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New York Fashion Week: Six Designers To Watch

With a schedule of shows that spans seven days, New York Fashion Week can be a doozy to navigate, with many emerging designers getting drowned out by high-fashion heavyweights. In our attempt to spread the love around, we've pulled together a shortlist of designers to watch through the NYFW melee. From dystopian menswear to faux nude knits, we've compiled six brands that will be making a splash and garnering some much-deserved attention in the upcoming days. Check back all Fashion Week long for more FADER NYFW coverage including backstage photos journals, FADER TV interviews and exclusive runway jams.

Eckhaus Latta

Eckhaus Latta was started by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, two RISD art school kids that became friends while studying sculpture and textile design respectively. Their artistic interests converge in Eckhaus Latta, a line that has quickly become known for its gender-bending look, kooky fabrications and avant-garde approach to fashion. In their third season this year, Eckhaus Latta garnered lots of buzz back in September by showing a collection of mohair crop tops, amorphously shaped wrap skirts and billowy shawls, and choosing to shrug off the standard runway show in favor of a laid back presentation on a set that included a treadmill, air mattresses and models leisurely sipping Eckhaus Latta-brand energy drinks.

Check out our NYFW Backstage photo journal by photographer Alex Welsh of Eckhaus Latta's spring 2013 presentation.

Highland

In her menswear line, Highland, designer Lizzie Owens shows a keen sense of what guys really want to wear—utilitarian outerwear, not-so-precious knits and laid-back separates that don't require much of the dudes wearing them. Since debut in 2010, and Highland has remained close to the ethos with a consistently fresh take on menswear that is unfussy yet tailored for ease. Inspired by flashy sportswear from the '80s and '90s, Owens' use of color sets Highland apart from the rest of the khaki-colored pack. This is Highland's official NYFW debut, and there is little doubt that Owens will continue to win us over with her take on slacker chic.

Read our profile on Owens in Wearing The Pants, our F75 Fall Fashion Feature on women designing menswear.

Luar Zepol

After getting his start in fashion as one half with Shayne Oliver of Hood By Air, Raul Lopez went solo with Luar Zepol, a full ready-to-wear and lifestyle brand. Commuting between the Dominican Republic and NYC, Lopez designs and produces the line sewn by sagely Dominican seamsters. This mix of old-school tailoring and concrete-jungle influences the luxe utilitarian raver-wear that Luar Zepol is infamous for, the type of menswear that we can easily see on a post-apocalyptical film as well as on the J train late at night. Last NYFW, Luar Zepol staged a guerrilla-style fashion show in a Lower East Side playground, where models rolled in single file and made an impromptu runway out of a blacktop basketball court. We really expect any and everything from Raul Lopez, and can't wait to see where his dystopian take on menswear will go next.

Watch our FADER TV interview with Raul Lopez.

Degen

Designer Lindsay Degen initially created large-scale wall installation with handed down craft of knitting that she learned from her grandmother at the age of three. At the suggestion of an art critic to make her work wearable, Degen chose the body as the canvas for her colorful knit creations. There is nothing matronly about her line DEGEN, though, which launched as a full ready-to-wear line during September 2011 NYFW. Degen creates clothes that would make most grandmothers blush, like bra-tops with faux nipples and knit bloomers with simulated butt-cracks and pubes. For DEGEN's spring 2013 presentation, models clad in strap-on platform Converse kicks, wore pepperoni pizza-inspired knit separates and, on the more conservative side, striped maxi dresses and floral leggings. Degen will present her fourth collection at NYFW this week and if the sneak peek we got on her Instagram is any clue, it's sure to be wearable, wacky fun.

Check out our NYFW FADER TV interview with Lindsay Degen from last season.

Mark McNairy

Designer Mark McNairy earned his striped in the menswear world as creative director for the Ivy League label J. Press. Under the label Mark McNairy New Amsterdam, McNairy makes clothes for preppy dudes gone wacky. He is infamous for crisp oxfords with cuss words embroidered on them, woodland camouflage jackets studded with smiley faces and a consistently smart collection of chukkas and dessert boots. For spring 2013 NYFW, after a collection of globe-printed short suits and seer sucker suits covered in cartoony daisies, McNairy chose rapper and fellow foul-mouth Danny Brown to close out the runway show in a gold lame suit. Though he’s been making transgressive prep clothes for years, and currently doubles as the creative director of Woolrich Woolen Mills, this week will mark only the second showing of the New Amsterdam line at NYFW.

Check out our Behind The Scenes photos of the very first Mark McNairy NYFW show

Hood By Air

As seen on Rihanna in endless paparazzi shots, and frequently name dropped by A$AP Rocky, Hood By Air is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. Since its debut in 2008 this label has flowed in and out of existence but has firmly maintained its street cred and relevance along with a cult following. In its present day incarnation, designer Shayne Oliver creates what he describes as "genderless" fashion. Last NYFW, Oliver showed his spring collection in the AstroTurfed lobby of the OUT hotel, showing a gothic take on workwear with oversized chambray culottes, drop-waist cargo shorts and logo-heavy t-shirts, a perennial staple for HBA. This week HBA will present their fall 2014 collection at Milk Studios, showing for the first time on the official fashion week schedule.

Check out our NYFW FADER TV interview with Hood By Air from back in 2008.

New York Fashion Week: Six Designers To Watch