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Morgan Carper

The Brooklyn-based designer Morgan Carper sure does like the road less traveled. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in textile design and completing internships with designers like Jeremy Scott, she saved her pennies before setting off (all by herself!) on an eight-month voyage across Asia. What she encountered, beyond amazing food and incredible sights, were talented artists who were forced to work in large factories churning out mass-market fashion, thus stifling their creative customs. “It was frustrating to see these highly skilled artisans, who have been practicing a rich, traditional craft for their entire lives, have to leave that behind,” Morgan explains.

Her odyssey sparked an idea: Morgan decided to create her own line and to commission these local artisans to do block printing, beading, and embroidery to incorporate in her own work. By 2010, Morgan had launched her eponymous line that draws on all of her travel experiences—we’re talking India, Thailand, the Arizona high deserts—incorporating wanderlust-induced discoveries into every piece. Each collection tells the story of a recent adventure, pulling narrative from each destination’s textiles, beadwork, and other details that don’t often find their way onto clothing racks. And trips lined up to Joshua Tree, Yosemite, and Big Sur have us pretty damn excited for the killer collections to come. —monica derevjanik