Here’s A Feel-Good List Of Indie Fashion Shops To Consider

Back in the early days of R29 (we’re talking 2005/2006), there was a really exciting surge of independent designers and boutiques sprouting up in big and small cities alike. Katayone Adeli, Seize Sur Vingt, Opening Ceremony, Steven Alan, and Brooklyn Circus are just a few of the cult boutiques that came to define a new era of shopping and the community created as a result of those unique and personalized worlds. Fifteen years later, many of them have come and gone, but they continue to inspire a big chunk of how we still see shopping and discovery at R29 today. 

Whether they are open and thriving for two years or 20, an independently owned-and-run shop can literally function as the beating heart of your neighborhood. Which is why it’s one of the many things at stake as countries around the world issue quarantines, close off borders, and shut down businesses in light of COVID-19. Practicing social distancing and self-imposed isolation is the only way to prevent the virus from spreading further, dangerously affecting people at risk of serious hospitalization and death. At the same time, it’s also critical we consider how we can support our local businesses like restaurants, bars, and boutiques so they, too, aren’t a casualty of this world-wide pandemic. 

You’ve probably read this in countless news feeds, but gift cards for future meals and rounds of drinks at your favorite restaurant or watering hole can go a long way to provide a cushion to all your locals being affected. And, the same goes for your go-to designer or shop, too. Many of these companies are run by women we admire and depend on, not just for providing (often) locally made wares that keep our closets up to speed, but for setting an example of how to continue to do retail right — by creating a welcoming world we want to discover beautiful, surprising things in, and also, more deeply understand who we are and what we love in the process. Of course, since many of us are now restricted to screens at home, we suggest scheduling a coffee break to shop some of our favorites online. You’ll not only be supporting an independent woman-run business, but we guarantee you’ll very likely discover something that could make the next few weeks a little bit easier (for the record, the TK is currently in my shopping cart as we speak).

Everyone has their own way of dealing with and moving through stress, and it’s really okay to deal with the immense anxiety and uncertainty of what’s happening right now with some shopping — especially given the fact that spending money with small businesses right now has the impact to change lives. It is very simply about paying it forward —  helping people who need it, no matter where they are or what they do. We are all doing our part to make sure that life after Covid-19 — and there will be life after Covid-19 — offers hope for big AND small business owners alike. And if it means finally hitting “add to cart” on a certain plaid trench you’ve been eyeing all winter, well, we’d consider that a win for everyone.

COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.

Rachel Comey

If you're on the lookout for clothes that are made for women, by a woman, look no further than Rachel Comey. In the 18 years since she launched her namesake label, she has consistently kick-started trends and helped to revolutionize how an independent business can have an immense industry-wide impact. From the jean (called the Legion) that continues to inspire a thousand copycats to perfectly cut dresses and signature jumpsuits, Rachel Comey is the place to invest if you're looking for a piece you'll want to wear for seasons and years to come. Better still, when you shop with Comey, you are inadvertently supporting local factories and suppliers, which, in our book, is always a plus. 

Rachel Comey Barrie Jumpsuit, $450, available at Rachel Comey.

Rachel Comey Hairpin Dress, $, available at Rachel Comey

Bird Brooklyn

Bird has been a staple of Brooklyn's art and fashion scene since it first opened its doors to the Park Slope community in 1999. Since then, the multi-brand concept shop has expanded significantly, with four stores scattered throughout Brooklyn and one in Los Angeles. The founder Jen Mankins got her start at Barneys as an assistant buyer and has always followed in her former employer's footsteps with Bird: providing creative designers with a platform to flourish and succeed.

Toteme Flair Jeans, $, available at Bird

No. 6

No. 6 opened shop in Manhattan's Little Italy neighborhood in 2005 and has since served as a go-to destination amongst locals for everything from classic Swedish-style clogs (which the brand is known for) to indie designer finds from PriscaVERA and Rejina Pyo.

No. 6 Rosalia Clog On Wedge, $, available at No. 6

Goose Barnacle

This Brooklyn Heights hidden gem has it all: a men's clothing shop (not stopping us from shopping those virtual racks!), a community center, an art gallery, and a "members" club in the back where the proprietor serves Spanish wine and beer, an homage to his family's roots. Basically, Goose Barnacle is everything you love about Brooklyn, all in one place.

Goose Barnacle GB Tapered Italian Raw Denim, $, available at Goose Barnacle

The Break

Hannah Richtman, founder of Greenpoint's The Break in Brooklyn, has created more than a store — it's a community. Walking into her Norman Avenue store, you'll be welcomed with a glass of rosé, a smiling salesperson, and the oh-so-comforting scent of the brand's very own candles — oh, and of course, a whole slew of expertly curated vintage that won't empty out your bank account. The Break might not be open at the moment, but its online site most assuredly is, and it doesn't disappoint.

Vintage Vintage Black Leather Button Down Jacket, $, available at The Break

Lisa Says Gah

Just because this San Francisco-based cult favorite e-shop and showroom doesn't have a brick-and-mortar location doesn't mean it isn't in need of our support right now. Rather, Lisa Says Gah, a female-led and female-focused business, needs it more than ever if it's going to continue supporting small brands like Ganni, Paloma Wool, and Alterita Jewelry — all made by women across the globe.

Paloma Wool Callisto Wedge Boot - Chartreuse, $, available at Lisa Says Gah


This jewelry brand is such a staple among Brooklynites, they actually publish their own neighborhood guides (that is, when they're not crazy busy hand-making sustainable pieces out of their Brooklyn Navy Yard studio). The company comes from humble beginnings, founded by Rony Vardi in what she describes as a "cheap, busted storefront on a not-so-pretty street in Williamsburg." Now, Catbird is known and loved among its cult-like following for its covetable selection of minimalist designs.

Emily Levine Milan Daisy Chain Necklace, $, available at Catbird

Salter House

Salter House is more than just the home of Brooklyn Heights' best oat latte. Located on the corner of Henry St. and Atlantic Ave., this cafe-slash-home-goods-apothecary is a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to give their WFH space some TLC.

Salter House Lavender Salter House Linen Robe, $, available at Salter House

Apiece Apart

As you Marie Condo your wardrobe over the next two weeks, look no further than Apiece Apart for the elevated basics your wardrobe really needs. Sailor jeans, linen jumpsuits, and flouncy throw-on-and-go dresses — all of which come in plus-sizes — are right at your fingertips when shopping with Apiece Apart.

Apiece Apart Chabrol Jumpsuit, $, available at Apiece Apart


Rodebjer is the brainchild of Carin Rodebjer, a Swedish ex-pat who moved from Stockholm to New York City to study fashion. At its core, the brand is about making women feel special and confident in what they wear, a task the designer has succeeded in by creating easy-to-wear and luxurious pieces like flowing caftans and slouchy suits.

Rodebjer Sandler Quilted Puffer Jacket, $, available at Moda Operandi


Anthom, a contemporary womenswear company, was started in early 2013 in Washington D.C. as a tiny self-funded website for independent designers. Since then, Anthom has made its way to Soho, New York where it operates a sizable retail location and online store. To shop Anthom's selection of impossibly sleek staples means to support a company that values its employees and celebrates inclusivity and diversity — a real win all around.

ANTHOM Theresa Pullover, $, available at Anthom

Erica Weiner Jewelry

When Erica Weiner recruited her friend Lindsay Salmon to her entrepreneurial endeavor, their plan was to convert a shared passion for antique jewelry into a Brooklyn-based business. That plan worked, and while New York is ingrained in Erica Weiner Jewelry's DNA, the all-female company just recently announced its move to Portland earlier this year. Expect to find one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, jeweled curiosities, and meaningful talismans to add to your accessories collection.

Erica Weiner Victorian Silver Floral Swag Locket, $, available at Erica Weiner

Edge of Ember

This trying moment of uncertainty is one that's shared across the globe. While our hearts and minds are very much invested in supporting our local communities, we're also thinking about our favorite women-led companies from abroad, like Edge of Ember. The charming jewelry brand, launched in 2014, has evolved into an all-female operation based out of a busy little London studio. We love the company's ethical and sustainable approach to everything from the design process to packaging, but we love the good luck that comes with their numerical and zodiac collections even more.

Edge of Ember Lucky Number 3 Necklace, $, available at Edge of Ember


Also operating out of another part of the world is Paris-based footwear company Nomasei. The brand was founded by Paule Tenaillon and Marine Braquet, who met while working at Chloé. In addition to mastering the je-ne-sais-quoi quality that makes French fashion so damn good, the duo works exclusively with suppliers and factories that are certified in sustainable sourcing and practices. Considering the fact that Nomasei aims to be carbon neutral within the next six months, this is one purchase that'll definitely look as good as it feels.

Plus, as if you even needed another reason to shop this brand, Nomasei is proud to work with a family-owned factory in Montopoli, Tuscany that has started to use its resources to produce face masks for Italians in need. So by helping one another, we really can help the world — all while wearing a cute new pair of kicks.

Nomasei Hotel de la Plage Mule, $, available at Nomasei

Cara Cara

We're always excited about a female founder story, and Cara Cara's got a good one. The online brand is the work of one 29-year-old Rachel Gannon who simply wanted to bless us all with the best of indie brands at a 20% to 60% discount. In addition to offering great prices on Baggu, Samantha Pleet, Charlotte Stone and more, the site features whimsical imagery and vibrant colors for a truly delightful shopping experience.

Samantha Pleet Eclipse Bag, $, available at Cara Cara


For ethical shopping made easy, look no further than Antidote. The curated digital destination of eco-friendly everything was founded by French-born Sophie Zembra, a notable force in the sustainable shopping space.

Mother of Pearl Alex Ruffle Top, $, available at Antidote+


Founded in just 2019, Giovanna is a new New York-based lifestyle brand inspired by the personal wardrobe of founder Leonora Giovanna Arslani's great aunt. Her great aunt's travels around the globe are re-imagined in Leonora's collections, which include handmade raffia mules from Morocco and statement jewelry influenced by Japanese design.

Giovanna Venus Raffia Mule Peacock, $, available at Giovanna

Tai Jewelry

By making a purchase from Tai Jewelry, you're not just supporting a small brand — you're contributing to the company's efforts to help communities in need as 20% of their online sales this March will be donated to What began as a Santa Monica flea market stand has since turned into a worldwide business that is proud to employ and support some of the finest artisans in Thailand.

Tai Jewelry Birthstone Ring, $, available at Tai Jewelry

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Here’s A Feel-Good List Of Indie Fashion Shops To Consider Here’s A Feel-Good List Of Indie Fashion Shops To Consider Reviewed by streakoggi on March 18, 2020 Rating: 5
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