Can’t knock the hustle.
We spent a couple days nestled within the hubs of designers-on-the-rise, William Okpo and MadeMe, riding shotgun as they realize their respective collections. Though they are both female-run, NYC-based, steady-climbing operations, you’d be hard-pressed to find two lines with more different approaches and aesthetics.
You may have spotted William Okpo’s earthy-ethereal looks at Opening Ceremony, and possibly noticed the striking Okpo sisters there (they moonlight as shopgirls at the impossibly cool boutique). Named after Lizzy and Darlene’s father (who wanted his girls to grow up to become doctors), the line isn’t just the product of a lot of proverbial blood sweat and tears—it’s also their legacy. The sisters divide their time between school, day jobs and long nights at the Brooklyn studio where they invited the Arcade for a peek at their inner workings. Sisterly tiffs, divine inspiration, and all.
Meanwhile, across the East River, Erin Magee of MadeMe is masterminding street wear for tomboys, city girls and their stylish little sisters. Take the MadeMe x Schott custom moto jacket (lined, like a secret, with Liberty of London florals), a perfect storm of downtown references and devilish little details. We met up with Erin on a typical night in the East Village (oh, just a little pink Manic Panic in the bathtub, nothing out of the ordinary) when she shared the secrets to breathing life into MadeMe while also running production over at Supreme. Not a bad day gig, if you ask us.
They are all women with full plates, irrepressible style, and futures so bright, we’ll all be rocking shades—hopefully their own (hint, hint, ladies!)—Angela Cravens