As you probably know, female isn't a genre, whether it be music, art, or fashion. There are female fashion designers creating dreamy, ultra-feminine dresses in every shade of pink — as well as women-owned brands delivering cutting-edge sportswear and sleek, powerful work bags. However, as the saying goes, you vote with your dollar; and one of the easiest ways to celebrate International Women's Day is by shopping women-owned fashion brands, big and small. So keep scrolling, because 11 fashion brands — spanning clothing, bags, accessories, and more — owned by women are below.
Dôen is more than just a brand making the femme, bohemian dresses spotted on celebrities. It's a Los Angeles-based collective of female creatives. "In early motherhood, we felt a paradigm shift in our understanding and relationship to fashion and the concept of beauty. We saw a glaring gap in the market of clothing made for women by women that felt feminine, easy and natural," Dôen's Margaret Kleveland, who founded Dôen in 2015 with her sister Katherine, said in a press email.
Beyond the collective, Dôen works with women-owned and women-run factories to produce its dreamy pieces. "We were definitely on a mission and continue with that same determination today," Kleveland noted. "We strive to create a community of women, through social media, our journal, etc. who support each other and build one another up — a truly inclusive, supportive environment to empower women."
You may have seen Nylora's sleek athleisure at Bandier, or browsing Neiman Marcus. The elevated workout activewear company was founded by Carolyn Jang, who serves as the creative designer of the brand. And, in honor of International Women's Day, Nylora will be donating 50 percent of March 8's online sales to the nonprofit Vital Voices; an organization that promotes and invests in female leaders.
Merlette creates the kind of easy, elevated clothes you want to live in: flowing cotton staples you could wear on your next island getaway or while lounging around the house. Better yet, the brand's donating 50 percent of its online sales from March 8 to the gender equality campaign HeForShe.
"Women leaders are incredibly important for the industry. I would not have started my own brand had I not had other positive examples and strong female mentors," Marina Cortbawi, Founder of Merlette, explains to The Zoe Report over email. "Owning and leading a brand has allowed me to be fully creatively self-expressed and there is nothing more empowering than that.”
With a Marie Antoinette-meets-the Hadid sisters aesthetic, Selkie was one to watch right out the gate. Founded and own by former Wildfox co-founder Kimberley Gordon, the brand offers super-soft loungewear, graphic T-shirts, and its signature wrap dresses in sizes XS through XXXL — incorporating on-trend pastels with richer, muted shades.
CREAGH's creative director and CEO Sarah Creagh designed bags at Coach, Nine West, and Banana Republic before starting up her own brand. "Unlike other industries, there was never a lack of female leadership in my working environments. I was always surrounded by intelligent, powerful women who I looked up to as role models both personally and professionally," Creagh tells TZR via email, adding that her eight years of industry experience served as her foundation to build upon.
A relative newcomer to the scene, CREAGH's clean, vintage-inspired bags may instantly catch your eye — the designer's experience is apparent from the thoughtful and utilitarian designs.
The fashion community can't get enough of the mother-daughter duo behind MaisonCléo. The small French clothing brand will put out a new dress on its limited, exclusive e-shop — and it'll be spotlighted by Vogue almost instantaneously. If you're lucky enough to grab one of the brand's pieces when it opens each week (12:30 p.m. ET), know it was handmade by the seamstress Cléo herself.
7. AMO Denim
"Being a women-owned and led brand is the best! I feel so lucky to be a part of such a strong all-female team," Kelly Urban, Co-Founder of AMO, tells The Zoe Report, noting that while the team didn't purposefully hire exclusively women, "it kind of just worked out that way!"
The makers of the structured and tailored denim styles you may've spotted shopping Anthropologie, AMO also runs its own site, which will be donating 20 percent of sales from International Women's Day to The Women's March. Any shoppers that order that day will also receive a limited-edition Babes Unite tote with their purchase.
Established by CEO and Creative Director Carly Cushnie in 2008, CUSHNIE has blossomed in its short time as a brand. With over 300,000 Instagram followers and styles spotted on Rihanna, Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, and so many more celebrities, the luxury ready-to-wear and accessories brand makes the trends everyone will be following in seasons to come.
9. Dazey LA
The apparel and accessories boutique Dazey LA describes itself as "clothing for people who care", and its founder, Dani Nagel, cares a lot. "Dazey aims to empower women by using our apparel and platform to spark these important conversations," Nagel tells TZR over email. "We do that by printing 'conversation starters' directly onto our clothing not only to raise that awareness, but also to remind the wearer that they are strong and far from alone," she adds.
10. ERTH jewelry
Owner, designer, and model Nicole Trunfio's jewelry line is as chic as you'd expect it to be. Tunfio has a way with classic elements like gold and pearls, and creates collections that are contemporary (but will never go out of style).
To celebrate International Women's Day, the brand released the 12 Women campaign, a series of fine jewelry that supports UNICEF. The brand worked with other incredible female creatives on the collection, like Jessica Alba, Anine Bing, Outdoor Voices' CEO Tyler Haney and more.
11. Of a Kind
Looking for anything else your wardrobe may be missing? Check out the woman-owned boutique Of a Kind.
"Running Of a Kind and writing Work Wife has made us think a lot about how women run businesses," Erica Cerulo, co-founder of Of a Kind and co-author of Work Wife, tells The Zoe Report over email. "And we hope that the vulnerability, compassion, and emotional transparency that so many women bring to leadership will reshape office culture, which has been dominated by a very male perspective for way, way too long."