Austria Got Talent
Fashion Design from the Alpine State Make Its Mark in the U.S.
By Sonia Laszlo
Austrian crystals by Swarovski have become a staple in the fashion world. Yet the Alpine country has so much more to offer when it comes to fashion. Up-and-coming Austrian designers whose work span from apparel, accessories to jewelry are And_I, Anna Aichinger, Drozdzik, Edith A’Gay, Florian Jewelry, MILCH ecofashion, Rosa Mosa, Schella Kann, Ute Ploier and Wilfred Mayer.
Most of these young designers have spent time in New York and other fashion capitals and have worked for established brands such as Viktor + Rolf, Marc Jacobs, Helmut Lang and Marc Bohan. For example, Claudia Brandmair interned at Marc Jacobs before founding Brandmair in 2003. She typically presents her collection in Paris and London.
In vogue with the green movement is Cloed Priscilla Baumgartner, who launched her eco label MILCH, which specializes in clothes made from recycled fabrics. Also Emil Gampe – featured in the GW Issue Spring 2010 – has not only won Bravo’s “Launch My Line” show, but also successfully worked with major labels and celebrities for several years before starting his own line Emil Couture.
Well established in the fashion scene is Devi Kroell. Her handbag line was picked up by Barneys New York, featured in Vogue, W, Harpers Bazaar, Elle, worn by celebrities and is even being sold at national retailer Target. The successful designer founded her company of stylish handbags in 2004 and gradually expanded to footwear in 2006 when she opened a retail boutique in East Hampton. In 2009 she unveiled her first ready-to-wear line and opened a Madison Avenue Flagship store. She left her successful namesake company as CEO and creative director, but still owns a portion of the company and will remain on the board, while having severed ties with day-to-day operations.
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