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I Just Stumbled Upon These 16 Brands, and I’m Not Okay

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As a social media editor, I spend copious amounts of time scrolling through the Instagram explore page. And while I am an avid fan of the trending section or a good meme, my favorite thing is unearthing new accounts to follow. From discovering new and interesting people in fashion to emerging jewelry brands, social media is a constant treasure trove of people and brands pushing the envelope in every part of the industry, and the world.

In light of this, I decided to share some of the brands I recently came across and can’t stop thinking about. From lingerie to ready-to-wear collections and new brands to established ones, all are creating unique pieces that are worth shining a light on. Keep scrolling for a highly curated glimpse into my Instagram Saved folder. 

I haven’t been ok since Rihanna wore her crystal-embellished durag to the 2014 CDFA awards. For years, I have wondered if there would ever be a version that I could wear IRL. And luckily for me, I recently discovered the Los Angeles-based Trinidadian designer, Cheyenne Kimora. Although she launched her brand back in 2008, her rise in popularity began with her “You Are Adorned” durag collection. While her divine homage to Black culture through bedazzling durags is what caught my attention, this designer’s self-taught couture-like bags and denim is what has my jaw still open. She is a force to keep an eye on.

For Instagram power-users, you’ve probably at one point spotted the iconic green sweater from the Miami based brand, Simonett. What you probably did not know about this Latinx-owned brand is its commitment to producing ethical and sustainable pieces. Not only do they thoroughly vet the factories to ensure every garment is made under fair labor conditions, but they also operate on a limited inventory basis so that no excess products end up in landfills or burned.

Despite the fact the brand With Jéan is only three years old, it has quickly become a fashion girl favorite. But the obsession isn’t merely based on the fact they create the most Instagram-friendly pieces you’ve ever seen. Based out of Australia, the brand works with a large team of artisan sewers using natural fabrics, hand-dying, and bio-degradable packaging which ensures that each piece is something you can feel good wearing. 

What happens when a former Topshop buyer and designer decide to branch out and found a new label? You get Tove Studio. Founded in London in 2017 by Camille Perry and Holly Wright, the brand aims to create capsule wardrobe pieces that are not only direct-to-consumer (with the expectation of the pieces sold on Net-A-Porter) but also use sustainable fabrics. The result is pieces you can wear for a lifetime.

Lionne Clothing is a ready-to-wear brand with bold, contemporary pieces founded by Latioa Fitzgerald in 2018. Not only is this brand Black-owned and designed, but despite it being newer to the scene, it’s already been spotted on celebrities, including Bebe Rexa at the 2020 MTV VMAs this is a brand to keep on your radar. 

After launching in 2018, Aya Muse quickly garnered quite the following, including the likes of Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber, and Sofia Richie. In a technical sense, not only does the Los Angeles based brand founder by Tina use recycled fabrics but the brand also does an impeccable job of melding of trends of the moment, with timeless pieces that anyone would want to wear. 

If it doesn’t make me stop mid-scroll, I don’t want it—and the avant-garde creations by Aazhia Rhy do just that. Rhy founded TLZ L’FEMME with no prior design experience, but looking at her pieces, you wouldn’t have any idea. Each piece features re-worked and undone elements that have caught the attention of fangirls like myself, all the way up to mega-stars like Cardi B. Not to mention the brand also has a sister vintage curation site. If you’re looking to support an up-and-coming Black-designed label, and buy the most unique piece of clothing you’ll probably ever wear, get it straight from Rhy.

Shopping ethically is something that’s always top of mind for me. Whether it’s supporting rising BIPOC designers or sustainable brands, it’s something that I pride myself on. This is why I was baffled that I didn’t know about the eco-friendly activewear line, Girlfriend Collective sooner. Founded in 2016, the brand is known for its use of recycled plastic bottles, and fabrics to create activewear from size XXS to XXXL. If sustainability and inclusion are important to you too, then it’s clear that Girlfriend Collective is doing everything right.

Sometimes it seems like there are so many emerging French fashion brands that it can be hard to keep up. But one brand that’s been disrupting the market since 2017 is the French mother-daughter duo behind MaisonCleo. Unlike most labels, each piece is made-to-order with radical transparency around price points that challenge fast fashion. They’re not set on the traditional fashion calendar, and they buy excess fabrics from couture houses—so you can be rest assured with every single piece, time is spent creating something different than anything else on the market.

There are so many Black designers that are worth celebrating, and Samantha Black, the founder of  Sammy B Designs, is one of them. Founded in New York City, the brand creates these incredible eclectic pieces with feminine touches. Her work not only caught my attention but has been worn by Beyoncé and Gabrielle Union—hence, this a brand you need to follow ASAP.

Maybe you’ve already spotted Miaou in Who What Wear’s cover story with Natalia Dyer or within your own Instagram feed. But I’m really into this vintage-inspired brand designed by Alexia Elkaim. Founded in 2016, the brand has since burst onto the scene by continuously crafting eye-catching pieces. From retro-inspired pants to modern corsets, your next fun piece is definitely from Miaou.

Great fashion not only comes from everywhere but is also made for everyone, which is exactly what Brown University student and founder Emma Butler is proving with her line, Intimately. After realizing the lack of adaptive lingerie catered to the disabled community, Butler founded the brand in 2019 with the promise to create designs that meld function with fashion to make lingerie accessible for all.

There are many emerging brands founded in Brooklyn, but none quite like Selva Negra. Founded in 2016 by Kristen Gonzalez and Sam Romero, the designers set out to tap into their Latina heritage to create contemporary size-inclusive pieces made out of ethically sourced materials. The result is pieces that can bring a breath of fresh air into any woman’s wardrobe.

For fashion girls everywhere, finding pieces that no one else has can be an eternal search, but the search is over, meet: Apartment 202. Founded by BIPOC designer, Brandee Godwin, Apartment 202 is ushering in a new approach to ready-to-order collections, by creating the most down-right, jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind pieces that any woman would want to wear.

Founded just last year, the French-based brand, Marcia is one to watch. What makes this brand different from other brands is the fact that every piece created by them is 100% sustainable, and comprised of the eco-friendly fabric econyl. Environmentally friendly and chic? Sign us up.

If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly thinking about ways to lower your carbon footprint, so I was blown away when I learned about the long-term ecological footprint of period products. The average pad can take 500-800 years to degrade into the earth—which is mind-boggling, so for anyone else seeking a more environmentally friendly option, look no further than Knix. Founded in 2013 by Joanna Griffiths, the brand has become known for its utilitarian, no-fuss, leak-proof panties that will change your periods, and your environmental impact for the better.

Next: I Work in Social Media, and These Are My Favorite Jewelry Accounts to Follow

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