As city dwellers race for their inaugural pumpkin spice lattes, fall is making its way through Manhattan--just in time for New York Fashion Week.

The spectacle, which runs from Thursday to Sept. 13, is one of the most revered in the fashion world. But New York Fashion Week offers more than just models and swag bags; it's a chance for designers to showcase their work on the runways.

Here are five up-and-coming names to watch this year:

1. Snow Xue Gao

Show: Sept. 8, 12:00 P.M. (E.T.)

This designer launched her eponymous women's ready-to-wear clothing brand in 2016 after debuting at Parson's Spring/Summer 2017 show. Based in New York City, her designs focus on draping, asymmetrical finishes, and styles that play with the conventional definitions of gender. Gao's work also combines traditional Chinese dresses with Western influences. Rihanna wore one of her designs during a Global Citizen Festival concert in 2016.

2. Cushnie Et Ochs

Show: Sept. 8, 3:00 P.M. (E.T.)

Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs started their fashion company in 2008 with the goal of creating clothes for women, by women. The designers' work is influenced by femininity and clean lines, like the refined little black dress Michelle Obama wore to this year's ESPY Awards. Cushnie Et Ochs's pieces are sold at retail locations like Bergdorf Goodman, Net-a-Porter, and Neiman Marcus.

3. Romeo Hunte

Show: Sept. 9, 12:00 P.M. (E.T.)

Romeo Hunte was inspired by the women he grew up with and how they treated fashion. He turned down two full athletic scholarships to start his fashion company in 2014. Hunte's designs, which focus on outerwear, are conservative and touch on both femininity and masculinity. His signature piece is the cashmere shearling hood shawl, but his clothes have been worn by pop singers Zendaya and Beyoncé.

4. LaQuan Smith

Show: Sept. 10, 12:00 P.M. (E.T.)

LaQuan Smith's lengthy resume includes an apprenticeship with stylist Elizabeth Sulcer and working with his mentor and Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Tally. Smith launched his fashion company in 2010 and his designs, which feature on "strong and sexy" separates, have been adorned by celebrity fashion icons. Smith's gilded stocking (think: sheer fabric with 3D stud patterns) was popularized by Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

5. Calvin Luo

Show: Sept. 12

At just 22, this Chinese designer is already making waves in the fashion world. Luo moved to New York City when he was 16 and studied at Parsons for two years before launching his eponymous fashion label in 2014. He began with a predominantly unisex line of clothing and has brought feminine elements of clothing into menswear. A February collection debut featured male models wearing skirts and dresses.

Published on: Sep 7, 2017