2015-2016 Caleres Emerging Designer Award
meet the designers
Houghton, the chic, edgy and luxurious designer Ready-To-Wear line designed by Malibu native Katharine Polk has already received much critical acclaim. Chosen by WWD as “New Designer to Watch” and selected by Style.com as “The Next Big Thing”, Houghton’s distinctive look merges the finest imported fabrics, precise tailoring and exquisite details with simple, timeless silhouettes. The Houghton esthetic extends to Houghton Bride, which offers a whole new approach to bridal wear. Stylish, sexy, and timeless gowns, dresses and separates for the woman who seeks something fashionable, unique and nontraditional for her wedding day. Houghton debuted at Lincoln Center in February 2012 and in October 2012 Houghton Bride followed. Houghton has been featured in Vogue internationally, WWD, Elle, The Daily Front Row, W Magazine, Harpers Bazaar, Style.com, Vogue.com, Teen Vogue, InStyle.com, People, US, Le Monde, Town and Country, Glamour Brides, Brides and Los Angeles Confidential. Lilly Collins, Kate Hudson, Kerry Washington, Jessica Alba, Selena Gomez, Lana Del Rey, and Angelina Jolie are just a few of the celebrities who have discovered the collection. Houghton was accepted into Milk’s MADE program for emerging designers in 2012 and is a current participant. Katharine was nominated for Fashion Group International’s 2015 Rising Star Award. Houghton is proud to produce both its collections in New York City. The company is committed to being made in America.
Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta
ECKHAUS LATTA is a New York based fashion label designed and executed by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta. The Two met while attending the Rhode Island School of Design, where they studied Sculpture and Textile Design, respectively. After graduating (BFA 2010), they designed and worked with many labels, artists and institutions including Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Matthew Barney, Opening Ceremony, The Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and threeASFOUR. Together in 2011, Mike and Zoe founded ECKHAUS LATTA.
The Designers release collections semi-annually during NYFW. In addition to their shows and presentations, Eckhaus Latta produces videos with the director Alexa Karolinski to further contextualize their collections. The brand has also participated in various artists collaborations including Uniforms for Dora Budor’s piece at the 55th Venice Biennale, an edition of Deodorant with the trend-forecasting agency K-HOLE supported by Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler Gallery in Berlin, a collection for Bjarne Melgaard’s show at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and outfits for Xavier Cha’s Fruit Machine at the New Museum. Their work was included in the Museum of Art and Design’s NYC Makers Biennial (2014) and they have screened their video works at both MOCA and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Germany.
Julie Haus and Jason Alkire
The HAUS ALKIRE client has a strong personal identity and a great love for the arts. She is playfully sophisticated, with an ageless, timeless mindset. She covets things that are slightly askew from the norm. She is a collector, but makes her purchases thoughtfully. Originating as a back-room project HA was developed for special clients – custom made, and many one-of-a-kind pieces. Julie would drape and sew samples and Jason would digitize his painted prints and sketch – working together they would make one garment at a time. The first collection debuted for Fall 2012. And in 2013, Jason and Julie opened a retail shop in TriBeCa devoted to the line. In February 2015, the designers won The Fashion Group International Rising Star award. The award was especially meaningful as the ten other finalist included Rosie Assoulin, Houghton, Harbison, Ji Oh, TOME, Antonio Azzuolo, and Tanya Taylor. Since inception the line has also been fortunate to be named the winner of the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award, a member of the W Hotels Fashion Next, and twice awarded Swarovski sponsorships. Julie Alkire began her fashion career when she founded the Julie Haus label in 2001. The line was carried in nearly 400 retailers including Barneys, Takashimaya, Henri Bendel, Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus,
Bloomingdale’s, Intermix, Via Bus Stop, and Beymen. Clients included Claire Danes, Brittany Murphy, Kate Lanphear, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba, Eva Mendes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Zoe Saldana amongst others. The brand also operated a store in SOHO. Julie is self-taught as well as trained by her grandmother, a one-time co-op dressmaker in Texas. Throughout her career Julie has performed projects for specialty retailers including Barneys, Takashimaya, and Henri Bendel. In 2012, with the success of HAUS ALKIRE, she decided to take a permanent break from Julie Haus. Jason formed his fashion career from backgrounds in several creative disciplines. Along with being a professional photographer, graphic designer, and former advertising executive, Jason has been a life long painter. He has been designing garments for a few years, and has been designing textiles for over a decade. He uses his knowledge in photography, graphic design, and garment construction to create prints specifically for certain garment designs. He also recently developed a capsule menswear collection for the TriBeCa shop. Prior to the fashion industry, Jason and Julie founded Spoon magazine. Time Warner internationally distributed the luxury publication on a quarterly basis. After Spoon, Julie went straight into fashion, and Jason spent several years in the advertising industry serving over accounts such as Sony, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft Network, Bausch & Lomb, and Shell.
New York native Jordana Warmflash is the founder and designer of Novis, a women’s ready-to-wear brand. Warmflash is recognized as an innovator in combining unconventional colors, bold, original prints and unique textures with feminine, tailored silhouettes. The Novis aesthetic is vibrant and sophisticated.
Warmflash’s fascination with the architecture and construction of each garment, her passion for unusual color and texture combinations and her commitment to quality are the foundation of Novis’s brand identity. Each Novis collection exhibits precise tailoring, detailed finishing, luxurious fabrics and unexpected palettes. The art world frequently serves as a source of inspiration. Novis collections have referenced mid-century modern architecture and furniture, pop art, Paul Klee, Tom Wesselmann and, most recently for AW15, Henri Matisse’s cut-outs. Warmflash believes that her designs should enhance a woman’s sense of confidence while embracing her irreverence.
Since its launch in 2012, Novis has received show reviews and coverage from Style.com, Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Elle, W, Vogue.com, and many more. Celebrities including Taylor Swift, Jessica Chastain and Lupita Nyong’o wear Novis regularly. In 2014, Warmflash was awarded the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award for Womenswear Designer of the Year. In 2015, Novis was named a US regional nominee for womenswear for the 2015-2016 International Woolmark Prize.
Azede Jean-Pierre is a young women’s wear designer based in New York City. Since its inception, her namesake label has been committed to celebrating the sensual femininity of its customer. It pushes the boundaries of functionality and innovation through exploring technique and achieving balance in wearability and design. Jean-Pierre was born in Haiti and raised in Atlanta. She attended Savannah College of Art and Design and in her third year decided to pursue the launch of her own label. She later moved to New York and honed her skills interning at Ralph Rucci and Ohne Titel. Jean-Pierre debuted her first fall/winter collection in February 20l2. The collection, which utilized high-end fabrics, was well received by the press and was photographed by some of the industry’s leading publications, landing the cover of WWD after New York Fashion Week.
Jean-Pierre’s collection has been picked up by Moda Operandi; Chalk Boutique, in Chicago; VOD boutique, in Dallas; and Tinker Tailor. It is also distributed through its online store. The label has been featured in major publications and has become a red-carpet favorite for several stylish and influential celebrities like First Lady Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, and Solange Knowles. Recently invited to the White House by the First Lady for the inaugural Celebration of Design, Jean-Pierre was among the designers (including Zac Posen, Naeem Khan, Maria Cornejo, and the Marchesa ladies) who presented workshops for students. Last season she was featured in Glamour magazine’s “Changing the Future of Fashion.” The brand has been steadily growing, and is quickly establishing itself as a label to watch; Style.com calls it “the next big thing.”