If finding knitwear that wasn’t a touch boring used to be a challenge, in 2022, that’s all set to change, mostly thanks to a slew of emerging designers. The crafty knit trend may have snuck up on us, but it’s certainly welcome. Meet seven brands that are taking the fashion industry by storm with their innovative creations.
With a SSENSE capsule under her belt, 2022 is already off to a good start for this Central Saint Martins graduate. After cutting her teeth at luxury houses (including Burberry and Marc Jacobs), she started making her own off-kilter knitwear inspired by her Russian roots. Get ahead of the fashion curve by stocking up on her patchwork cardigans, flesh-baring lace tights and hip-skimming skirts.
A. Roege Hove
Since her brand’s inception in 2019, Amelia Røge Hove Geertsen’s knitwear has continued to gain momentum. November 2021 saw her recognised as one of Copenhagen’s best rising designers, scooping up the annual Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize. A quick glance through her fanciful designs will have even the biggest sceptics reconsidering the playful trend.
Nong Rak – which doubles as a vintage outlet – has quickly racked up an ever-growing list of admirers thanks to its sustainable mohair pieces and avant-garde headwear. If you’re quick enough to grab one of its bespoke pieces before they inevitably sell-out – run, don’t walk – a mohair bonnet makes for an undeniable autumn hero piece.
Bursting at the seams with youthful, whimsical energy, Gaignoux’s ready-to-wear line fuses craftsmanship with flair to create wearable art. Using a meticulous hand-knitting technique and felting process, the designer – who unveiled her jaw-dropping collection “Enveloppes Imaginaires” last April – shrinks each piece in the wash, meaning no two items are identical. Note, too, the buttons, which are custom-made by ceramicist Pauline Bonnet.
The Nigerian-born British designer’s knitwear is nothing short of awe-inspiring. A former Sarabande scholar (a platform designed to champion emerging talent spearheaded by the late Alexander McQueen), June 2021 saw Ojakpe establish himself as one-to-watch when he unveiled his final Central Saint Martins collection – heavily influenced by abstract sculptures and marrying pleating with bulbous shapes and vibrant hues.
“I’ve crocheted most of my life, and I returned to it this past year during the pandemic as it is a very meditative outlet for me,” Yeung told Vogue last year. Fast-forward a few months, and the Navajo and Chinese model’s custom-made designs (launched in summer) have earned a cult following, selling out on e-tailer, APOC. Happily, upcycled materials are at the core of the brand’s DNA, paving the way for innovative and tactile garments.
You will have likely spotted one of Hepzibah Lyon’s colourful knitted bags slung over the shoulder of a Gen-Z star (early adoptees include musician Sav Hudson). The pandemic left the Camberwell College of Arts graduate with ample time and acres of yarn, leading her to launch her one-woman enterprise, HVML. With eco-conscious practices remaining a driving force behind her candy-coloured hand-crocheted bags – which, FYI, are about to blow up on social media in a big way – Lyon generates her pieces using entirely recycled materials from an organic and ethical farm in Italy.