Zankov, Aknvas, and Puppets & Puppets make for a memorable NYFW day four

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Admin


Morning blue skies gave an optimistic start to the fourth day of New York Fashion Week as the marathon of shows continues. The day’s schedule featured seductive and playful collections by three indie brands including Puppets and Puppets, Zankov and Aknvas.

Puppets & Puppets

Puppets And Puppets – Fall-Winter2024 – 2025 – Womenswear – New York – ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

While the optimism of a new week was palpable on Monday, the mood at Carly Mark’s Puppets & Puppets show that evening was a bit somber and bittersweet. After launching her brand barely five years ago, Mark shook up the fashion scene with an insanely popular and profitable handbag bearing a chocolate chip cookie and quickly went from indie scene outsider (Mark is also a contemporary artist) to a rising New York fashion label. Just as she ironed out some of the kinks associated with her experimental clothing—working out production, design, and fit dilemmas and guiding styles in a more commercial direction—Mark is pulling the plug on Puppets & Puppets ready-to-wear to focus on accessories. The change also includes a move to London.
Backstage, after the show, Mark spoke to and other press about the move.
“I’m proud of the community I built; I’m happy but melancholic. It’s the last show for now. I feel strongly about the show; it was my best, my most honest, and I am proud of the community I built here,” she said.
Indeed, the collection seemed to encapsulate Mark’s originality; she is a fan of the drape-and-return effect often anchored as a head covering, the half-off garment effect, unusual fabric combos, open backs and sides, streaming trains, and a well-placed hosiery splice. As polished as this latest outing was, Mark said the reality is she couldn’t afford to put it into production but continued to design and complete it as she was already halfway finished when the decision to shutter the RTW division came about.
Thus, Mark said she was more at ease without the stress of wondering how the collection would perform in sales. “Normally, right after the show in New York, I fly to Milan with the collection and sit there and pray that it will sell well because that makes the difference between another season and not. When that is out of the equation, I can just enjoy the process and put whatever I want down the runway,” she rationed.
For now, she will focus on her cash cow bag business and explore other accessories categories such as jewelry and shoes, confident in the well-oiled production process she has in place. “As much as I love RTW, that process has been much harder as much as I believe in it. I’ll still be making things that won’t go anywhere; this is just what must happen right now,” she added, professing her love for New York.
“This city raised me for the last 18 years; everything that I like and what I wear is informed by how the culture has made me,” she said. The space Mark showed in was an unfinished, raw space on a floor of a Madison Avenue office building. While a lot of work had gone into the space, there was still so much to do to realize its full potential, kind of like Puppets & Puppets.


Zankov – Fall-Winter2024 – 2025 – Womenswear – Etats-Unis – New York – ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Guests arriving at Zankov’s Fall Winter 2024/2025 presentation at the new NYFW show hub, the infamous Starrett-Lehigh building on West 26th, were treated to a cheerful sunlight space, complete with skylights to take in the latest designs from Henry Zankov for his eponymous line of intriguing knitwear. Equally refreshing were the bastions of fans, who dressed in their own Zankov purchases to view the new “Hold Me Closer” collection. The presentation format was cause for a few second glances to decipher the model from guests in several cases.
In the show notes, Zankov recalls feeling embraced when he moved back to New York City a year ago. “Reconnecting with the city’s energizing and imposing personality and slipping ever so gently into its unmistakable nonchalance. It all felt like a big hug,” he said in program notes.
Speaking to, the former DVF knitwear designer shed some light on his colorful mix of knitwear wardrobe, which ranges from fine gauge and smooth to chunky and fuzzy, and his approach to creating a collection.
“I start with a feeling as cliché as it sounds. It’s really about a feeling for me; I explore that one word and color, technique, silhouette, and I start pulling things that express that for me,” he explained. And the word for the season? “Seduction.”
Zankov professes his love of the process. “What is most exciting as a knitwear designer is pushing the technique. Knitwear starts from scratch, making something from nothing. I push the boundaries not just technique but visually too.”
His way with color also pushed knits, which for fall are marked by floor-length skirts, self-scarves that become a part of the garment, and color combos that express sophistication.
With significant retailers already carrying the collection or just about to, Zankov has been welcomed into the fashion fold just three seasons in.


Aknvas – Fall-Winter2024 – 2025 – Womenswear – Etats-Unis – New York – ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Another knitwear-heavy outing came from Aknvas by Christian Juul Nielsen. In his Fall 2024 runway show held at the recently opened Ritz-Carlton Nomad, a chic addition to the district, Nielsen proved his is a budding brand to watch. The Herve Leger creative director opened his collection with luscious cable knits in bold colors for men and women. He showed off his tailoring skills in suiting often layered with gold vinyl fabric (also stunning as a car coat and trench.) Pom-pom effects inspired by Robert Artschwager made for playful sophistication, and crochet styles felt modern, not hippie.
The designer proposed several faux fur and shearling floor-length coats, a nod to John Currin’s pieces, in which Nielsen showed he was equally adept at using the material to create pants, a skirt, and a fitted top from the bulky material with success (the secret is combining them with patent leather.) The designer ended with embellished denim with floral appliques and a gorgeous ivory sequined evening gown and minidress paired with black opaque tights from Les Belles, which seem destined to usher in a new legwear craze. The embellished details transferred to a shoe collaboration with Stuart Weitzman for the women’s looks, most evidenced in a thigh-high denim boot style, while men’s looks were paired with custom Dr Martens.

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