For the last month, we've been highlighting pieces from our annual Style & Design magazine special, your cultural cheat sheet for 2009 and beyond. As part of the "Fashion" section, we selected five designers to watch next season, from emerging brands to an unexpected preppy classic. Check out our picks below...

RANSOM
The Canadian brand started by Matt George makes classic workwear with modern details—like oxford shirts with geometric pockets. Think of it as Polo with a dash of streetwear. [ransomholdingco.com]

CRATE
Minimalism being the new black bodes well for this L.A.-based brand, which turns out no-frills, quality jeans using deadstock fabric. Just say no to back-pocket fuckery! [cratedenim.com]

ROBERT GELLER
The German wunderkind's creative twist on elegant, old-world sophistication has the fashionistos atwitter. That's cool, but we're amped about the September debut of the Geller x Levi's collection. [robertgeller-ny.com]

THE GENERIC MAN
Calling someone "generic" used to be a dis, but this sneaker- shoe company is reclaiming the term with simple, mature footwear. There's no reason for your kicks to be more interesting than you are. [thegenericman.com]

J. CREW

The days of associating J. Crew with your girlfriend's fratty brother are over. In '09, not only did the brand breathe life into the necessities of any guy's wardrobe, it also dipped a toe into the prestige pool with two new NYC boutiques. The Japanese-influenced Liquor Store is a better-curated version of its parent store, with everything from accessories and grooming products to '40s-influenced fashion upgrades; not far away, the J. Crew Mens Shop in Soho offers on-site custom tailoring for a suit that fits as well as your favorite jeans. And the best part? The road to your lifestyle upgrade is 100% hypebeast free. [jcrew.com]