10 Female Owned Fashion Brands To Shop
Female owned fashion brands to support in celebration of American Business Women’s Day.
A majority of today’s fashion and beauty brands that are most often dominating the industry are owned and operated by teams of men on both the business side and on the design side as well. What we often tend to realize is that female-operated brands do actually exist and, more importantly, they are thriving! The fashion industry, along with other industries as well, is overflowing with independent, talented, motivated females who are pushing both boundaries and the fashion industry forward with their eye-catching designs, innovative styles, and often-philanthropic spirits. Think about all those pieces that you immediately add to your cart without a second thought – do you actually know the sort of brand you’re supporting and what they stand for? If not, you may want to think about switching up your spending habits and instead supporting some women-owned businesses. For American Business Women’s Day we’re focusing on spending our money on female-owned and operated brands – and we plan to support our ladies on every other day as well! We’ve gathered together 10 Female Owned Fashion Brands To Shop that will not only satisfy all your fashion needs, but will illustrate the impact women have on the fashion industry as a whole. Read on to not only discover some leading ladies in the fashion industry, but to also support, push forward, and motivate all women alike.
Brother Vellies – Aurora James
Brother Vellies was founded by Aurora James with the goal of exposing the world to her favorite traditional African footwear, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs within Africa. Brooklyn resident Aurora James amassed an impressive resume of fashion industry experience prior to starting Brother Vellies. With previous experience filling roles ranging from model agent to curator, James’ years of experience have resulted in a broad knowledge of the industry from all perspectives. Aurora travels every few months to and throughout Africa – primarily South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Morocco where her products are handmade – to work with local artisans, experience the continent’s diverse culture, and discover new inspirations for her brand. An added bonus of supporting Brother Vellies – a portion of proceeds from their “Minis” go towards educating kids in South Africa.
Kintu – Sarah Nakintu
Born and raised in Uganda, Sarah Nakintu migrated to the United States in 2005 and currently resides in New York City. Nakintu has worked in a range of different industries including fashion, technology, and development. Kintu New York handbags are designed in New York, co-developed with global artisans, and made in Italy. Stemmed from a passion for building a sustainable brand through extensive travel around the world, her brand is inspired by her African heritage, global experiences, and the street fashion of New York City while its core values are rooted in Nakintu’s belief in generational conservation of artistry and craftsmanship. Kintu bags appeal to the dynamic, busy, urban woman who values quality and self-expression.
Negative – Marissa & Lauren
Marissa and Lauren started their brand Negative when they realized that most lingerie companies were run by men – not exactly bra experts. They immediately started taking night classes at FIT and then traveled to Paris to meet the pros of lingerie production. From there they handpicked only the best materials and did a little bit of hands-on research – trying on every bra on the island of Manhattan. Negative is committed to minimalistic designs – they ditch the decorations, embellishments, and push-up and design all their products with comfort in mind. “Here’s to feeling amazing in your own skin – no frills or fluff required.”
Allie Teilz – Allie Teilz
Allie Teilz is a highly sought after designer known for her eclectic taste, skills behind the turntables, and style in front of them. Her line of affordable, luxury, vegan suits for women, men, and agender clientele was launched in late 2016. Teilz started designing clothes as a teenager in Phoenix and quickly made a name for herself, rocking official parties for the Grammys, Golden Globes, Emmy Awards, Fashion Week, and Vanity Fair as well as Coachella, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork Pitchfork Paris, Art Basel, and Austin City Limits. She also has showcased her signature designs herself, rocking them while spinning records alongside Thom Yorke, Arcade Fire, and M83 and opening for Frank Ocean, Haim, and Lorde.
RALLIER – Olivia Rose Wright
When it came time to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and create her own legacy, Olivia Rose Wright looked at a cause that mattered to her most – education for girls and gender equality – and conceptualized RALLIER to elevate the notion of social responsibility in fashion. RALLIER is an independent womenswear label inspired by the notion of romantic rebellion. Designed and made in New York, the collection explores the tension between femininity and individuality by mixing the heritage of archetypal dress codes with a modern spirit of ease. Fashion meets philanthropy with this brand though – each time you purchase a piece RALLIER will make a donation to Shining Hope for Communities to support the provision of school uniform dresses for girls.
Jennifer Chun – Jennifer Chun
Jennifer Chun’s namesake collection explores the dialogue between menswear-inspired tailoring and a refreshingly subtle femininity. Born in South Korea and raised in Troy, Ohio, Chun recognized her fashion design interests while attending American University, and she later transferred to the Pratt Institute where she studied art and fashion design. Jennifer Chun was launched in 2009 after Chun worked with Michael Kors, Derek Lam, and Brian Reyes. Her collection features experimental fabric stories, sophisticated color sensibility, and intuitive sense of proportion yield assortments that feel both of the moment and timeless in their investment-worthy nature.
The Brave Collection – Jessica Hendricks Yee
Exposed to design and travel at a young age, Jessica Hendricks Yee was born in Paris and grew up outside Manhattan with eyes glued to the cases in her mother’s jewelry shop. Combining her love of jewelry and philanthropic spirit, Jessica was inspired to create a collection to connect courageous women across the globe. Her jewelry is handmade, carved and woven by hand in Cambodia using traditional metalwork techniques, by talented Cambodian artisans who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities. The Brave Collection’s goal is to provide job opportunities to talented artisans, exposing them to a global customer and collaborating creatively. Additionally, 10% of profits are donated to fight human trafficking in Cambodia.
WRAY – Wray Cook
Founded in 2015 by Wray Cook, WRAY is a New York-based contemporary womenswear collection. Cook, a graduate of California College of the Arts, cut her teeth at Issey Miyake and Rachel Comey following extensive studies at Parsons School of Design, Paris before venturing out to establish her own brand. Each season of WRAY clothing builds on influences from sculpture, painting, and beyond to create clothes which are focused on both form and function. Wray resides in Brooklyn, NY where her interest in art and design is constantly blooming and inspiring new designs for her brand.
AYR – Max Bonbrest, Maggie Winter, and Jac Cameron
Founded in 2014 by Max Bonbrest, Maggie Winter, and Jac Cameron, a gang of babes who believe good designs belongs to everyone, for everyday life, AYR aims to produce timeless pieces at affordable prices. Based in their downtown NYC studio, AYR designs jeans, jackets, and other essentials for the independent woman. They admire women who lead limitless lifestyles and believe that we should not be defined by labels or logos. AYR embodies that everyday effortless hustle and exists to serve women. “It doesn’t hurt that our team is 90% female. We get her. We are her” – Maggie Winter.
The Peace Treaty – Dana Arbib
A Peace Treaty is founded on the belief that wearing beautiful, handcrafted pieces, imbued with the story of their maker are the most beautiful and luxurious in the world. Designed in New York City by Dana Arbib, A Peace Treaty incorporates exquisite artisanal details from far-flung places such as Pakistan, Turkey, and Peru. Arbib is dedicated to discovering and preserving centuries-old craftsmanship techniques and knows exactly where to find the world’s most talented textile and jewelry masters, from the highest peaks of the Andes, to the Himalayan valleys, to the deserts of South Africa. The company takes pride in employing skillful female artisans from places where they would otherwise not be considered earners: Jamdani weaving from Bangladesh, handwoven cashmere from Nepal, and Kurdish metalwork that incorporates traditional, Ottoman techniques.