I Love Finding Brands No One Else Knows About—These Are My New Favourites

Isabel Mundigo-Moore
·9-min read

A year with as fresh a start as this one calls for new names to add to your fashion radar. Allow me! As we embark on a new year with the hope of not only getting dressed again, but getting really dressed up, there is nothing better than adding a meaningful wardrobe addition to your collection. And when I say meaningful, I mean an independent brand or designer.

2020 made one thing clear for me: support small designers as much as possible. This is something I have always felt and could wax poetic about forever, but the impact of shopping small (but mighty) now feels far greater in light of the events of the last year. Not only is it a more sustainable way to shop, but to me there is nothing better than wearing something when you know who made your clothes and how they were made. Not to sound overly romantic but this year, when so much human connection feels lacking, receiving a handmade shirt with a lovely note from the person who made it feels like... magic. And recently, I'm finding other people feel this way too and are seeking deeper connections to the clothes they wear.

So with that in mind, why not start 2021 by ushering in some brands and designers that I have found for you? After hunting through the best-kept-secrets spots of the internet, talking to fashion friends and looking across some of the best stocked independent e-retailers, I have collected my favourites. Let us make the introductions.

From upcycled smocked tops, to a new French minimalist handbag brand, and made-to-order knits, these are the names I highly recommend you pay attention to. Some of these brands have been around for a while and are simply new to me, while others have only recently launched. With a mix of clothes, bags, shoes, and jewellery, some couture-level luxury and others small makers... all of them are independently run and doing making wonderful things. So grab a pen (you will be taking notes) and keep scrolling to get familiar with some new fashion faces.

FANE

Why I love it.

Laurie-Anne Braun and Margot Baudequin came together to create Fane after working in the fashion industry for many years, including in trend forecasting and for Maryam Nassir Zadeh. Together they've created a gorgeous, sustainably-made handbag collection that redefines a minimalist aesthetic. In love? Yes, I very much am.

Where you can buy it.

The brand launched their own e-shop site earlier this year.

My Recommendation

Fane Bra Bag (£440)

MATILDA LITTLE

Why I love it.

What I love about Matilda Little's jewellery is that is almost looks like it grows in the forest in the most magical way. Completely organic in aesthetics, each piece resembles a small statue and is made in London.

Where you can buy it.

Matilda Little's pieces range from £120-200 and are available directly from her website.

My Recommendation

Matilda Little Lady Ring (£120)

DEIMA KNITS

Why I love it.

This would not be an exhaustive list without a Scandi-approved contribution. As a knitwear-fanatic (can one ever have enough cosy jumpers?), I fell for Deima's pale confections instantly.

Where you can buy it.

Their pieces are mostly made-to-order so as to prevent waste, but they have a small selection for ready-to-ship pieces on their website too.

My Recommendation

Deima Knitwear Knit Hoodie (£119)

RENAISSANCE RENAISSANCE

Why I love it.

In 2016, Beirut-based Cynthia Merhej founded Renaissance Renaissance as a contemporary ode to her female couture heritage. With this lineage, the expertly-constructed pieces play with volume and shape in a way that feels beautiful and new.

Where you can buy it.

Lucky for us, Net-a-Porter just became an exclusive stockist and carries their gorgeous pieces on site.

My Recommendation

Renaissance Renaissance Maha Tie-Detailed Cotton-Twill Jacket (£875)

ERBA THE LABEL

Why I love it.

Not only does the dress I have from Amalia Grierson's brand, Erba the Label, make me feel like I'm in an Eric Rohmer film, but it fits like it was made for me (and came with a matching hair band made from fabric scraps). This is probably because everything in the collection is hand made in Sydney, Australia, ensuring it is meant to last and is completely timeless.

Where you can buy it.

Erba the Label is available to buy online.

My Recommendation

Erba the Label Midi Dress (£33)

AUPRÈS

Why I love it.

As a small footwear brand producing classic silhouettes out of Portugal since late 2018, auprès is only getting better and better. They recently made serious efforts to not only produce slow fashion, but make their leather sourcing entirely sustainable.

Where you can buy it.

All of their pieces are available on their e-shop.

My Recommendation

auprès Chloé Bordeaux (£225)

AUNÉ

Why I love it.

Auné's pieces hug the body in all the gorgeous places, and their prints and shapes are unlike anything I've seen. Already beloved by Maison Cléo's Marie Dewet, their lovingly made collections are not to be missed.

Where you can buy it.

Auné sells their pieces alongside other independent brands and a stunning selection of vintage pieces (like Vivienne Westwood and Issey Miyake) on their e-shop.

My Recommendation

Auné Trompe L'oeil Print Mesh T-shirt (£175)

JORDAN DALAH

Why I love it.

Jordan Dalah's pieces are confections, no—slices of heaven! As a recent Central Saint Martin's graduate, the pieces Dalah crafts are breath-taking, cloud-like shapes—including actually pillow-shaped earrings—that stand strong on their own.

Where you can buy it.

Dalah's pieces are stocked by the gorgeous retailer, Gentlewench.

My Recommendation

Jordan Dalah Studio Draped Maria Clara Top (£460)

MONDO MONDO

Why I love it.

Every piece from Natasha Ghosn's Mondo Mondo world is perfectly imperfect. Inspired by Mexican craft and metalwork, the pieces have a vintage aesthetic that will get you noticed.

Where you can buy it.

You can buy pieces directly from their site or, more recently, Browns Fashion became London-based stockists.

My Recommendation

Mondo Mondo Gold-Plated Oyster Pendant Earrings (£275)

KAI COLLECTIVE

Why I love it.

Founded in 2016 by Fisayo Longe, Kai Collective is a London-based clothing brand that gracefully marries bold colours and stunning silhouettes. Longe's amazing brand aims are to create pieces "for multi-dimensional women who embrace their femininity in all it’s various forms."

Where to buy it.

All of her pieces are available on her website.

My Recommendation

Kai Collective Zanaya Midi Dress (£135)

ISLA RISA

Why I love it.

As someone who can't get enough of quirky little handbags, I instantly feel for these woven satin beauties. Handmade in London by Emma Garner, the Isla Risa 'Hive' bags come in array of hues, for any mood or outfit.

Where you can buy it.

They come in mini, small and large and range from £30-105, all available on Emma's online shop.

My Recommendation

Isla Risa Small Hive (£85)

SMITH BOWEN

Why I love it.

Who knew biodegradable lingerie could be so stunningly lovely? Not me. Not until I saw Lucia Zolea post about Smith Bowen—thank you internet! Based in Vancouver, Canada, each piece is lovingly made by hand and look (and feel) like a dream.

Where you can buy it.

Everything is made to order by founder Renée, so place your order on her site a few weeks ahead.

My Recommendation

Smith Bowen Dreamer Bra (£95)

UANTS

Why I love it.

The moment I saw the checkerboard smocking, crafted from deadstock fabric, I knew the top (which I subsequently bought and love) was a winner. Ticking a few trend boxes, it also felt instantly like a classic. Stay tuned for Sam's drops, they go quick!

Where you can buy it.

Like many small brands, I came across this brand on via small London-based boutique, inNEOSS, who sells the Uants pieces both in store and online.

My Recommendation

Uants Ruffle Longsleeved Tee (£110)

SUPER YAYA

Why I love it.

Rym Beydoun, founder of Super YAYA, is fourth generation Lebanese from Ivory Coast. Drawing on traditional fabrics with a modern spin, each piece tells a beautiful story with a playful nod through ruching and asymmetric shapes. Like the trousers, below, which I absolutely adore.

Where you can buy it.

In the UK, Super YAYA is stocked by Gentlewench and Koibird, but you can also shop the pieces from one of my favourite Toronto-based boutiques, 100 % Silk Shop.

Super YAYA Pantalon Mariage Trousers (£653)

DENIZERI SWIM

Why I love it.

I came across Denizeri Swim after seeing they had done a collaboration with one of my favourite artists, Cassi Namoda. I adore the simplicity of their pieces and their ethos which is that the pieces are designed for women "united in spirit more than body-type and attitude more than age." As I sit here dreaming of a warm holiday, I'm picturing myself in one of these.

Where you can buy it.

All pieces, separates and two-pieces, are available on their online shop.

My Recommendation

Denizeri Swim Namoda Bikini Top (£57)

ALOHAS

Why I love it.

Made in Spain, on-demand, Alohas have managed to walk the line between perfectly on-trend (hello, cow print!) shoes and boots that you'll want to keep them forever. I have a pair of their strappy sandals and they are very comfortable, which is a major win for me too.

Where you can buy them.

You can place an order or look at their ready-to-ship section on their website.

My Recommendation

Alohas South Bicolour Boots (£206)

BONNIE POWELL

Why I love it.

I am always on the lookout for minimalist jewellery (and I feel like a lot of other people are too?), at an affordable price point, in interesting shapes. Bonnie Powell, based in Glasgow, beautifully ticks these boxes with her recycled sterling silver pieces.

Where to buy it.

All of her pieces, priced between £90-160, are available on her website.

My Recommendation

Bonnie Powell Earring No. 5 (£159)

If you find any pieces you love, or any small brands you want to show some love, always DM me!

Next up, Like It or Not, Clogs Are Back, and They're Coming to Get You.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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