There's no better time than now to shop from independent fashion designers and small business owners. As the holidays are fast approaching, we're reminded of how important it is to root for workers who are going against the grain and curating slow fashion collections that encompass sustainability and craftsmanship. Indie fashion brands reduce the consumption and waste of materials, which in turn is better for the environment.
Fast fashion, on the other hand, is considered to be wasteful for the environment. These cheap and disposable garments don't take the environment or labor conditions into consideration. Instead, buying from independent fashion designers allows you to support the environment and individuals who are creating quality, one-of-a-kind garments with a longer lifespan.
While luxury brands like Gucci, Chanel, and Prada have become more ethical and sustainable fashion brands in recent years, they come with a hefty price tag and are still part of large, industrialized businesses. Additionally, these designers are part of New York City, Milan, and other fashion weeks, which critics believe is a waste of money and resources. By supporting an independent designer's small business, you're financially supporting entrepreneurship and people who were greatly impacted by the pandemic.
"Shop Small" is a phrase we've heard more often as the pandemic lockdown ravaged small businesses' ability to produce and manufacture garments while already working on tight budgets. However, supporting independent designers over fast fashion and publicly traded designer brands isn't just about sustainability or the pandemic. These designers create high-quality goods that become works of art hanging in your closet. The fashion industry can never have enough indie designers and influencers. These underdogs may not be the brands you see on the cover of Vogue, but their designs are just as valuable, if not more.
From womenswear to menswear, learn about our favorite emerging designers in NYC, Los Angeles, and beyond.
Sold at idPearl, Baruni apparel was created by independent fashion designer Fadwa Baruni in 2009. Some of our favorite styles are the jacquard sleeveless gown, sleeveless blocked dress, and metallic gown. Baruni was inspired by influencers in the structured world of engineering. Her designs display sophisticated, clean lines and sharp tailoring with an emphasis on ease and fit. As you can tell from her pieces, Baruni is big on dramatic sleeves and flowy silhouettes.
Spotlight on the flared mini dress: This button-down dress can be worn on its own or paired with matching pants. It's made of a two-tone super soft cotton fabric that gives off a denim effect. Style it with strappy sandals and dance the night away in a dress that moves with you.
Shop the flared mini dress, here.
Sold at idPearl, Carolina Wong's high-fashion jewelry designer pieces are big, bold, and beautiful. Wong values the art of uniting traditional crafts and creativity, weaving a sustainable lifestyle and heritage into wearable arts. All metal parts of her jewelry are made from up-cycled materials such as regenerated brass and gold. Sustainability and craftsmanship shine through Wong's masterful pieces.
Spotlight on the Wavy80 Long Necklace: Wear a low-neck t-shirt or knit shirt to accentuate this sculptural 14K gold plated necklace with white shell beads. You can wear it as a long necklace, choker, or a bangle: It transforms into any desired shape depending on your mood.
Shop the Wavy80 Long Necklace, here.
When you first glance at this independent fashion designer's social media platforms, you'll immediately be greeted by knits, knits, and more knits. Loupy Studio is designed, produced, and crocheted by Evvia Gonzales. She puts her heart and soul into every piece. When cleaning her pieces, Evvia suggests using mohair or wool detergent because the materials can be snagged and felted if they're not taken care of properly.
Since each design is handmade and one-of-a-kind, they tend to sell out quickly. Below is a knit that will be available soon and looking for a fashion-forward home.
Spotlight on the Granny Crop: Evvia will spontaneously drop new knitwear designs every once in a while or seasonally. This purple and red sweater with balloon arms is the only clothing piece “coming soon” on her site right now. Made with a brushed mohair blend and a luxury fluffy mohair stripe, this turtleneck features a super crop fit. Keep your eye on her Instagram page to find out when the granny crop officially drops!
Bergè leather bags and belts are 100% sourced and made in Italy by local craftsmen. They combine high-end metal hardware with luxurious leathers and strong design details to create bags and belts that will stand the test of time.
Spotlight on the Terra Zip Top Handbag: Carry your personal items in style with this snake-printed leather bag. It comes in black, grey, and green. Hold it in your hand or around your shoulder for a night out on the town. You can also adjust the strap if you want it to hang lower on your shoulder or as a body bag across your chest. Similar to a vintage purse from the early aughts, this handbag will pair well with a mini skirt and shiny accessories. Tiny purses are making a comeback. We saw them in the 2000s on celebrities like Hillary Duff, Paris Hilton, and Avril Lavigne. Now, we've been seeing them on the streets of NYC all over again.
If you want to support an indie designer, check out where they source their materials from and how they manufacture their goods. Learn about their origin stories and what kind of sourcing and labor goes into the creation of their pieces. When you shop small, remember that you are supporting someone's dream and getting a unique masterpiece in return. At idPearl, we are passionate about contributing to a more eco-friendly world where high fashion doesn't have to be compromised for craftsmanship and sustainability. Instead, we believe they can live in harmony with one another.
- By Bonnie Azoulay