There are plenty of good reasons to head to J.Crew or Zara for your summer wardrobe needs, but today we bring you 38 reasons not to. From the old guard to the newbies, massive collectives to favorite local boutiques, we present the 38 be...
There are plenty of good reasons to head to J.Crew or Zara for your summer wardrobe needs, but today we bring you 38 reasons not to. From the old guard to the newbies, massive collectives to favorite local boutiques, we present the 38 best places to find independent designers and labels on the internet.
For the purposes of this list, we're defining "indie" as "not owned by a ginormous global corporation," as so many fashion brands and retailers are. So whether you're looking for a one-of-a-kind gift, bookmarking a new favorite boutique, or simply want to support independent businesses, here are our current favorite independent designers, labels, and e-shops. Got a suggestion of your own? Let us hear it in the comments.
THE CLASSICS: The grandfathers and grandmothers of indie, these web shops have a massive selection of independent labels and a history of supporting emerging talent.
Steven Alan: Starting out as a shop for other designers, Steven Alan took on his own line in 1999 and was pretty much an instant hit. His aesthetic—for both his own line and the other indie designers he carries—is casual but perfected, simple but elegant, and definitely comfortable. One of the reasons we keep restocking our closets with his boyfriend shirts and smart dresses is because they feel like they were made to be lived in.
Of a Kind: Emerging designers get their due here, where a limited-edition piece, designed exclusively for the site, is featured each week. Editions can be as small as five pieces, so visiting early and often is recommended. The site also features profiles of each designer, so you can get to know the brains behind the talent.
Surface to Air: The consummately cool Paris-based collective Surface to Air was founded in 2000 as a creative lab of sorts—they produce everything from music videos and gallery shows to their eponymous clothing collection, which includes several collabs with musicians (Kings of Leon) and artists (Solve Sundsbo). Cool is going to cost you, though—there's not much for under $200 to be found on the site.
THE NEWBIES: Labels and e-shops that are either new to the internet or new to us.
Marissa Webb: Former J.Crew designer Marissa Webb struck out on her own this spring, and her collection line is available on her freshly launched e-commerce site. Find tailored basics in luxe fabrics for between $325 and $1,595, and also check out her footwear line, which is sold exclusively here.
Apiece Apart: This brand is five years old, but they did us a solid and launched e-commerce this spring. Specializing in clean lines and simple fabrics, the current collection is the breath of fresh air our wardrobes have been looking for. Skirts, dresses, trousers, and blouses clock in between $250 and $450.
Feyt: Founded by fashion insiders Eleanor Ylvisaker and Ferebee Taube and launched about a year ago, Feyt is like the indie lovechild of Net-a-Porter and Pandora. Think luxury goods, carefully curated to your specific tastes and needs based on your search patterns. The founders explain: "Most websites are search based and we're trying to move towards more suggestion-based purchases. We think it can really change the way people shop." Take note, busy ladies with big budgets.
HELPSY: Launched this spring, HELPSY stocks cool designer fashion with a clear mission: Every purchase made on HELPSY has a clear positive social impact, with no to sacrifice to visual appeal. HELPSY's special strength lies in making ethical purchasing seem like anything but a holy mission. Selective curating showcases top emerging designers, and the HELPSY blog is written in a fun, tongue-in-cheek tone. Bonus: Filter by ten different ethical categories to know just how positive your purchases are.
THE OLD GUARD: Established indie labels with a strong point of view and a great website to match.
Feral Childe: Bi?coastal design duo Moriah Carlson and Alice Wu are as committed to sustainable design practices as they are