40 Small Fashion Brands to Follow, Shop, and Support

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While popular fashion designers may immediately come to mind when you consider what's cool to shop at the moment, don't knock the small retailers and brand owners that are constantly reinventing what's in, offering up unique pieces to add to your closet.

Many of these include lesser-known jewelers, whose creations feel personal and help shine the light on individuality, along with designers that have been celebrity-recognized (see: Saint Mojavi and JW Pei), but may still be in the process of garnering a significant following on Instagram. That's why we're making it easy for you to support these emerging labels: sharing direct links to their pages, but also selecting key pieces that could be recognized as signatures of the brand. That way, when you wear them, they'll double as conversation starters.

Whether it's a standout swimsuit you're in search of, for turning heads on beach day (Andrea Iyamah, Ookioh, and Mikoh will help you there), or a new bag that's eye-catching but still functional from the likes of Susan Alexandra, Mowalola, or Modern Picnic, you are bound to discover what will surely become a no-brainer shopping destination for years to come.

Ahead, learn about how these startups were dreamed up by their founders, find out what demographics they appeal to, and add them to your arsenal to browse through first, rather than immediately jumping to support a world-renowned company. Chances are, you'll be recognized for your originality one way or another.

Additional reporting by Nikita Charuza

Rezek Studio

Rezek Studio is an LA-based brand that creates colorful, disco-inspired silhouettes designed to flatter and hug you just right. Shop the brand's popular Martini dress ($295) to get the look.

Susan Alexandra

Susan Alexandra is an NYC-based brand that creates whimsical beaded bags and jewelry. The new Home bag ($350) brings about a proper pang of nostalgia.

Lisa Says Gah

The SF-based boutique and online store helps bring together independent designers from all over the globe. Think brands like Paloma Wool, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, and a namesake brand, among others. Shop everything from trendy mules ($191) to kitschy printed pants.


The LA sleepwear brand uses recycled fabrics and has a collection of dreamy prints and retro silhouettes. The Honey Bunny ($120) baby doll night dress is reminiscent of many a pattern from the early aughts.


If you're looking for an affordable underwear brand that's also sustainable, look no further than Parade. The comfy styles start at just $9, and include best sellers like the boyshort ($12) with mesh inserts.


Stylish swimwear brand Mikoh is run by sisters Oleema and Kalani Miller out of Newport Beach, CA. While there's gorgeous ready-to-wear to shop from, the label is well-known for its metallic Taga top ($146) and Ofu bottom ($146).

Kristin Mallison

Famous for her incredible needlework tapestry corsets, Brooklyn-based Kristin Mallison sources fabrics from all over the world to craft her historical creations, which have been included on APOC, an online retailer that blends clothing and art. Mallison has even recently launched an upholstered Home Sweet Home skirt ($375), which suggests she'll be expanding soon.

JW Pei

Not only are JW Pei's handbags modern and sleek, but we love the affordable price point, too, with the Rantan super mini bag ($59) being an eye-catching favorite in multiple colorways like beige, yellow, and pink croc.

The Line by K

The Line by K is an LA-based brand created in 2015 by Karla Deras. The designer creates clothes focused on the idea that basics don't have to be basic, just like the Reese mock neck top ($69) and Vana skirt ($149) that come with strategically placed seams to highlight your frame.


Rhode is a collection of romantic, vacation-ready dresses that was started by longtime friends Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers. It's become famous for its flouncy silhouettes — take the Ella dress ($435) for example, which would look equally cool with a pair of low-top sneakers and an anklet as it would with strappy sandals.

Wolf Circus

The Vancouver-based jewelry brand has quickly become a fashion-girl favorite with its affordable baubles and necklaces. The swirling Layla earrings ($180) have beautiful fresh water pearls that would be eye-catching with any outfit.


The Williamsburg-based shop has a range of affordable shoes and clothes that all have a vintage feel. Shop the Fay denim mule ($94) for a statement-making style with a contrast seam under $100.


Lapima's statement-making sunglasses are handcrafted in Brazil, and come in fun geometric shapes and colors. Take the Bira ($523), for example, which has a playful, angular shape to reflect the wings of the Tuiuiú, the bird symbol of Pantanal.


Not only does Ookioh make trendy swimwear pieces that are superwearable, the brand is sustainable, too, making its pieces from recycled water bottles. The Como top ($50) and Monaco bottom ($50) are both signatures, and you can shop them in cool color combinations.

Boyish Jeans

LA-based Boyish Jeans creates vintage-inspired jeans using sustainable fabrics. The brand uses one-third the amount of water used to make a regular pair of jeans and offers live-in fits, such as the Clint ($208).


If you're looking for a streetwear brand to support right now, check out Aries. The London-based brand has an array of tie-dye sweatshirts and sweatpants that look extremely cozy. We're big fans of the up-cycled premium Temple sweatshort ($155), which looks great styled with a ribbed tank top and sneakers.

Mr. Larkin

Based in both Huston and Copenhagen, Mr. Larkin offers a range of whimsical dresses and co-ords. You'll likely be particularly drawn to the artful balloon sleeves on the Evan dress ($215, originally $430), a garment made by stockist Caron Callahan.

Hart Studio

For jewelry that'll brighten up your day, turn your attention to Hart Studio. The brand has everything from quirky smiley-face pendants to custom charm necklaces and this 18" Love heart necklace ($158) crafted with a '70s aesthetic from the Charleston-based studio.

Christy Dawn

Looking for dreamy prairie-inspired dresses? Christy Dawn's designs help you look and feel good, thanks to its use of sustainable fabrics. Expect plenty of romantic details, such as the ruffle trim on the Emma dress ($348).

Modern Picnic

Modern Picnic's mission is to provide working girls with a chic alternative to the traditional lunchbox. The backpack ($210) is its newest boxy shape, offered in cream and black.

Amo Denim

Made in Los Angeles, Amo denim is a collection of vintage-inspired pieces. The Painterly pant ($306), in particular, is a step above average denim with its carpenter details like a utility pocket and hammer loop.

Dear Frances

Dear Frances creates high-quality shoes that are hand-made in Italy using age-old techniques that have been passed down through generations of artisans. We love the shape of the new Cher boot ($675), which comes in tan and sand suede, black leather, and an open weave.


Catbird is a Brooklyn-born jewelry shop that has quickly become a staple in New York. The jewelry is made with recycled or fair-trade gold in the brand's studio. In recent years, it's become a popular destination for wedding jewelry, including delicate bands like the Laurie Fleming Daphne ($825).

Stevie Howell

Stevie Howell is a California-based designer whose eco-friendly printed pajamas, robes ($395), and dresses will spark joy.


Pronounced souvenir, the brand's jewelry is made from found, reused, upcycled, and natural materials. The Amalfi necklace ($350) is strung with beautiful quartz and shells inspired by the pastel houses built onto the Italian coast.


Kamperett is a luxury women's brand that ethically creates gowns and wedding dresses in vibrant colors, like this incredible shade of citrine. Shop the Lockwood gown ($1,100) for a take with an intriguing back cutout.

Frēda Salvador

Frēda Salvador is a San Francisco-based boutique shoe label. The brand's designs are cut and sewn in a small, family-run factory in the town of Elda, Spain. The flats, slides, and espadrilles ($195, originally $225) are unique in craftsmanship and design detail.

Whimsy and Row

The eco-conscious clothing line from LA has an array of dresses and tops that are perfect for everyday wear, just like the Bree in mauve floral ($258) which is great for teaming with a sunhat and rocking barefoot on the beach during summer months.

Frasier Sterling

Frasier Sterling is a celeb-loved, trend-driven brand started by Frasier Lipton in 2011. You can expect plenty of affordable pieces that help to express individuality, like the Zodiac Obsessed necklace ($48).


Nomasei is a slow luxury footwear brand based in Paris that is made in a fair and transparent way, with a lengthy list of commitments that consumers can trust. The structured loafers ($430) are a forever classic.

Hero Shop

The SF-based store and online boutique, which was started by former Vogue editor Emily Holt, has an array of curated ready-to-wear jewelry, shoes, and bags from labels like Tibi, Gabriela Hearst and Ganni, whose violet seersucker midi ($325) is a home run.


Rokh was created by Seoul-born designer Rok Hwang. His pieces often depict "unfinished raw mood" and include deconstructed or avant-garde items like this viscose cardigan tank top set ($210, originally $700). Rokh is stocked at Farfetch, SSENSE, Yoox, Mytheresa, and Shopbop, among others.

Cecilie Bahnsen

Cecilie Bahnsen is always romantic and always dreamy. Even in head-to-toe black, the puff sleeves, airy silk materials, and draped silhouettes give off that elegant vibe we all strive for. Take this jacquard dress ($1,524, originally $3,810) with a tulip skirt and cold, off-shoulder sleeves, for example — it makes a statement that's not for the faint of heart.

Ama Nwoke

Shop boldly colored, tailored work pieces for the modern woman interested in adventure and making a statement. Ama Nwoke features some crop tops, miniskirts, and going-out statement pieces, too, including the powerful Elena yellow set ($228, originally $375).


Phlemuns features gender neutral statement pieces like crystal-fringed denim and head-to-toe cloud prints. These clothes, created by James Flemons, are not for the faint of heart. You might recall that he created outfits for Solange Knowles's "Don't Touch My Hair" video. Expect ribbing, cutouts, and vibrant colors, as reflected in this Pride edition backless tank ($85).

Andrea Iyamah

Nigerian fashion designer Dumebi Iyamah launched the first official Andrea Iyamah swim collection in 2013, and as a whole, the brand aims to channel ethnic cultures through design. The bold pieces — there are plenty of avant-garde dresses, tops, and bottoms — are for the most adventurous and fashion forward. The petal-esque ruffles on the Kiara bikini ($210) are recognizable anywhere.

Fe Noel

Brooklyn-based designer Fe Noel has a passion for travel, and that comes through when you see her colorful collections that are inspired by her Caribbean heritage. A free-flowing kaftan like the Bianca dress ($898) would stand out in any room.


Founded by Alicia Sandve, who moved from Singapore to pursue fashion in NYC, HEYMAEVE aims to support women and sexual assault survivors by donating a portion of proceeds to non-profit organizations that protect victims. The wear everyday jewelry includes some great layering pieces, such as the Ysabel chainlink necklace ($75).