Rising Stars: Five Emerging Designer Brands

Despite the economy, these labels are showing great promise as they step into the limelight.

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Bionda Castana

Photo By Courtesy Photo

Bionda Castana
Spring '08

The look: “We specialize in high-heels, as this is where our talent lies and it’s what we find most fulfilling. The designs exhibit the synergy between Bionda Castana’s classic and edgier side — a tough yet polished look that uses hard-wearing and luxury fabrics, and oozes femininity.”

How they learned: No formal training for this duo. They started out on the job with a tutor in a Milanese factory, where they now produce their own collection.

Biggest challenge so far: “Establishing ourselves in the U.S. market.”

Most looking forward to: “Our final sketch review next week for fall ’10.”

Where to shop: In Step at the Wynn, Las Vegas; Nikki Laura, New York; Browns, London; Larizia, London; Estnation Inc., Japan; Tearose, Milan; Garderob, Moscow; Boutique 1, Dubai & Beirut; and on the Web at and

The retail buzz: “We have had Bionda Castana for two seasons and they have been just flying out. The sales of the brand have been phenomenal, and we are very proud to be working with Natalia and Jennifer. Women favor Bionda Castana because their shoes are trend-worthy and can be worn without being a fashion victim. The designs are gorgeous and feminine and, most of all, are the most comfortable heel I have worn for a long time. We have increased our buy for next spring as we have so many requests for their shoes.”

— Pamela Brady, buyer for shoes & handbags, Browns Ltd.

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