9 Indie Designers On My Shopping List For May

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As TZR's Senior Fashion Editor, I spend a lot of time thinking, writing, and talking about fashion. Not only is it my nine-to-five, but shop talk often carries over into cocktail hour, work dinners, and even on the weekends when I (both solicited and not-so) offer my friends advice on what to buy and exactly how to style it. I find a thrill in discovering new brands yes, but I also love the idea that my personal triumphs can also help others on the hunt for the next big thing. So, based on my own recent purchases (or potential future ones), I'm here to share some of the cool emerging designers that are worthy of putting a few of that monthly shopping budget towards.

Part of why I'm drawn to these up-and-coming designers, is the fact that many of them think a bit outside of the lines. They follow trends, but in ways that feel distinctive or dare I say it, refreshing. I've noted before that I'm undeniably a jeans-and-sneakers dresser by default, but by strategically picking up a forward-thinking piece or two, I'm always pleasantly satisfied by how easily I can take my outfit from feeling coffee run casual to something along the lines of laid-back-chic. Below, I'm outlining a few of my most recent outfits featuring those buzzy indie designers, and breaking down exactly how to encorporate them into your look too.

As I'm easing my way into summer dressing, one brand I've been notably excited to try out is Sies Marjan, the maker of this sunset-reminiscent ombré top. Designer Sander Lak has a penchant for color play, making his brand an ideal entry point for those looking to ease into the season's bold hues. I styled the top with another favorite contemporary brand, Wandler whose cool bags look polished in a notably un-stuffy way. And, added bonus, Wandler is launching shoes too! And though my turquoise necklace is a childhood vacation purchase, Fry Powers is a fun NYC-based jewelry brand with lots of cool designs that feature similar stones.

Veda has been a favorite of mine for the last few years, but most associate the brand with it's classic leather jackets. My secret: they have amazing dresses, tops, and even denim too. This springy slip dress is my go-to for outdoor weddings and warm nights. I'm also eyeing any number of dreamy dresses from Copenhagen-based brand Cecile Bahnsen which is poised to have a breakout moment. I styled the sleek style with shoes from Staud, another brand you might have heard of before, but recently expanded beyond just clothes and bags. Their new strappy sandals hit the minimalist style squarely and are comfortable which is a requirement for me when it comes to heels.

Summer may not be the time when suiting is top of mind, but the slick styles of Peter Do have the versatility to take me from season to season. Do launched his namesake label in 2018 after working under Phoebe Philo at Céline, and it shows in his minimalist-cool separates. To help liven up some serious suiting though, I'd recommend turning to a funkier brand like Rejina Pyo (the designer of my bright green bag above). Based in London, Pyo's quirky prints, colors, and even styling serve as a constant source of inspiration. For another dose of quirky-cool to finish off a polished look, I've been seeking out Kwaidan Editions, a brand that's constantly putting a funky and colorful spin on the basics.