Women are continuing to add interest to fashion at a time when consumers are craving to get beyond the commonplace.
In honor of Women’s History Month, WWD is celebrating women-owned innovative fashion brands making names for themselves in the space.
From Areeayl Goodwin’s Beads by Aree, which makes jewelry for the whimsical bohemian that lives inside each of us, to Pattaraphan, which fuses edginess and androgyny to design strong pieces for a discerning customer, here are six women-owned fashion brands to watch.
Brand name: Michel Men
Year founded: 2017
Design aesthetic: The New Americana: modern, minimalist approach to traditional American men’s wear.
Customer: Bold and stylish men who live by a uniform.
Whitney Michel is a first-generation Haitian American born in Brooklyn, N.Y., who designs luxurious men’s accessories such as bandanas, socks and neckwear for the everyday man. Michel has just dropped a collaboration with The Tie Bar curated by Jim Moore of GQ magazine, who is Michel’s mentor.
Brand name: Sabrina Ol
Year founded: 2020
Design aesthetic: Concept-oriented streetwear.
Customer: Women/men/nonbinary 25- to 35-year-old customer.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Sabrina Olivera is a Brooklyn-based fashion designer. Throughout Olivera’s life she has been fascinated by the potential that clothing, fabrics and textures have to tell stories that can impact society in positive ways. Olivera’s clothing is vibrant and soft while still being edgy — there is a piece everyone can enjoy.
Brand name: Beads Byaree
Year founded: 2011
Design aesthetic: Nostalgic and whimsical.
Customer: Open-hearted, free-spirited yet grounded.
Beads Byaree is an innovative hand-crafted jewelry line with all pieces created out of designer Areeayl Goodwin’s imagination. Beads Byaree’s sculptural jewelry is for all the kindred spirits out there who love beads, shapes and conceptual jewelry. Goodwin was born and raised in Philadelphia, graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a BFA in acting and now resides in Brooklyn.
Brand: House of Aama
Year founded: 2015
Design aesthetic: Timeless garments with nostalgic references informed by the Black experience.
Customer: Women and men interested in modern but timeless garments infused with storytelling and cultural references.
Manufactured 100 percent in Los Angeles, House of Aama is not just another clothing business — it’s the spiritual expression of mother-and-daughter design duo Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka in material form. House of Aama explores the folkways of the Black experience by designing timeless garments with nostalgic references informed by historical research, archival analysis and storytelling.
Brand name: Pattaraphan
Year founded: 2018
Design aesthetic: Sculptural minimalism with a subtle punk sensibility and a touch of Thai heritage.
Customer: Although the jewelry is edgy, the androgynous designs are made to be versatile for dressing up and everyday wear. Customers, according to the brand, are people who appreciate uniqueness, quality, craftsmanship and storied collections of jewelry.
Pattaraphan Salirathavibhaga, the designer behind the brand, was born and raised in Bangkok. Salirathavibhaga graduated from Pratt Institute in New York City with highest honors and an outstanding student award in 2017. After five years of living in New York City, she now resides in Bangkok creating jewelry as unique, meaningful objects, as well as experimenting with new ideas. The brand has been worn by “It” girls like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid.
Brand name: Nicole Benefield Portfolio
Year founded: 2020
Design aesthetic: Casually sophisticated.
Customer: Individuals driven by emotion over trend, and, according to the brand, those who appreciate form and wearability.
Nicole Benefield Portfolio makes wearable art that melds the natural beauty of woodgrain paired with graphic and subtle blocking. Styles are developed on a technology-based circular platform. All materials are made of natural fibers and each is 95 percent biodegradable. Like art, style is a form of self-expression. Taking classic styles and modifying the proportion, the line is made of pared-down styles that are used as canvas to create clothing as art, casually influencing self-expression.