International Women’s Day (IWD) is held annually on March 8 as a global day of recognition (and celebration) of the plight of women, stemming from the socialist feminist movements of the early 20th century. Not only does the JIF pay tribute to how far we have come in terms of equality, but it highlights the distance we still have to travel: iIn the UK, only one in three entrepreneurs is a woman and the statistics are the same for Australia. In the United States, it’s more like 1 in 5.
So in honor of IWD, we’ve rounded up some of our most coveted emerging fashion brands that are founded and led by women, spotlighting the women who are breaking the mold in business (and creating pieces in the process).
Take a look at the image above and you’d expect this label to launch as soon as Y2K cutouts, asymmetrical drapes and color combos are back in vogue: AKA in the last 12 month. But that’s exactly what Emily Watson’s eponymous brand is doing long before the trend cycle catches up. After graduating from fashion school in 2019, Watson launched with a focus on swimwear and resort wear that hasn’t changed since her debut and has been, naturally, ever since. become a cult favorite among those in the know, loved by everyone from Bella Hadid to Chinese Kitty. . Watson’s world dominance is here and now.
British-Indian-Nigerian designer Priya Ahluwalia launched her label in 2018, then focused solely on menswear, after graduating from fashion school. At the time, she told her teachers that Ahluwalia would be made only from dead animals and sustainably sourced materials. They told her she was crazy. Fast forward to now and Ahluwalia has won the LVMH Prize, been nominated for the BFC Foundation Award at the British Fashion Awards and become a finalist for the Woolmark Prize this year. Not only that, but the brand has collaborated with Ganni on a recycled collection and created films for Mulberry and Gucci. Although Ahluwalia’s designs have always been quite asexual and often seen on stylish women in London, they are now being expanded to include a specific range for women. Miniskirts, fortunately, included.
Glazed NYC not only makes tees and accessories to die for (bury me in this satin beret), like the Cicely scarf above, but the multidisciplinary studio centers black history in everything ‘he does. Founded by Banna Nega and Shelby Macklin, the duo’s latest project, Glazed Studio, will launch in April 2022, featuring a personalized prop customization experience, mods and vintage retouching. Paradise.
British-born brand Supriya Lele is a pandemic success story. During the lockdown, the label exploded in a way every designer dreams of: Rihanna, Olivia Rodrigo, Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid (who sent Lele a personal message on Instagram to profess her love for the brand), you call, they carried it. Continuing to go from strength to strength despite the pressures of the spotlight, Lele, who showcases her Indian heritage in her designs, launched her latest collection to great acclaim (and a former Spice Girl turned front-row fashion designer).
Founded in 2019 by Lili Chemla, LESET – a play on the French term for “The Set” (Chemla is half-French) – is a Los Angeles-based fashion brand creating the perfect sets that, as noted in the Instagram bio of brand, are “comfortable enough to wear at home and pleasant enough to wear.” Since its inception, LESET has built a solid reputation with celebrities, including Tracee Ellis Ross, Jennifer Lawrence, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber and the queen of high basics, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, of course.
London designer Ashley Williams’ eponymous label has been a city favorite since she presented her debut collection at London Fashion Week as part of the Fashion East range in 2013. Williams then presented her debut show critically acclaimed solo in 2015 with Alice Dellal and Pixie Geldof on the podium. Fast forward to now and her designs have been worn by everyone from Rihanna to Olivia Rodrigo and the fanfare over her cult animal print designs is at an all time high – @Depop my cat tee alerts and dog are activated.
Born in Melbourne, Australia in 2018 on designer Karla Laidlaw’s bedroom floor, it wasn’t until Covid hit – and the world immediately turned to loungewear for respite – that KARLALAIDLAW has exploded in IYKYK fashion circles. Suddenly, the brand’s velor track pants found themselves at the top of the It crowd’s wish list—think Princess of Chinatown—and since then KARLALAIDLAW has been stocked in some of the most designer online stores. in the world: Cafe Forgot, APOC Store and distal phalanx, to name a few. In fact, pre-order for the latest collection that just launched. Run, don’t walk.
You know those ridiculously cute fluffy bucket hats that Rihanna, Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa have all been wearing non-stop this winter (and last)? They’ve been handcrafted from start to finish in British designer Emma Brewin’s workshop by Brewin herself and her small team, who since 2017 have been on a mission to become faux fur heroes. Soon after, Brewin had almost his own to thank for reviving the fur bucket hat trend that is now embraced by top designers around the world. I love.
Founded in 2016 by world traveler Linda Hausser, JANTHEE Berlin was created with the aim of establishing a line of women’s swimwear that brought together Hausser’s love for the town of Mykonos, the sprawling beaches of Ibiza and the Mediterranean paradise of the Italian Riviera. Mission accomplished.
New Zealand label Pecchenino is so new it doesn’t even have a website yet. But in the short time since its inception, the brand has already gained a cult following in its homeland for creating polished basics, such as the satin corset above, picture-perfect mini skirts and the dream pants in all the colors under the rainbow. . Luckily for those who need an immediate addition to their wardrobe, Pecchenino is stocked at another New Zealand women-founded company, That Looks Shop, which ships internationally.