Style News

FLANNELS Five:       Our Favourite European Designers

FLANNELS Five: Our Favourite European Designers

For this week's Style News, your pals at FLANNELS wanted to nudge you towards focusing on some of our favourite European brands. You may recognise a few of the following labels, and others may be brand new to you. But what they all share is the sense that European identity (and style!) contains many different perspectives. You'll become familiar with designers that have defined the continent's fashion, and how exciting they help to make it.

A black Balmain logo cap


After becoming the creative director of Balmain at the age of 24, Olivier Rousteing has worked at tearing apart the fashion rulebook. Acknowledging the Parisian house's haute couture heritage, he also made it sleeker, sexier and cooler, while also being the first gay man of colour to creatively drive a historic European fashion house. It may have roots in Paris going back to the 40s, but Rousteing's Balmain is a truly contemporary European label.

Cap by Balmain

A black Kenzo backpack


The Kenzo Takada story is like something from a movie: having moved from Japan on a six-month visa, he sold sketches on the streets of Paris, winning the favours of magazines and couture houses before eventually opening his eponymous line. Despite retiring at 65, Takada's infectious spirit remains a considerable part of the brand, which has opened its doors to fellow international dreamers like former creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. In Kenzo's eyes, anyone can find their dreams in Europe.

Tiger backpack by Kenzo

A Brioni blazer


Faith Connexion has quietly become one of the most mysterious presences in fashion. Under the creative direction of Croatian-born designer Nikola Vasari, the French label has the alleged spiritual guidance of one Christophe Decarnin, best known for spearheading the mid-2000s Balmain frenzy. Despite the brand's shadowy allure, their designs are anything but mysterious, merging high-quality luxury pieces with rowdy, energetic influences from art and wider culture.

Distressed jeans by Faith Connexion

White Guiseppe Zanotti sneakers


Beloved by an international array of celebrities, former DJ Giuseppe Zanotti's shoes are representative of how European luxury houses helped to update streetwear aesthetics. Long adored for his sculptural women's heels, Zanotti's trademark double-zipped sneakers certainly helped to make casual designs ready for the red carpet over the past decade. (Also, he's our mate: check out our chat with him from the FLANNELS archives!)

Sneakers by Giuseppe Zanotti

A Haider Ackermann hoodie


Last of all, we nudge you to pay attention to Haider Ackermann, a Colombian-born French designer whose globally-informed inspirations were melded in the Belgian fashion mecca of Antwerp. With his collections of intricate, clean lines with smart dashes of colour, he remains a distinctly European designer to invest your time and attention in.

Hoodie by Haider Ackermann