In the world of luxury fashion, having a signature style is not only important when it comes to keeping customers hooked – it also becomes part of a brand’s identity . Most of the time, luxury fashion houses might call to mind elegant, sophisticated garments. But lately, many notable brands have been breaking away from what might be considered more traditional, by adding kitschy – and sometimes even just plain weird – elements into the mix. Perhaps some of them are taking inspiration from daring independent designers like New York-based Nikolas Bentel, who recently created a limited-edition leather bag that looks like a Barilla pasta box. It instantly went viral on Twitter. Or what about Kylie Jenner’s “Birkinstocks” , the pair of sandals made from Hermès Birkin bags that she flaunted on Instagram? Louis Vuitton and Burberry in NFTs and online gaming – what will they do? In the past, fashion brands relied on word of mouth, magazine editorials and advertisements. But during the internet era, younger audiences such as millennials and Gen Zers are more often exposed to luxury fashion through social media . This new, expanding consumer market prioritises the trendy over the timeless, meaning that a brand’s uniqueness is often more marketable than its craftsmanship or heritage. Designers such as Virgil Abloh and Jeremy Scott are just some of the creative minds shaking up luxury fashion with their innovative, out of the box designs that catch the eye and bring a new edge to a formerly more conventional industry. Paris Hilton fed her dog caviar? Go one better with these 5 glam pet accessories For certain brands, a complete departure from the classic might be understandably daunting. That’s why some designers might lean on their signature products or techniques but approach them from a new angle, such as Louis Vuitton releasing a handbag featuring its iconic monogram print – but in the shape of an aeroplane. Other brands opt to fully embrace the eccentric style that younger consumers crave. Balenciaga, for instance, has grown its already massive following through launching unusual fashion items. Its US$2,000 SneakerHead handbag, designed to look like a mishmash of trainers, was released earlier this year. There’s also its X-Pander trainers with heels that add an extra spring to your step. But fresh and unconventional doesn’t have to mean in-your-face. Even simple details like exaggerated silhouettes or cut-outs can achieve the same, attention-grabbing effect. Streetwear brand Vetements, for instance, created striking bold graphic tees with cartoon characters and boots with heels that look like lighters. However, the brand also knows how to transform wardrobe basics with a subtle twist – like this polo neck jumper above that has a slit at the back to slip your hair through. Pandemic price hikes: why Chanel bags now cost 17 per cent more Other brands such as Maison Margiela play up the proportions and silhouettes of garments. In the piece below, the addition of a red patchwork felt sleeve – which also wraps around the neck – adds a pop of colour to the trench coat underneath. Although some fashionistas might conclude that kitschy designs are destined to be cult hits rather than popular in the mainstream, celebrities have been spotted sporting such garments too, generating even more buzz as a result. Lady Gaga recently donned this odd Valentino haute couture look after a rehearsal session. Collaborations between brands always ramp up anticipation too, such as the Aria collection by Gucci and Balenciaga for the autumn/winter 2021 season. This collection not only gave a nod to the 1970s, but incorporated pieces from a jockey’s wardrobe, like helmets, harnesses and whips. Are these luxury brand collaborations truly disruptive, or just a gimmick? Since fashion is always evolving, the possibility for more and more unique designs is endless. Although it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, this new frontier of fashion looks to be here to stay. And with Gen Z emerging as an important market , we can expect luxury fashion brands to get even more innovative to appeal to younger consumers. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .