3 Philly fashion designers you need to know

2nd Festival 2017 Photos | Courtesy of The Piazza at Schmidt's Commons
Courtesy of The Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons

Philly is already known worldwide for its amazing music and food scenes, as well as for being home to the most passionate sports fans in the country. (Go Eagles!) But our fashion scene is starting to heat up as well. We’ve hosted Philly Fashion Week since 2006 and for the past five years, helped support up-and-coming designers through the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City (PFIMCC). Here are three designers from the program that should be on your radar.

Nigel Richards
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Site: 611lifestyle.com

Aside from being a fashion designer, Nigel Richards is also a DJ and his lines are influenced by his world travels playing techno music. He first got bitten by the fashion bug painting T-shirts in high school and crafting his own record bags for transporting vinyl. In terms of style inspiration, Richards cites the character Dickie Greenleaf from the film, “Talented Mr. Ripley,” known for his effortless, classic 1950s style with impeccably tailored suits and crisp Italian shirts. “I design for the dashing gentleman who is classy, outspoken, confident and willing to take some chances,” says Richards. “I also design for the women who love to wear men’s clothing.”

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Site: milanodirouge.com

Another local designer inspired by music, Milan credits Rihanna as being a major influence in her work. “She’s edgy, fearless and can confidently wear anything,” she says of the chart-topping singer. While Milan didn’t always know what she wanted to do, she admits she’s always known who she wanted to be: “A woman that lives life on her own terms, that’s about her business and that empowers other women,” she adds. Her Milano di Rouge streetwear brand is unisex. “I was that girlfriend that would wear her boyfriends clothing. I loved the quality, comfort and fit of men’s clothing and I think it looks really nice on women.”

Conrad Booker
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Site: conradbooker.com

Conrad Booker may be originally from Buffalo but he’s called Philadelphia home for over a decade. He knew he wanted to be a fashion designer at a young age but decided to study architecture instead. “I thought architecture would better prepare me in the future if I decided to pursue a fashion career. I was right,” he says. Designing mostly for women, Booker is inspired by strong women. “Those who view their clothing and handbags as wearable works of art.” He also adds that he draws inspiration from the materials found at the home improvement store, Lowe’s.