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Oct 10, 2014 >> Ones to Watch: New Design

G&F BLOG_The New Guard new Designs


Each Fall, we find a few of our favorite local style stars who are busting at the seams with brilliant pieces of work. We featured five of these veteran designers in The Art of Style feature. But with a city as big as ours, talent finds its way in a variety of different avenues and we’re finding some other Midwest artists who are creating beautiful things for beautiful people. These four new start-ups are itching to go big time with designs that are as inspiring as they are unique. Meet four new companies that are worth bookmarking. >>

Form and function meet effortlessly in a stunning display of craftsmanship that is something unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. The Grand Rapids business 3D designs and precision mills each piece forming beautiful design work for your house key. Yes, a souped up house key. While it sounds a bit silly, the result is stunning. The designs are cryptically cool. And while it might just be the key to your tiny one bedroom in Logan Square, the imagery feels a little more like something Indiana Jones might have jumped through a pit of snakes to find. Love attention to detail? This is one new accessory you will most likely never leave home without. 

Inspired by the addictive internet culture of photo sharing, the in-the-middle-of-being-kick-started budding fashion label features full-bleed images on t-shirts, scarves and hats. Super saturated colors and striking photography make the line a bright spot in your closet. Where does the inspiration come from? For one shirt, co-founders McKenzie Thompson and Jason Guo wax poetic: “We were recently visiting Jamaica and hanging with some locals. It was so hot and humid that it began to rain off and on, each shower lasting just a few minutes. When the weather is like this, they said, it’s called ‘Liquid Sunshine.’ How nice is that?!” And voila: the Liquid Sunshine shirt. The duo behind the line have opened up a sunny showroom in Pilsen to show off their wares.

Okay, we admit it. We can be a little girly sometime. It takes a line like Chicago-based DPTR to give us a little peek into what giving the bejeweled sweatshirts a day off looks like. The artisan hand-crafted goods are a mix of dressed-up street styles—think snapbacks and beanie hats—that are simple and sleek. Their motto? To create pieces that the wearer defines and not the other way around. While the collection is small, the edit is tight. And surrounded by so much stuff, that perfect balance of pattern, color and style is something to take pride in and support.

The undertaking of creating a new line is overwhelming. The undertaking of creating a new line of shoes is overwhelming times one hundred. But for Alexandra Torissi, she’s thrown herself in the shoe biz, creating a chic line of shoes for the girl on the go. It’s not an easy thing to do, but the first collection of ten styles begs to differ. With a lookbook featuring the styles stomping around the city, Alexandra introduces us to some serious kicks. “I’m inspired by strength and femininity and I think it’s this dichotomy that is so amazing in women,” says Alexandra, “For women, shoes are pedestals and I wanted to design some worthy pedestals!” Buyer Beware: these are not shoes for the faint of heart!

Want more inspiration? Check out The G&F Lookbook for all our Fall Fashion shoots