Busy women will gravitate to New York designer Alexa Chapman's sleek, modern works inspired by the geometric curves of women's bodies. Alexa Chapman is all about keeping style functional while retaining beauty and elegance, reminding us that women who have it all don't want their clothes to feel fragile or delicate — they want them to feel empowering, without sacrificing sensuality.
Listen, swimwear shopping gets a bad rap. The founder of Chromat, Becca McCharen-Tran, drew on her background in architecture to elevate swimwear shopping to a celebration of all things woman-shaped. Based in New York City, Chromat aims to democratize swimwear with designs focused toward creating durable, strong and flattering swimwear for women, femmes and non-binary people of all shapes.
Cut it out — Donna Mizani does. The NY-born, LA-based designer has been redesigning the clothes in her closet since she was a child, but it was a life drawing class in her teen years that married the beauty she saw in the female body to her love of fashion design. Mizani and her sister, who now helps her run her business, focus on quality above all else, and 100% of their work is crafted in the Los Angeles garment district. Mizani's work is characterized by her signature sexy, fierce cutout designs, and her commitment to the craft.
For more than 40 years, Elie Tahari has been crafting mens- and womenswear, and it shows. Recently, Elie Tahari's collections have expanded to include women's shoes, sunglasses and accessories, but he got his start in the New York City garment industry in the 1970s after emigrating from Israel. The years he spent scuffing his soles on New York City sidewalks are evident in his work — deep, elaborate and saturated with story.
Finding out For Love & Lemons is the brainchild of a pair of BFFs who ran a lemonade stand puts all the pieces into place. Their collections focus on femininity and female empowerment, as well as beauty, encouraging women to embrace their unique lifestyles. The company invests in employing women, helping buoy them up in a fashion world that can feel isolating, and ensuring their working conditions and wages are fair.
fcuk fashion. That was the '90s tagline that turned fashion advertising on its head, while turning heads on streets all over the U.K. before they even got a look at the clothing. The brand's name came from founder Stephen Marks' connections to French textiles, which he imbued with unconventional spins on everyday designs. French Connection's identity includes a cheeky nudge, wink and nod to the idea of cheerfully undermining the fashion industry's connections to things like plastic or blind adherence to societal norms.
South Korean-born designer Ji Oh got her start in 2005, when she moved to New York City. Recognition from big names in competitions helped her realize she was onto something; in 2014, she founded the eponymous JI OH with the intention of freeing women from boundaries. Her work has become synonymous with artfully androgynous uniform designs, creating seamless transitions between work and play in women's lives. Oh's superpower is her sense of proportion.
Confident women are beautiful women, and Markus Lupfer knows it. That's why the German-born, London-based designer crafts his lines with clever statement details, and signature knits that add glamour to a cozy vibe. The Duchess of Cambridge has been spotted wearing Markus Lupfer's designs, as have Beyoncé and Madonna.
OneTeaspoon is all about getting the dirt and grit of rock 'n' roll and real life under your fingernails — and on your jeans. The Australian brand kicked off in 2000, after founder Jamie Blakey found herself unenthusiastic about her searches through store racks. Stirring a packet of sweetener into her coffee one morning, the name came to her from the side of the packet. In Blakey's own words, she can't resist "ripping stuff up" — like packets of sweetener, denim and the fashion industry's expectations.
Paige Adams-Geller was one of the top fit models in the country in 2004 when she decided to give up wearing other designers' clothes in favor of her own, becoming the first female founder in U.S. premium denim. After her women's line launched to critical adoration, PAIGE worked to unfurl men's, petites and maternity pieces, too. She and her designers at PAIGE eat, sleep and breathe to craft denim you'll want to live in, with perfect pairs that can take you everywhere.
It's fitting that some of the world's trendiest sunglasses are handmade in Australia. In 2011, Samantha Stevenson and partner Edward Baker combined their design, fashion and retail skills into Pared Eyewear, which focuses on clean lines, smooth, appealing shapes and comfort, so you can wear them all day long. Slipping on a pair of Pareds is like putting on a sunny day with a bright blue sky.
The Peruvian-made, NYC-designed brand is led by its mission to promote ethical consumerism, offering fair wages and safe, healthy working conditions for all the workers in its single factory. Each piece is draped according to designers' individual taste, and designs begin with taking inspiration from architecture and cultural elements. From there, muslin is draped over mannequins. Port Zienna's designers leave pattern-making for last, to allow the fabrics to speak to them.
RAEN's signature handmade sunglasses are designed in California under the direction and inspiration of its two founder brothers, Jeremy and Justin Heit, and co-founder Jordan Percy. All three are surfers in possession of a good eye for design. The lack of artful eyewear on the market led them to use those eyes to help yours see better on bright, blue sky days, so your style doesn't skip a beat.
Shwood began with some woodworking tools and the dream of a modern product that embodies the uniqueness of nature. In 2009, the limb of a Madrone tree and a rusty cabinet hinge became the first pair of Shwood glasses. Production has evolved considerably since that first foray into frame-making, and it continues to evolve today. Makers have kept the wood standbys, and have incorporated stabilized seashell and beautifully oxidized metals.
Solid & Striped cherishes memories of the great American holiday — sunlit photos of sandy beaches, picnic spreads and loved ones. The brand offers swimwear for both men and women, and uses fine fabrics from the world over. Taylor Swift has worn Solid & Striped at her famous Fourth of July parties — does that capture the aesthetic?
Everything old is new again at Stoned Immaculate. The brand's small batches of handcrafted, '70s-inspired pieces recall California's places of the mind and spirit — the Grateful Dead playing live in the park, long hair blowing in the wind against a backdrop of huge palm fronds. Like unforgettable melodies, Stoned Immaculate's unique, entrancing works speak for moments that will live on.
Clean-cut essentials and the cornerstones of basic dressing are what TOME does best. Founders Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin met while studying fashion at the University of Technology Sydney. In 2011, the pair joined their wide-ranging industry experiences to form TOME in New York City, seeking to craft ethically-produced women's essentials elevated beyond the level of a wardrobe basic.
Violeta Tentomas' stories are etched onto her soul, taking her from the meatpacking district of New York City to the sunny, sandy beaches of Sydney to form West 14th. There she designs ultra-luxe, supple and just plain bad ass leatherwear with leathers sourced strictly as a byproduct of the food industry. From biker jackets that give you that urban cool vibe to chic pleated leather skirts, W14th's styles will become your favorite way to stay warm.
Winston White yearns for freedom, and finds day-to-day rebellion in meeting challenges with a well-seasoned laugh. The brand was formed in 2013, and has become known for its sophisticated colors, quality fabrics and flattering, fun silhouettes. A mother, a daughter and a best friend — Chris, Brittany and Brandi — take inspiration from their relationships to each other and from life on the water, in their design studio by a lake in Washington.
You'll appreciate 49Winters outerwear all winter long, especially if you're quartered in New York City, like we are. Gorgeous, simplistic, tone-on-tone jackets lend a minimalist look to your winter attire, while metallics and beautiful cuts, as well as rich detailing, add depth. Your 49Winters coat or jacket has three elements made from sustainable and high quality materials: an outer shell, an inner down layer, and optional bells and whistles, letting you put a different spin on it every day.