Our pick of the top 10 2000s fashion brandsJanuary 26, 2024
The 2000s was a decade that was ablaze with creativity. Playfulness combined with displays of intellectual curiosity on the catwalk, especially in the case of certain designers. Look beyond ideas of trucker hats, and the Paris Hilton and Britney Spears style of early aughts fashion featuring the brands group Juicy Couture, Von Dutch and Ed Hardy clothing brand. Here’s our pick of the top 10 2000s fashion brands.
Our pick of the top 10 2000s fashion brands- Jeremy Scott
Jeremy Scott is an American designer who is full of fun. His most famous work is perhaps the “wings” trainer collection he designed for Adidas in 2008. They caught the public eye and became instant must-haves. His work is characterised by bright colours and witty comments.
Raf Simons is the stern-faced Belgian designer who headed up Dior for a while. His designs are super-intellectual. Therefore it was a bit of a surprise choice for that very popular, feminine and accessible label, especially after the theatre of femininity and flouf that John Galliano put on when he was head designer. However, the reviews were good.
His menswear label was launched in 1995, and he became the director of Jill Sander after that in 2005-20012, and for Dior after that, 2012-2015. He kept his own label running at the same time throughout this. Raf Simons is one of our picks for top designers you should know about in the 2000s because he was so influential. He began his career with an exploration of youth culture, but by the mid-2000s was working with pure shape and form.
Our pick of the top 10 2000s fashion brands- AF Vandevorst
AF Vandevorst make our list because their very first collection was inspired in equal parts by Fluxus artist Joseph Beuys and choreographer Pina Bausch. The presentation, of models lying in hospital beds, was extremely sinister. And the brand continued to be thought-provoking.
This was a Belgian fashion brand founded in 1998 by An Vandervorst and her husband, Filip Arickx. Both graduated in 1991 from the fashion department at prestigious Antwerp Academy. Before starting their own label, Vandevorst was Dries Van Noten’s head assistant, and Arickx was a stylist.
By 2005 the label had become iconic. That year they had a solo exhibition at the Fashion Museum in Antwerp. As well as couture, they had Pret â Porter and a shoe line, and created opera costumes too.
After training at the famous Bunka Fashion Institute in Tokyo, Japanese designer Junya Watanabe began as an apprentice pattern make at Comme des Garçons. On launching his own label he became Rei Kawakubo’s unofficial protégé. His work is therefore informed, but not ruled by one of the most original fashion designers out there. He is avant-garde and experimental. In the 2000s his work was wildly popular.
Our pick of the top 10 2000s fashion brands- Lutz Huelle
Lutz Huelle is famous for playful, oversized ruffles combined with casual utility, reinventing and recontextualising wardrobe staples. He is a German designer who graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins in 1995, going on to work for master of the conceptual, Martin Margiela. In 2000, he launched his own label with his partner David Ballu.
By 2004, only four years later, his work was given a major retrospective exhibition in Reims, and of course found its way into major collections. His was the label to turn to for something unexpected yet wearable in the 2000s.
Walter van Beirendonck
Walter van Beirendonck is a Belgian designer who first inspired Raf Simons, who was then an intern at his studio, to become a fashion designer.
He was a member of the Antwerp 6, a group of highly prominent Belgian designers who were friends. His hallmark is strong colour, with unusual combinations, and graphic print. The collections are named things like “Owls Whisper”, “WOEST (Furious)”, and “Electric Eye”. He has designed costumes for the band U2.
Our pick of the top 10 2000s fashion brands – Ann-Sofie Back
A Swedish designer who launched her label in 2001 after graduating from London’s Central Saint Martins in 1998. According to SHOWstudio, “Her clothing champions the everyday and the banal, often celebrating the details in the disposable. Failed everyday glamour, accidental embarrassment and the transformative properties of clothing have been frequent motifs in Back’s collections.”
This American-Spanish designer designed the wedding dress of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy (as she became) in 1996, and launched his own label the next year. The public went wild for his work and he was very big in the 2000s. In 2008 Michelle Obama wore a dress from his collection when she joined her newly-elected husband on stage for the first time as First Lady. Of course, this cemented his reputation.
He is now possibly known more for his perfume than his work, but in the 2000s he was wildly cutting edge. That wedding dress for Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy is stunning in its simplicity, marrying the slip dress trend of the 90s with the screen goddess looks of the 1930s.
Our pick of the top 10 2000s fashion brands – Benjamin Cho
Benjamin Cho was a super-cool designer, who hung out in New York with a group of friends including the actresses Chloë Sevigny and Natasha Lyonne. He was a club kid, and DJ as well as being multi-talented in other directions, and he enrolled in and then dropped out of New York Parson’s School of design because the standard was too low for him.
His first proper runway collection was in 2001, at New York Fashion Week, and a reviewer for Vogue called him “one of New York’s most promising young talents.” His work was witty and bold.
Kostas Murkudis is a German-born designer of Greek heritage. He began his career as an assistant to Helmut Lang, which shaped his approach to fashion considerably. His own label was founded in 1996, and ran until 2001, when he took a two year break to take the title of creative director of the brand New York Industrie. In 2003 he restarted the Kostas Murkudis label, which is still running.
Why does he make our our pick of the top 10 2000s fashion brands? His work is artistic, conceptual, artistic, and greatly changed the landscape of fashion in the 2000s. He is certainly a designer to acquaint yourself with.