Ask for a roll call of ‘It’ brands fashion insiders are currently obsessed with and we could all recite at least a dozen names. Self Portrait, Shrimps, Finds, Mansur Gavriel, Sacai, Malone Souliers, etc… But what about the less identifiable items they’re wearing? Where are they from?
I constantly find myself style-stalking cool girls on social media, and it’s not the flashy, trend-led designs that get me clicking, but the subtle pieces which work to elevate an overall look. It could be anything from a fabulous suede pencil skirt, a beautifully-cut sleeveless jacket or LBD with a point of difference. These somewhat anonymous style heroes form the backbone of any great wardrobe, and are relatively easy to track down once you know where to look. Here are five moderately-priced labels that fash pack constantly turn to….
USP: This New York label has long been a favourite of mine and regularly makes an appearance in the Weekly Wish Lists. Lately, however, I’ve been struggling to find SEA designs that are still have decent stock levels, because the fash pack are snapping up everything as soon as it hits stores. It must be down to the fact Monica Paolini and Sean Monahan approach each season’s hottest trends from a less obvious angle, allowing you to wear your purchases for years to come.
Iris & Ink
USP: Since its launch in 2012 Iris & Ink has become a staple in every fashion insider’s wardrobe. Largely made up of easy-to-style separates, it’s great for the office and (for the most part) is completely transseasonal. So if your wardrobe is missing out on some of the classics (a simple white shirt, cashmere sweater, leather leggings, silk blouse etc) head over to The Outnet immediately!
Best place to shop: Sold exclusively at The Outnet.
& Other Stories
USP: Whenever I find myself coveting an item of clothing worn by another London-based fashion blogger it’s usually from & Other Stories. The sister brand to H&M and Cos manages to strike the perfect balance between “lust-worthy trend item” and “classic wardrobe staple” – so their designs are neither fast-fashion copies or anonymous basics. It’s the first store I visit when shopping on Regent Street, and I bet you’d say the exact same thing. Am I right?
Best place to shop: Stories.com which now ships to the US as well as Europe.
USP: Russian label Vilshenko is a favourite amongst the A-list style set (Florence Welch and Alexa Chung are fans), but it still comes with enough insider clout to score you major fashion points. With only a handful of stockists worldwide pieces are in high demand, so you fall for something buy it asap. These boho-infused designs don’t hang around for long! Read my 2013 interview with Olga Vilshenko HERE.
USP: J.Crew’s sister brand arrived on Net-A-Porter at the beginning of the year, making it much easier to shop from if you live in Europe. Offering lower price-points and a more casual aesthetic than its big sister, Madewell perfectly captures that “cool girl in Downtown New York” vibe. The denim selection is not to be missed, and if you love a good Breton tee it’s definitely the brand for you.
Are any key labels missing from this list? Leave a comment below if you think I’ve overlooked another smart shopping brand…