Below is our edit of the rising stars that emerged during Men’s Fashion Month.
The group includes the designers who are pushing the industry forward with new directions and sustainable practices. It also features models and artists making waves for their arresting looks and multi-hyphenate careers, plus a new buying director bringing sneaker sensibilities to the world of e-commerce.
The Catwalk Chameleon: Alhassan Sandah
Having been scouted via his WhatsApp status photo, 18-year-old Alhassan Sandah from Tamale, Ghana, was signed in March by mother agency Yafan models. Fast-forward three months and he made his runway debut walking for Givenchy at Pitti Uom. His strong but transformative look and positive attitude soon got him noticed. That first appearance was quickly followed by gigs with Palm Angels, Marcelo Burlon and Fendi in Milan. Sandah’s Paris schedule included Valentino, Loewe, Christian Dada, OAMC and Jil Sander. What’s next for this star on the rise? On his bucket list are walking for Gucci and starring in a global campaign for Zara. “I know it’s ambitious,” he said, “but what would life be without aiming high?”
The Lounge Lizard: Sander Lak
Making both his Paris Fashion Week and menswear debuts this season was Sies Marjan’s Sander Lak. Of his sensual, fluid silhouettes, the designer said that he doesn’t like to feel as if he’s wearing clothes at all, and he extended the notion via his color palette. “I looked at all different types of skin tones, from real to fake tan and then expanded the colors from there,” he told FN. Boots and sneakers in his collection were based on animal skins and came in crocodile-embossed leathers and velvets. And while they won’t go to retail, the looks are a preview of what we can expect as the collection builds. Indeed, you wouldn’t be wrong to expect big things from the 36-year-old, who launched his womenswear line in 2016, for which he scooped up the CFDA Emerging Talent Award last year.
The Modish Musician: Darren Criss
Darren Criss came to the attention of the fashion set last year for his portrayal of Andrew Cunanan in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” but the actor is also a veteran of the Broadway stage and began making a name for himself as Blaine Anderson in the TV show “Glee.” It’s no surprise then that he has a parallel career as a musician. During Paris Fashion Week Men’s, he performed on the Balmain runway, opening Olivier Rousteing’s music festival with cover versions of popular songs, including David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel.” At one point, Rousteing even joined Criss onstage for an impromptu duet.
The Luxury HypeBeast: Chris Kyvetos
Come spring ’20, Munich-based Mytheresa is launching a menswear arm with over 120 luxury brands, headed up by buying director Chris Kyvetos. The entrepreneurial founder of Australian sneaker retailer Sneakerboy (a concept store chain that sells and resells sneakers via iPad) is also the buyer and franchise partner of Balenciaga in Australia and has previously consulted for Stylebop, another e-commerce site based in Munich. Look also for the launch of his own sneaker line, Athletic Footwear. With his diverse skills — a winning mix of streetwear, tech, luxury and entrepreneurial know-how — it will be exciting to see where he takes the Mytheresa man.
The Eco-Innovator: Emily Bode
CFDA Emerging Talent award winner Emily Bode made her Paris runway debut by introducing the ballet slipper for men. Her circus-inspired spring collection, with its overalls, hand-painted silks and crocheted knits, was a nod to her family ties to the Ohio-based Bode Wagon Co., which built show wagons for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in the 1900s. Bode is one of a new wave of designers, such as Marine Serre, known for repurposing unused deadstock fabric and vintage fabrics as a riposte to the overproduction that is plaguing the fashion industry.
The Model Performer: Alton Mason
Scouted via his Instagram, 21-year-old Jamaican-Ghanaian model Alton Mason started his career walking in Kanye West’s Yeezy 3 show, followed by a spot on Gucci’s fall ’17 runway. Since then, he has also appeared alongside Pharrell Williams at Chanel’s Metiers d’Art show last December (they were the first black models to do so) and starred in Louis Vuitton’s spring ’19 men’s campaign in January. However, it was Mason’s Michael Jackson-inspired performance on Virgil Abloh’s fall ’19 runway that stole the show and catapulted his career. For the spring ’20 season, he opened for Heron Preston wearing a tailored suit made of foam, a collaboration with the architecture firm that designed New York’s Salt Shed.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Steph Curry’s FN cover shoot: