America doesn’t follow a style agenda—it’s a country that sets it. There’s the famed streets of New York City, where Uptowners don their sophisticated staples and Downtown mavericks embody contemporary individualism with rule-breaking statement pieces. Then, on the opposite coast, you’ll find the sleek uniform of Jacquemus blazers and retro jeans adopted by LA cool girls such as Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner. In between, it’s Western flair as far as the eye can see—cowboy boots, Americana prints, and Nudie Suits reign supreme. In short: the United States is a melting pot of unique sartorial bids. So, it’s no wonder that the Metropolitan Museum has decided to dedicate its exhibition and its yearly fête to the very best American fashion designers. This year’s Met Gala theme is the confluence of two separate exhibits (In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, which opens on September 18, 2021, and In America: An Anthology of Fashion, which opens in May 2022). Basically, get ready to see some ’90s Tom Ford silhouettes and a color palette of red, white, and blue, courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger.
In preparation for the much-adored Met Gala, we thought it was high time to brush up on our American fashion knowledge—to pay tribute to those from LA to New York who have redefined the term “style” and reshaped our everyday wardrobes along the way. Below, find the best American fashion designers that you can shop right now.