The last five years or so have been formative for the growth of new guard designer brands. In the face of industry-dominant heritage names, labels such as Rejina Pyo, Ganni, and Khaite have brought a new aesthetic to the table that doesn't rely on flashy logos but rather establishes a strong and coherent design manifesto that is instantly recognisable, and beloved, by its growing fanbase. Just think of the Scandi cool of Ganni, the brand that launched a thousand It items or Sleeper's best-selling feather-lined sets and off-the-shoulder dresses. There's also the fact that these labels rarely slip into the four-figure price bracket, making them, in a designer context anyway, that little bit more accessible.
Increasingly e-commerce sites, such as Harvey Nichols, are seeing the value in these cult brands and thus looking out for the next name to know. As a shopping editor, I also find myself constantly drawn to the personality pieces that these younger brands offer, items that never fail to add interest to my everyday basics. Scrolling through Harvey Nichols's brand category, I identified four brands in particular that have won my affections over the years.
To give you a sense of their IRL appeal, I've selected an outfit from each hero brand that I feel encapsulates its design DNA. From my Khaite neutral spearates and Ganni's classic checkered dress to Sleeper's cocktails-ready set and Rejina Pyo's elevated shorts suit, scroll down to see and shop my outfits.
Style Notes: Offering up clean-lined separates with design-led twists, Khaite hit the headlines in 2019 when Katie Holmes wore the brand's bradigan co-ord. I decided to try one of Khaite's signature rib-knit tops with a pair of the brand's high-waisted shorts to balance out the silhouette. Perfect for a smart-casual summer garden party (just best to avoid the grass).
Style Notes: I've honestly been coveting one of these Sleeper sets ever since they launched back in 2019, and while they're no longer hot off the press, I think it's a testament to the brand's design-savvy that they still look undeniably cool. With a feather trim and wide-leg fit, not only is it my dream cocktail outfit but it's also as comfy as your fave pair of PJs, thanks to the loose-fit top and elasticated trousers.
Style Notes: This is another cult item that has really stood the test of time. I bought Ganni's smocked dress in black last year during the heatwave, and it remains one of my favourite dresses. Thankfully the brand has brought out the style in multiple shades, and this lilac iteration is a particular highlight. The one thing I would say is size up, as the fit around the hip area is surprisingly snug. (I'm wearing a UK 10 here.)
Style Notes: Rejina Pyo has long been one of the designers whose LFW runway shows I get most excited about. Combining wearability with feel-good colourways and unexpected cuts, the designer gets it right season after season. Here I've opted for the brand's S/S21 pale-yellow shorts co-ord, which I've kept casual with chunky sandals and a white tee.