Fashion is a special art. As the form of expression that people live their lives in, clothing has the ability to serve as a conduit for mood, both at the individual and the collective level. So, as the world navigates new and profound challenges like never before, it's no surprise that the masses are reaching for a new, fun, decidedly escapist aesthetic. Luckily, a host of fun emerging fashion brands have answered the call, and a spattering of cheerful styles are coming with it.
In stark contrast to moodier styles that have defined New York and French-girl fashion, Instagram has been teeming with garments that play with motifs from our childhood — sky-blue, cloud-punctuated handbags, storybook-worthy cardigans, and daisy-strung bracelets, for example. Still, the desire for joyful wares amidst times of uncertainty is far from new — kawaii (in Japanese, cute) culture famously exploded as a cheerful juxtaposition to life in postwar Japan. Retreating into a sort of child-like nostalgia, the phenomenon offered a space for playfulness and individuality during a time that lacked certitude and identity. Thus, the aesthetic went from a trend to a cultural cornerstone, sticking around throughout Japanese fashion today.
That said, the cute-sy trend hitting the market today is well worth a closer look — and the whimsical brands who are going viral, quickly are the perfect place to start. Continue ahead:
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
TK Fun Emerging Fashion Brands: KINA & TAM
Famous for curating "children clothing for bigger humans," Kina & Tam's cult influencer following is grounds enough to explore the brand's mesh tops and storybook vests.
Fun Emerging Fashion Brands: Blood & Honey
Founded in 2015, this Kyiv and New York-based store uses vibrant furs as a cornerstone of its cheery aesthetic. The brand's fruit cardigans have been an It-girl favorite, but there's tons more on its site worth browsing.
Fun Emerging Fashion Brands: YANYAN Knits
Based in Hong Kong, YANYAN's Spring/Summer 2020 collection is marked by a distinct DIY-spirit, drawing inspiration from yarn stores and knick knacks from a coastal artist neighborhood, Sham Shui Puo.
Fun Emerging Fashion Brands: Lirika Matoshi
Since 2016, Lirika Matoshi's namesake label has been known for evoking a romantic mood, which its daisy motifs and blue sky-sweaters fit perfectly into.
Fun Emerging Fashion Brands: ban.do
Ban.do is a California-based concept store, known for curating fashion and lifestyle goods that promote mental health and inspire a sunny state of mind. ban.do's site sells favorites like Farm Rio and Rachel Antonoff, but the brand's own styles are just as sweet:
Fun Emerging Fashion Brands: Neophyte Jewels
This small brand launched just over a year ago, and is already a favorite of Chiara Ferragni and Chriselle Lim. Handmade in Toronto, Neophyte calls on materials plucked from your childhood bead box, encouraging a spirit of creativity and identity through its accessories.
Fun Emerging Fashion Brands: Sofie Sol Studio
With pillow-y frocks fit for a Valentino muse, Sofie Sol Studio is the womenswear fashion label that's making a splash in Copenhagen right now. Its "Ice cream girl" striped dress above is one of several playful daywear designs — or, opt for taffetas for something more occasioned.
Fun Emerging Fashion Brands: Holiday The Label
Already a Kourtney Kardashian favorite, Holiday the Label plucks inspiration from vintage souvenirs from tourist shops of the '80s and '90s, cultivating a print-loving line from the spirit of getting away.
Fun Emerging Fashion Brands: Lisa Says Gah
Known for offering It-girl favorites like Paloma Wool, Lisa Says Gah is the destination for a swath of cheery designs, including its daisy jewelry strands and "Gah!"-splayed goods.