4 Talented Designers Making Their Own Rules

By Walter Greene | November 16, 2021

These are the fashion designers who are making (and breaking) their own rules.

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A model walks the runway for SUKEINA during New York Fashion Week on Feb. 12, 2020. SUKEINA PHOTO BY DIA DIPASUPIL/GETTY IMAGES

OMAR SALAM

The trend of celebrating one’s culture was quite evident at SUKEINA (sukeina.co). Born in Senegal, Salam was inspired by the Bantu tribes of Africa, where they are known to take small bits and pieces of material and weave them into marvelous fashion. Trained by Sonia Rykiel and Christian Lacroix, Salam, before launching his own SUKEINA label, used this tradition to repurpose his breathtaking creations. “It’s a tradition. It’s a way to take things that others have perceived as valueless and transform them,” notes the designer. The bulk of Salam’s dresses are expertly crafted in knit jersey, featuring rows of different types of lace, net, chiffon, velvet, shiny black buttons, and dazzling jewels. A mannequin draped in black silk chiffon and etched in ostrich feathers stood center stage.


Actress Audra McDonald wearing Sergio Hudson at the 2021 Met Gala in New York City on Sept. 13 AUDRA MCDONALD PHOTO BY MIKE COPPOLA/GETTY IMAGE
Actress Audra McDonald wearing Sergio Hudson at the 2021 Met Gala in New York City on Sept. 13 AUDRA MCDONALD PHOTO BY MIKE COPPOLA/GETTY IMAGE

SERGIO HUDSON

The signature monochromatic look from Sergio Hudson (sergiohudson.com), popularized by the aubergine ensemble worn by first lady Michelle Obama on Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day, will now command in fresh variations, using cool colors like mustard, tomato, and turquoise. Hudson’s masterful combinations of his turtleneck, wide trousers, and the long, floor-sweeping duster coat were clinched by his signature wide leather belts. Launching his namesake ready-to-wear collection in 2014, this designer, who hails from South Carolina, attended Bauder College, where he obtained a degree in fashion design.


Christopher John Rogers and actress Jordan Alexander attend the 2021 Met Gala in New York City on Sept. 13. MET GALA PHOTO BY DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE MET MUSEUM/VOGUE
Christopher John Rogers and actress Jordan Alexander attend the 2021 Met Gala in New York City on Sept. 13. MET GALA PHOTO BY DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE MET MUSEUM/VOGUE

CHRISTOPHER JOHN ROGERS

Christopher John Rogers’ (christopherjohnrogers.com) bold colors are amplified by volume. In 2022, staples such as puffed sleeves and poofy skirts are updated by way of wide frilly trousers in layers of color and a wide bell skirt, made from bold horizontal stripes in black, yellow, orange, and purple. A true trendsetter, Rogers is the recipient of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award and has a legion of fans including Emmy Award-winning actor-producer Michaela Coel, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Zendaya. Christopher John Rogers was named by Net-A-Porter as one of fashion’s most exciting new names.


A model walks the runway for Carlton Jones at Global Fashion Collective II during NYFW on Sept. 11, 2021. CARLTON JONES PHOTO BY JOHN LAMPARSKI/GETTY IMAGE
A model walks the runway for Carlton Jones at Global Fashion Collective II during NYFW on Sept. 11, 2021. CARLTON JONES PHOTO BY JOHN LAMPARSKI/GETTY IMAGE

CARLTON JONES

Soft, feminine babydoll dresses. High waistlines. Delicate frills. Some are bold and in your face, while others were subtle pinks, like the bold pink border on a pale pink gown and the bold pink silk robe that closed Carlton Jones’ (carltonjonesnyc.com) NYFW show in September. As a designer on the rise, Jones definitely explores the concept “Resort is an attitude—not a destination.” He established his eponymous collection in 2015 after years of work as a fashion stylist working with notables such as Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah, Aretha Franklin, Zozibini Tunzi, and Jill Scott.

Photography by: Homepage & thumbnail images by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images; all other images credited above.