Through a collaborative effort by a few key people in the fashion industry, the Council of Aspiring American Fashion Designers put on quite a show for Fashion Week. This nonprofit organization backs designers who aspire to do business in the United States. CAAFD educates, promotes and empowers aspiring designers and fashion professionals and helps them gain a foothold in the fashion business that can lead them to become the renowned designers they yearn to be. Each and every New York Fashion Week, CAAFD sponsors several international and domestic designers and gives them a platform in the greatest city in the world.

For spring/summer 2018, one of CAAFD’s series of shows included a collective showcase with a designer lineup featuring Port Zienna, Mouton Blanc and Zabetta Couture. Port Zienna and its founder, Francesca Canepa, hail from Lima, Peru. This designer has aspirations for haute couture, and she incorporates various elements from cultures she experienced while traveling around the world.

Mouton Blanc’s fiery young designer, Hakuyo Miya, is also a world traveler. His heritage lies in his Japanese roots. He studied in Paris at the Atelier Chardon Savard. Both the Japanese and French cultures influenced his designs. Zabetta Couture’s designer, Ruth Zabetta, was born in New York City; however, she was raised in both Spain and the Dominican Republic, imparting a unique set of inspirations for this couture line. Zabetta Couture’s pieces exhibited femininity through asymmetrical cuts that enhanced the natural beauty found in the silhouette of a woman’s body.

Although she is not a part of CAAFD, Claudia Li showed a collection that offers a new look for spring and summer. A New York-based designer and creative director of the Claudia Li brand, Li focuses on creativity and true craftsmanship. Her designs combine an artistic aesthetic and an emphasis on details. This brand has successfully gained industry attention in its brief history through its ever evolving play on silhouettes, shapes, textures and dimensions. Each season, Li paints a story to express emotions and abstract experiences into a tangible collection with personal sentiments that resonate with viewers. Keep an eye on these young designers.