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The best emerging brands of 2023

The nss end-of-year ranking

The best emerging brands of 2023 The nss end-of-year ranking

This year, nss's digital cover for Beyond Fashion has given voice to emerging Italian designers. The project was created to showcase their talent but, more importantly, to present their ideas on the future of Italian fashion. As Beyond Fashion continues to support their perspectives towards an industry finally oriented towards change, at the end of this adventurous 2023, it's time to celebrate the independent brands that have demonstrated resilience and commitment, even in the face of numerous obstacles.

So here are the five emerging brands that have made their mark in 2023, chosen by nss. The winner, however, is up to you, readers; you can vote on our social channels.


"It's been nice to have a voice in a year as challenging as this," tells us the founder of the brand Jezabelle Cormio. "In my youth, I don't remember having any reference points that truly reflected the things that were out there." Cormio narrates the female reality from an extremely sensitive perspective through collections that bring out not only positive aspects like motherhood and adolescent memories but also more problematic and contemporary themes, such as fear. A brand that has long cultivated a close collaboration with the artist Madame and consistently surprises its audience with emotionally impactful shows every year, Cormio represents a breath of fresh air for the aesthetics and history of Italian women.


AVAVAV's creative direction knows no bounds. Just as the clothes are captivating, tied to a punk aesthetic, the latest shows from the brand strike at the heart of the viewer, eliciting strong reactions from anger to laughter. Thanks to this characteristic, the designs by artistic director Beate Karlsson achieve online virality almost instantly, a factor that has contributed to the brand's fame worldwide. With ironic accessories and disruptive styling, AVAVAV's latest presentation at Milan Fashion Week brought the chaos behind the scenes of a runway to the forefront, demonstrating the struggles an independent designer must face to complete a project. The borderline absurd looks and impeccable acting by the models staged an incredible show, capturing the audience's attention and leaving a lasting impression.


Vitelli's successes in 2023 go beyond Fashion Week. Beyond the four repetitions of last February, set in a public art gallery, the knitwear brand's projects challenged the boundary between fashion and art. Creative director and founder Mauro Simionato told us about the initiatives he's most proud of, including the installation Notturno, set during the opening week of the Biennale Arte in May, where "we covered the floor of the apse of the church San Cosmo and Damiano in Giudecca with a 100 sqm knitted mat, on which for 12 hours there were music and dance performances, without a setlist in 'jam' mode," and collaborations with Terraforma for the creation of 6 tapestries inspired by "Organic Music Theater" by Don and Moki Cherry, with the Tove Jansson retrospective in Paris, and with Dover Street Market in Ginza, Tokyo. "In addition to the special installation inside the shop - the large animated puppet 'Hi-Wizard,'" Simionato explains, "we staged a 'takeover' of the seventh floor with a one-night live and set... for the first time, DSM hosted a music and nighttime event inside one of its stores, and we are very proud of it."


PDF by Domenico Formichetti continues to make waves among stars of the American music industry. After winning over Doja Cat, Rihanna, Zayn, and J Balvin, in 2023, the brand was also chosen by Drake, photographed in a checkered FW23 suit. Following an aesthetic that ultimately has purely Italian roots, dedicated to the quality of materials and the elevation of tailoring, Formichetti's imagery explores street style by adding color and personality to everyday clothing, rewriting its narrative. With significant projects, including customizations of footwear for Drake, mules, and oversized sneakers, every element of the PDF universe challenges the concept of trendy, giving rise to a unique - and Italian - voice in an otherwise monotonous world focused on the States.

Niccolò Pasqualetti

Having relocated the brand to Paris, Niccolò Pasqualetti celebrates the heritage of his brand by bringing the precision of Italian tailoring abroad. From winning the Camera Moda Fashion Trust to the support of CNMI, the brand continues to receive extensive recognition from the Italian fashion star system. Niccolò Pasqualetti's collections parade alongside the big names in Paris within the Federation of Couture, and as the designer explains, "in stores, the collections have had a good response; they are always very selective, and distribution points worldwide have increased." For Pasqualetti, among the successes he will remember most from 2023 is also the response from the press, "I think of your article about the Class 23 of Beyond Fashion, or the fact that I was included in the Fashion Panorama exhibition that took place in multiple international embassies."