A profound shift has unfolded in the fashion industry, as Gen Z consumers increasingly gravitate toward smaller, more conscientious labels rather than fast fashion behemoths. This transformation has been propelled by a growing concern for ethical practices and environmental sustainability. Driven by their commitment to conscious consumption, these young fashion enthusiasts are actively seeking out brands that resonate with their values and offer a sense of individuality. Join us on a global exploration of some remarkable small-scale fashion brands that are revolutionizing the industry with their unique ethos and innovative approaches.
Lack of Color: Rekindling the Charms of Vintage Glamour
Established in 2011 by Tess Corvaia and Robert Tilbury, Lack of Color was born out of the duo’s passion for vintage hats. Their mission was to create chic, affordable, and trendy hats for the younger generation, addressing a notable gap in the market. Crafted from 100% Australian wool or natural wheat straw, their hats have garnered a cult following among celebrities such as Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, and more. With their products being retailed in renowned stores like Selfridges and Harrods, Lack of Color is redefining classic headwear for contemporary fashion enthusiasts.
Velvet Canyon: Timeless Retro Elegance
Launched in 2018 by sisters Bec Nolan and Cassy Moase, along with photographer Ali Mitto, Velvet Canyon draws inspiration from the alluring aesthetics of the 1960s and 1970s. Their sunglasses are meticulously crafted using eco-friendly materials such as cotton, cellulose, and wood pulp. Sustainability lies at the heart of their brand philosophy, with a percentage of their online sales being channeled towards supporting asylum seekers. Adorned by fashion-forward celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Julia Fox, Velvet Canyon’s signature retro designs exude a nostalgic allure that resonates with contemporary sensibilities.
Feben: Celebrating Diversity and Artistry
Feben Vemmendy, an alumna of Central Saint Martins, founded her eponymous label in 2020, with a strong emphasis on surrealistic aesthetics. Raised in Sweden by her Ethiopian mother, she draws profound inspiration from her rich cultural heritage and personal history. Her collections represent a heartfelt celebration of the modern woman, showcasing intricate bead weaving and innovative couture designs. With an esteemed fan base including luminaries like Beyonce, Erykah Badu, and Janelle Monáe, Feben’s avant-garde creations continue to captivate the fashion world with their bold and visionary appeal.
Yueqi Qi: Bridging Chinese Heritage with Modern Elegance
Yueqi Qi launched her eponymous fashion line in 2019, drawing upon her profound appreciation for her Chinese roots. With a remarkable background of working with esteemed fashion houses like Chanel and Gucci, her designs exude a seamless blend of elegance and sophistication. Taking cues from the captivating female characters found within the pages of Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler novels, she skillfully captures the essence of femininity, resilience, and vulnerability. Yueqi Qi’s creations resonate with those seeking distinctive, yet refined fashion choices, characterized by a fusion of boldness and romanticism.
Oceanus: Pioneering Sustainable Swimwear for a Greener Tomorrow
Hannah Attalah, the visionary creative director and founder of Oceanus, is committed to revolutionizing the world of swimwear with her sustainable approach. Her swimsuits and bikinis are meticulously crafted from recycled eco-friendly materials like Econyl, complemented by biodegradable embellishments. Striking a harmonious balance between luxury and eco-consciousness, Oceanus caters to customers who prioritize ethical fashion without compromising on style, offering an array of elegant and environmentally responsible swimwear options.
Jade Cropper: Empowerment Through Asymmetry
Jade Cropper’s designs are characterized by their alluring asymmetrical lines and bold silhouettes, drawing inspiration from his Swedish heritage and lifelong passion for fashion. With a clientele that includes luminaries like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, Jade’s brand advocates for empowerment, confidence, and self-expression. His versatile clothing pieces effortlessly transition between various occasions, allowing wearers to express themselves boldly and authentically through their attire.
Mirror Palais: Celebrating the Allure of Female Empowerment
Marcelo Gaia, the mastermind behind Mirror Palais, pays homage to the female form and his Brazilian heritage through his distinguished brand. With a background steeped in styling and design, Marcelo intricately weaves sensuality and sophistication into each of his creations. His signature high-cut bikinis have graced the forms of celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski, Kendall Jenner, and Dua Lipa. Through his sustainable label, Marcelo aims to empower women and foster a strong sense of identity and belief, allowing individuals to embrace their uniqueness with confidence and grace.
Tove Studio: Timeless Minimalism
In 2019, Camille Perry and Holly Wright introduced Tove Studio, a fashion brand that epitomizes the essence of minimalist and refined aesthetics. Sustainability lies at the core of their brand ethos, as they utilize natural, recyclable, and organic fabrics to curate timeless designs that resonate with modern women. With a discerning eye for impeccable fit, luxury fabrics, and classic design, Tove Studio offers an array of pieces that withstand the test of time, allowing individuals to curate a sophisticated and enduring wardrobe.
Abaga Velli: Redefining Street Elegance
Established in 2019 by Adémidé Udoma and Diallo Nehimiah Hasmat-Ali, Abaga Velli embodies the essence of street elegance, blending utilitarian and modular aesthetics with a strong emphasis on community, culture, and displacement. Adémidé Udoma’s experience in dressing celebrities, coupled with his fervent passion for storytelling, infuses each garment with profound meaning and purpose. Through their visionary designs, Abaga Velli empowers wearers to embrace their individuality and stand boldly within their unique narratives.
Paving the Path for the Future of Fashion
From vintage-inspired hats to sustainable swimwear and avant-garde designs, these small fashion brands are redefining the landscape of the industry. Propelled by a commitment to ethical values, sustainability, and inclusivity, they offer an array of distinctive and empowering fashion choices for today’s conscientious consumers. Embrace the future of fashion by supporting these trailblazing brands, and let your personal style serve as a statement of positivity and transformative change.