ike most industries, fashion has had a rough ride this year. The coronavirus pandemic put paid to party outfits, statement shoes, and, well, just about anything else aside from loungewear. In spite of this, the nation’s craving for sartorial splendour never wavered. According to global fashion search platform, Lyst, more than 100 million shoppers browsed its website this year in a bid to get their fashion fix, with lingerie, velour, and Crocs all topping its list of the most in-demand products.
But as 2020 nears its long-awaited end, it’s time to look at what’s in store for the trend circuit next. While Telfar, Marine Serre and House of Sunny might have been the breakout brands over the last few months – all three were hailed in Lyst’s report for their respective hero products – there’s a new cohort of labels set to dominate the year ahead.
In the name of getting ahead of the fashion curve, here are the five brands to look out for 2021.
Searches for this African-inspired accessories brand have surged by 23 per cent in recent months, Lyst reports. Founded by Toronto-native Aurora James and based in Brooklyn, New York, Brother Vellies is renowned for its idiosyncratic shoes, which come in zany prints and styles. Take its 2020 boot, which is covered in a Yin Yang style print made from patchwork black and white shearling. Then, there’s its cow print mules, which come complete with a cowboy-style belt buckle that packs quite the fashion punch. With 213,000 followers on Instagram, and a celebrity fan base that includes Alexa Chung and Lucy Williams, Brother Vellies is set for success in 2021.
This Barcelona-based label has soared in popularity this year, amassing more than 400,000 followers on Instagram and becoming a hit among the fashion influencer set. Its products sell out unbelievably quickly, with its most loved garments including this checkered vest and this open back knitted dress. With bold graphics and flattering fits, Paloma Wool has become beloved among shoppers favouring flamboyance and fun, which, goodness knows we could all do with right now. And for a brand that champions craftsmanship to the degree that it does, Paloma Wool is fairly priced, too, with tops starting at £35 and trousers starting at £80.
If there was ever a time to have fun with your shoe collection, it’s 2021. When we’ve spent most of the last year either barefoot or in slippers, there’s no better time to invest in a brand that is getting experimental with footwear. Enter By Far. Founded by three close female friends, By Far is inspired by the “It” shoes and bags of the late 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s trends. Kendall Jenner is a fan, as are the Hadid sisters. And we can’t blame them. With geometric heels and slender straps, By Far’s Nayla shoes are straight out of Clueless, while its dalmatian print pony haired stilettos are practically worthy of their own Instagram account. As for boots, look no further than these scarlet Stevie ankle boots, which would elevate any outfit by at least 80 per cent. There’s no doubt that whatever By Far does in 2021, it will, so to speak, go rather far.
This luxury South African label has proven a hit in 2020, with searches up by 27 per cent on Lyst. Each collection takes its cues from a key component of South African culture. For spring/summer 2020, for example, Thebe Magugu titled its collection “prosopography”, which refers to the study of a group of people whose biographies or history hasn’t been well documented or captured. Dedicated to the women of the Black Sash, the range paid homage to this group of “brave, liberal women who used non-violent methods of protest against the inhumane treatment of black South Africans”, the brand’s website reads. As for the clothes, think bohemian prints, colourful pleated skirts, and graphic tailoring. We can’t wait to see where this brand goes next.
This London-based label prides itself on statement silk pieces and notably, jumpsuit. Founded by Rene Macdonald, Lisou’s clothes come in classic shapes that fit well – think belted high-waisted wide-leg trousers and shirt dresses – but have been reimagined in contemporary prints inspired by Macdonald’s Tanzanian heritage. We love this orange jacquard jumpsuit that comes with a 1970s-inspired belt around the centre and three-quarter sleeves. For something extra special, try one of the brand’s many metallic plisse dresses. The kaftan maxi style comes in rose gold and light green.