After working for Billy Reid, Luca Luca, and Michael Kors, North Carolina native Charles Elliot Harbison (pictured, below) started his own label in Brooklyn last year and immediately drew notice for his eclectic blend of prints, fabrics, and inspirations (e.g., his fall collection was equal parts Sade and Pocahontas). It isn't easy starting out when you're an aficionado of expensive fabrics, but Harbison has been relentlessly inventive, even raising capital by appealing to customers on Kickstarter.
"I'm all about a modern approach to American sportswear," Harbison says. "That's my whole soapbox." Take for example, his ease and nonchalance, which are hallmarks of his New York-made designs, but each piece offers a little something extra, like a coat with convertible wrap sleeves or a pullover blouse that buttons up from the waist. Read on to shop our favorite styles.
From top: sweater, at Ikram, call 312-587-1000; coat, $1,998, visit harbisoncollection.com for info; skirt, $1,250, call 312-587-1000