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As the COVID-19 pandemic reaches its one-year mark, small businesses continue to take a hit –– and that especially includes the fashion industry. From retail doors shuttering to the drop-off of hourly workers, small fashion brands are doing what they can to stay afloat.
Many independent companies have leaned into offering incentives like free shipping, sitewide sales and discounted gift cards. Mixology Clothing Company, a New York-based family-run business, was forced to put nine retail stores to a halt in 2020.
“So many small businesses and business owners were forced to simply close. I feel so horrible for them. It’s the hardest decision of your life. Last week we were forced to close our 9 brick and mortar locations. Thank god we invested in our website and CRM technology; we pivoted our front-line retail workers into a ‘mobile salesforce’ using our website as the platform to sell vs. the stores,” Jordan Edwards, Mixology’s CEO told In The Know.
“We are actively re-training our team using an online digital platform with mini-courses on how to deal with this new reality.”
Edwards also promised that every dollar of revenue generated from online sales will go to keeping their key staff employed, while he and the C-suite executives forgo salaries.
So what can you do in these uncertain times to help? Whether it’s adding a pair of cozy sweats to your ongoing loungewear collection or splurging on a special dress as some wishful thinking, keep scrolling to shop 11 small fashion brands that could use some love.
With retail stores temporarily closed, Mixology’s website remains fully in business. From labels like Lioness, ASTR and Faithful The Brand, Mixology is the perfectly curated shop every Gen-Zer needs to know about. The company is also offering personal styling services over FaceTime.
2. Orseund Iris
This New York-based luxe label known for its ‘non-seasonal’ approach to fashion is run by Alana Johnson. With fans like Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid, Orseund Iris is the brand for every cool girl looking for quality fabrics with an unexpected twist.
This sustainable shop, based in NYC and Paris, is filled with an incredible selection of cool suiting and minimalistic tailoring. However, it’s their iconic Eva Padded Shoulder Muscle T-Shirt that has sold-out multiple times.
Torrid is a fashion company that caters to women sizes 10-30. From accessories to activewear and intimates, Torrid has a vast selection of on-trend extended sizing styles.
Now would be a great time to invest in Entireworld’s next-level collection of non-boring basic colorful sweatsuits. The brand, founded by Band of Outsider’s alum Scott Sternberg, launched with the idea of making “the stuff you live in.”
Olivia Rose The Label is a small independent British clothing label, founded by Olivia Rose Havelock. Every item is handmade to order by Havelock in her studio, which allows the designer to offer custom sizing for any shape, size and height at no extra cost.
The Brooklyn-based vintage hot spot will be selling styles via Instagram Stories. Their account, which boasts nearly 40K loyal followers, is also continuing to pay their hourly staff during their difficult store closure.
Founded by Batsheva Hay, the New York-based ready-to-wear brand of nostalgic dresses focuses on the strong and beautiful aspects of womanhood.
Under the creative direction of Aurora James, Brother Vellies’ collection of handcrafted shoes and handbags from South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Morocco has become one of the most coveted brands amongst fashion girls.
10. No. 14 Boutique
This Pittsburgh-based boutique is operating online while also offering adjusted in-store hours for those in the area that want to stop by. From cozy sweaters to stylish loungewear, you’ll get lost in browsing the brand’s selection.
Savannah Yarborough, an alum of the brand Billy Reid, is the powerhouse behind the luxury leather label, SAVAS. The brand “makes unique, one-of-a-kind pieces from the finest hides and furs in the world.”
If you enjoyed this story, check out the K-Beauty brand that wants to help you achieve your best complexion with fewer products.
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