We’re all guilty of going back to the usual suspects when we need a wardrobe update. Whether you prefer Forever 21, Zara, or any other big name brand, chances are that your usual stores are just that- massive. Do a little digging, however, and you’ll find a plethora of indie brands waiting to impress you. If you’re the kind of person that likes to shop small, then these ten indie clothing brands should be next on your list to support.
1. Olivia Annabelle
Fashion is all about trends. Either you follow the trends like everyone else, or you break them like Olivia Annabelle does. Frustrated with the lack of unique clothing, Manchester-based designer Olivia Welsh founded Olivia Annabelle in order to bring unique, high-quality, and unapologetically feminine pieces to the market. Each collection from Olivia Annabelle is themed, their most recent being the Bloomsbury collection, which is inspired by the British Modernist movement from the early 20th century.
2. Hackwith Design House
Hackwith Design House is the epitome of small-batch production. Every piece of clothing is made-to-order, and they create no more than 25 of each of their limited edition designs, all to reduce clothing waste. On top of that, their HDH Basics and the Core Collection (both available all year round) are great for filling up your wardrobe with classic yet versatile pieces that you won’t ever want to pack away.
3. Après Studio
If your style veers between girly and grungy, then you need to check out Après Studio. This Australian-based brand prides itself on creating timeless, ethical pieces that make a statement. From frilly details to billowing hems and everything in between, Après Studio has a piece for every occasion that brings the best of both styles to the table.
4. Lovers + Friends
California dreaming is what Lovers + Friends is all about. With clothing that will make you feel like you live in a very fashionable rom-com, this LA-based brand has all of the girly and flirty styles that make the heart of every romantic flutter. If you find yourself in need of more ruffles and bows in your closet, head on over to Lovers + Friends, where you’ll find them in multitudes.
Classic knitwear that will last you forever (and is much more comfortable than that sweater your grandma knit for you when you were a kid)? Sign us up! HADES is a British knitwear brand that sells handcrafted sweaters that make statements. Each piece is created by HADES’ four-person team in Hawick, Scotland out of pure lambswool, making them super soft and super long-lasting. Their Alphabet collection, featuring sweaters with bright block letters, is one of their most well-known.
6. First Rite
Founded in 2015 by designer Nikki Garcia, First Rite is all about pieces that work in every season. Simple silhouettes that are easy to layer in classic tones like bronze, cream, and black are how the brand achieves this, with each piece being derived from natural fibers. Most popular are their sweaters, made in a woman-owned and operated factory from 100% pima cotton that is sourced from surrounding communities in Lima, Peru.
Have you ever seen a piece of clothing on the runway that’s so avant-garde and architectural that you think ‘who could ever wear that‘? Well, turns out there is a brand out there that wants to bring that intricate architecture into your closet. AQ/AQ is a female-founded and female-focused brand that strives to take that sleek look and turn it into a minimalistic yet playful style that fits in every woman’s wardrobe. Through the use of fascinating details, AQ/AQ clothing will elevate your closet like no other brand has before.
8. Straight To Hell Apparel
If your wardrobe looks like it stepped out of a My Chemical Romance concert, then your next stop should be Straight To Hell Apparel. This Chicago-based company was founded in 2009 and is heavily inspired by music and music culture. From the classic leather jacket to more unique fits, this is the place to shop if you’re all about leather and denim. Bonus, they even sell vegan leather jackets, just in case you want to look punk but also feel good about your impact.
For all of your streetwear needs, turn to X-girl. Founders Kim Gordon and Daisy von Furth created X-girl to be a brand full of clothing that they wanted to wear. With bold graphics and patterns aplenty, X-girl takes inspiration from music to sports, and everything in between. If it influences streetwear, you’ll see it influencing X-girl even more. Along with their own clothing, they’ve done a number of collaborations with companies like MTV and Casetify. Skater-girl chic, here we come!
Looking for fashionable yet professional looking workwear? Then you’re in luck, because LYL is here to help. LYL, which stands for Love Your Look, is a black-owned and ethical fashion brand looking to modernize women’s workwear. First impressions are everything in the workplace, and clothing is a big part of that first impression. LYL works to create clothing that will both make you feel confident and give others a good impression.