This editorial is sponsored by Visa
If you are a true fashion girl, you know that the only thing that beats luxury is a good one-of-one find. Unique buys and custom-made pieces are the easiest ways to make a fashion statement. Turning heads as a trendsetter becomes an even better feeling when you use that fashion statement to put others on to a new designer or brand.
This year, She’s Next in Fashion, Empowered by Visa – an annual program that provides a cash grant and marketing support to women-owned small businesses– includes a bevy of boutique lines specializing in bespoke luxury, pret-a-porter designer wares and unique pieces for special occasions. Get into it!
Designer Abisola Omoyele Oladeinde’s luxury collection is imbued with inspiration from her childhood, right down to her nickname, Yelé. At the center of this small business’s highly customized pieces are Adire fabrics, the indigo-dyed cloth made by Youruba women in Southwestern Nigeria.
While its original inspiration comes from a single source, the Yelé brand is built around the concept that cultural diversity does more to unite us and enrich our lives than it does to set us apart. As such, everything about this small business, from its creative designs to the color palettes and patterns used to bring it to life, is a happy marriage between African and western culture.
If you’ve ever fallen in love with a runway look or designer editorial spread only to have your heart broken when you attempted to find it in your size, TJL Collection is the line you never realized you were looking for. The brand’s tagline– “Where Fashion, Fit and Length Meet”– explains it all, as this line of everyday wear specializes in pants and jumpsuits for women 5’9” and taller.
With looks ranging from Power Suits to casual maxi dresses, TJL Collection makes ready to wear designer attainable not just for every occasion, but to every body. And if the Collection’s inspired looks were not enough, TJL has even launched an initiative to nurture the community that has grown out of its consumer base with the annual Tall Girls Meet Up, an annual shopping and networking event in Dallas, Texas.
Long gone is the notion that luxury has to be reserved for special occasions. Taylor Jay is the latest brand to emerge with the goal of infusing every aspect of a woman’s life with luxury touches–from the cut of each item in this small business’s offerings, to the quality of the fabrics used to create them.
The brand prides itself on offering consumers high-end staples to build an ever- changing wardrobe around. Taylor Jay complements the essentials with a rotation of blouses, skirts, dusters and more and offers a little more creativity in terms of patterns and colors, without skimping on the brand’s relaxed, resort aesthetic.
Hours is a true exercise in functional luxury. Designed exclusively for sizes 10-32, this collection is proof that business casual doesn’t have to be drab or boring. All of their offerings are primed to seamlessly transition from the office to happy hour or allow you to go from running errands to a lunch break without skipping a beat.
For co-founders Harroop Kaur and Naaz Gulati, the goal was to give every woman access to luxury, regardless of their body type. And they’ve managed to deliver on that promise while growing a small business that also prioritizes sustainability and community.
One lasting memory small business owner Angela Sison carried from her childhood in Manila, Philippines, is the idea of being able to go to the beach in the same clothes you ran errands or went to work in and vice versa. It’s a mood that has followed her to her part-time residences in San Francisco and Martha’s Vineyard. And it is the exact aesthetic Conrado embodies.
The collection is a destination for casual sophistication, offering outerwear, loungewear, sweaters, overalls, dresses and everything else you can see yourself living your best, carefree, comfortable life in. As a bonus, Conrado even offers a handful of options for babies and toddlers that match the comfort, durability, and sustainability of its adult options.
At Chabella, high-fashion and functionality come together to create office-ready looks that don’t skimp on flyness. The still growing collection currently comprises a handful of shirt dresses and tops that can easily be converted into a variety of alternate looks.
Designer Chabella Gomez creates from the perspective that clothing is the armor that empowers us to face the various challenges that may come at us on any given day. The standout quality of Chabella’s designs is that she creates from a place of understanding every role a woman commits to in her daily life: mother, businesswoman, socialite – each garment exists to complement all of those things.
Made in New York with Pakistani influence, Istani offers Southeast Asian colors, textures and traditional style with a modern flair. While each of the items in the collection is the definition of a statement piece, they’re designed to be enhanced by each wearer’s individual style.
The idea behind this small business is that each of us– especially those whose lives and heritage straddle multiple cultures–finds our own sense of self by combining the various elements that come together to create our reality.
From its very name, this small business centers duality and commonality in all that it does. The line is named after founder Wilglory Tanjong’s Cameroonian grandmother and her Ghanaian-American best friend, leaning on the culturally rich visual traditions of both countries to reflect Africa’s bold history.
In addition to drawing inspiration from the continent, Anima Iris’ bold and vibrant handbags are made in Africa as well. Each item is carefully handcrafted in Dakar, Senegal by artisans who rely on centuries old craftsmanship to deliver limited edition pieces that are unrivaled in both quality and attention to detail.