyendyk launched her clothing line Shades of Rose in August. The 12-piece lifestyle collection includes blazers, blouses, bodysuits, pants and rompers that are comfortable and versatile.
In addition to being a designer, Burnham-Luyendyk is also known for her time on the hit series “The Bachelor” where she met her husband Arie Luyendyk Jr.
On Nov. 17, Burnham-Luyendyk launched a holiday collection of new apparel including mesh long sleeve tops, satin dresses, sweaters, skirts, bodysuits and pants.
Loren Aragon’s fashion contains a variety of influences. He was an engineer before he turned to art. He and his wife, Valentina, created ACONAV (combining his Acoma Pueblo heritage with her Navajo roots) first as a greeting-card company.
Aragon then learned metalsmithing from an uncle, which led to his start creating jewelry. He turned to fashion when people began asking for wearable representations of his contemporary jewelry designs.
Aragon designed the couture gown that ASU Gammage’s Executive Director Colleen Jennings-Roggensack wore to the 2019 Tony Awards. During the pandemic, he turned his attention to more practical things. So far this year, Aragon released a line of face masks and two new collections of dresses.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: 7 Phoenix fashion designers you should get to know