fashion insiders support small brands

What 8 Fashion Insiders Are Buying Now to Support Small Brands

One purchase goes a long way.

By: Monica Mendal

While shopping frivolously isn’t top of mind these days, supporting small businesses is. Whether you’re ordering delivery from your favorite restaurants, picking up bottles from your go-to wine shops, or making small donations to the local businesses you typically frequent, every purchase is helping them stay afloat. The same goes for the small fashion brands who rely on you, just as their suppliers and manufacturers around the world rely on them. If you’re in a position to shop, even frugally, think small. Consider supporting your favorite small brands, trusting that one purchase goes a long way. Whether it’s sweats for lounging, activewear for at-home workouts, a pair of earrings to elevate Zoom calls, or simply an item that we can look forward to wearing the minute we get out of this, eight fashion insiders reveal what they’re buying now to support their favorite small brands.

 

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Harley Viera Newton, Designer of HVN

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fashion insiders support small brands

“Everything Susan Alexandra makes inspires (much needed) joy, and I couldn’t resist the micro version of her Ma Cherie bag. It conveniently fits hand sanitizer for a grocery run or an AirPods case for a walk. Again, anything that makes me smile goes a long way right now. These Kule socks put a pep in my step. Because I lived in my first pair last summer, I knew it was safe to invest in a black version of these jelly sandals by Alexa Chung. Self-care is important right now, and nothing cheers me up like Squish beauty’s cherry eye masks. Yes, I gravitate towards everything/anything with a cherry on it! Working out has (shockingly) become the highlight of my quarantine days, and wearing Adam Selman Sport for the occasion lifts my spirits. I just got this great leopard-print set. I love everything Matilda Goad makes. Since I now have time to actually sit down and have breakfast in the mornings, I purchased this insanely cute little egg cup/plate (the Brit in me coming out). Grocerywise, I’ve been ordering both produce and ready-to-bake meals from my favorite local restaurants that I want to support. Both All Time and HomeState have been offering up the most delicious options! I recommend the cookie dough from All Time and the enchiladas from Home State.”

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Megan Reynolds, Market Director of Matches Fashion

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fashion insiders support small brands

“It’s nearly impossible to sum up emotions that have come along with this crisis, and while I feel it’s too early for silver linings, it has provided opportunity for new perspectives and a call for gratitude. I count my blessings to be working, and while shopping isn’t high on my to-do list at the moment, the few things I have invested in are from independent brands with integrity. They also all happen to have female leaders, which is no coincidence, in my opinion. Keeping a routine has added structure to my day that is very much needed, being at home day in and day out, and Skin Design London has transformed my skin—its a welcome habit I will keep for years to come. My favorite products are Sleeping Beauty and C Antioxidant Glow Serum. Les Tien—I never considered myself a tracksuit girl, but Courtney’s fabrications and fits have converted me. Lizzie Fortunato—I’m not dressing up for my daily Zoom calls, but adding an earring to my t-shirt-and-jeans uniform has instantly made me feel more polished for whatever the day ahead holds. Added bonus, the Fortunato twins are two of the loveliest people I have ever met, which makes me happy every time I put them on. Extreme Cashmere—owners Camille & Saskia give the everyday a luxurious edge that has brought me comfort literally and figuratively. Odd Box London—we wake up every Thursday morning to a box of ‘odd’ fruit and vegetables on our doorstep, which is truly a highlight of my week. I am more grateful than ever to have fresh food, and it’s something I will never take for granted again.”

Juliana Salazar, Art Director, Stylist, and Creative Consultant

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fashion insiders support small brands

“I just got these earrings by Rebecca de Ravenel, and I am obsessed. They add a jolt of color to my go-to grey sweats and make me so happy every time I catch a glimpse of them in a mirror. I’m also buying Comme Si socks. The silk ones feel so delicious on your toes. I love to lather my feet in lotion post-shower and slip them on. I miss getting foot massages, so this is as close as I’m getting right now. For my hair, I absolutely love every single product from Crown Affair; they really elevate my whole shower experience, which I find really special at this time. If you don’t have a hair-dedicated towel, I would start there—theirs is a game changer. Ime Vintage has the best curation of vintage accessories and small home objects. If you’re a size 38, you should definitely get these Jil Sander mules. If you’re looking for new loungewear, Aimé Leon Dore’s sweats are some of my all-time favorites. I’ve also been wearing this cardigan a bunch to feel a bit more dressed up, but if you’re thinking more about summer, I am obsessed with all of their nylon shorts. I have some from last season that are my favorite paired with an oversized button-down. One of the hardest things for me this quarantine is to not snack around the clock, and one of my close (and healthiest) friends Kirsty told me to try mixing in her protein powder with breakfast or in my coffee to hold me over for longer. I’ve never tried protein powders before, and Kirsty is a good friend of mine, so I might be biased, but I also trust her blindly when it comes to this stuff. I’ve been adding a bit into my iced coffees in the morning, and it is a game changer! I also have a huge sweet tooth and eat ice cream almost every day, so I’ve started putting Made Of into a blender with just ice, and it does the trick! Lastly, Ghia! I was drinking a lot of wine at the beginning of quarantine because why not? But obviously that’s not exactly great, so I’ve been satisfying my cravings with Ghia. They haven’t officially launched yet, but they’ll be available soon!”

Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Fashion Director of Garage Magazine

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fashion insiders support small brands

“I’ve always had a thing for latex. It’s an element I use in my editorial work often, but I’ve been slowly adding pieces to my own wardrobe—I like the dissonance in the fact that people always associate latex with something a bit perverse or fetishistic, when really it’s this very nerdy, functional, synthetic material. There are so many amazing latex brands out there, but I’m looking forward to buying these mid-length opera gloves from Busted Brand, a small L.A.-based business. The price point is really affordable, and even for the pricier pieces, now is the time to invest in easily sanitizable materials!”

 

Caroline Maguire, Fashion Director of Shopbop

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fashion insiders support small brands

“Shopbop was one of the first retailers to launch Maison Irem, and it has remained a favorite of mine ever since. Not only do I adore the designer, Irem, but I love her pieces. Irem’s friendship bracelets, chain necklaces, and uber-chic pearls have a major (well-deserved) cult following. New Yorkbased brands have a special place in my heart, and Sandy Liang is at the top of that list. Her signature fleece jackets and playful prints are staples in my wardrobe. Tel Avivbased brand Freedom Moses recently launched (exclusively!) on Shopbop and has become an everyday staple of mine. The best part? They’re recyclable, waterproof, washable, and animal friendly, so you can have great quality and style while protecting the earth. I can’t wait to add this print to my collection. Denimist re-envisions American classics through playful proportions, thoughtful engineering, a focus on functionality, and an underlying effortlessly cool look. I’ve been wearing this utilitarian jumpsuit on repeat—the neutral color and snap placket detailing allow me to feel put together without sacrificing comfort.”

Naomi Elizee, Vogue Fashion Editor

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fashion insiders support small brands

“In my time of social distancing and staying home, I have been trying to find ways [to] support small brands within the fashion industry. I recognize that it is now more than ever that they need our support. Although I have been keen to be very frugal with my money lately due to the uncertainties of the future, I’ve put aside some money to purchase a few things from smaller brands. One of these items includes an embroidered t-shirt with fruit on it from Abacaxi, a small brand based here in NYC and known for its tropical flair, vibrant colors, and handcrafted pieces. I’m also dreaming of the day I can walk around the house in these feathery sandals from Brother Veillies. Last on my list is this shirt from Bode. I love the uniqueness of the top and how perfect it looks to lounge around the house in.”

 

Victoria de la Fuente, Brand Strategist

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fashion insiders support small brands

“Small brands keep creativity and craftsmanship alive. Now more than ever, it’s important to shop responsibly and make a difference with our purchases. I am drawn to brands that support artisans in their different communities, such as Verdi, whose bags are hand-weaved in Colombia. Or Monica Sordo, who is giving 100 percent of the profits of her online sales to her artisans in Peru (perfect excuse to buy the oriente choker, which caught my eye last fashion week). The true meaning of luxury has a direct correlation with items being rare, items that tell a story. I am currently lusting over a limited 10-piece edition of Recreo San Miguel’s flowy Chloe dress covered in the designer’s favorite quotes from Hemingway, definitely a conversation starter. Happy, pretty, and colorful is what we need right now. A bi-colored pair of flats by Andrea Gomez, and a bright yellow beaded flowered bag of M2M x Purta Utz are just what we need during these weird times. Also, did I mention the chili beaded earring from Pura Utz? We all need a bit of spice too.”

Rebecca Zeijdel-Paz, Designer of Beck Jewels

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fashion insiders support small brands

“As a small brand myself, I know how important it is to support each other. Everything in Hotel Weekend’s souvenir shop is lovely, especially Emily Levine bagsthey are handmade using antique one-of-a-kind Saris. Agua by Agua Bendita dresses are beautiful and hand-embroidered by Colombian artisans. Gabriel for Sach pieces are ethically made in BarcelonaI especially love this model that can be worn wrapped as a pareo or knotted as a topit’s getting me excited for warmer and happier days. Escvdo knits are exceptional, made by Peruvian artisans using age-old techniques. I love Hunting Season and Maison Alma’s commitment to the artisan communities they work withthey have vowed to support them throughout the quarantine restrictions in Colombia. I think we should all be consciously shopping for staple pieces that will last forever.”

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