The 12 best local clothing brands in New York City


New York is not only a fashion capital, it’s also a hotbed of creative people looking to launch their own brands and stores. It’s no surprise that we have the best selection of clothing and accessory lines that have been born and are still being made, in a way, right here in the five arrondissements. Whether you’re a fashion junkie inclined to splurge, a minimalist who only wants the essentials, or a weekend sailor, there are plenty of local brands out there who have clothes ready for you to wear. Here are some of our favorite picks; leave yours in the comments.


SAMANTHA PLEET: Samantha Pleet exudes the real Brooklyn blue girl in everything she does and designs, so much so that she’s frequently the subject of neighborhood guides and local apartment porn. Her printed dresses, scalloped cropped tops, perfectly fitted rompers and matching blouse and skirt sets harmoniously merge vintage elements with dreamy prints and edgy details, creating a bohemian look that’s still a bit fashionable and urban. Having become the official uniform of the creative types of East Village and Brooklyn, Pleet’s whimsical and carefully crafted items appear in the kind of stores that celebrate local independent labels, like American Two Shot, The Rising States, Lady J, Concrete. + Water and Swords. -Black-smith.

Samantha Pleet (212-918-1274,

COURT WORKSHOP: One of the hottest denim lines originated from the East Village Circa Now store: Owner Nicole Tondre met and hired Lisa Fuller in 2006, and when Tondre’s partner moved to Portland, she s ‘partnered with Fuller to launch their own place, court. They started out stocking up basics from other brands (and still do) before deciding to fill a void in the market: perfectly fitted denim that doesn’t bend to trends and comes in a wide range of fits, styles, and styles. shapes and washes. As a result, designs by Tondre (who left the company in 2012) and Fuller have been worn by Jenny Slate and Drew Barrymore, and picked up by retailers like Steven Alan and Shopbop. Even as the label grows, Courtshop does much of its production within a few blocks of its brick and mortar digs – they also have an outpost on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.

Courtshop: 168 Mott Street (212-925-1022,; 218 Bedford Avenye in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (

SURF ON SATURDAYS: New York’s small but buzzing surf scene can be attributed to one label and the three guys who started it. Colin Tunstall, Josh Rosen, and Morgan Collett started Saturdays Surf in 2009, despite naysayers questioning whether there was a customer base for surfwear in the city (spoiler alert: there is). The boutique brought a carefree, beach-infused look to Soho, and even guys who’ve never set foot on a board have made the brand’s modern print shirts, classic soft sweaters, tees. minimalist, utility jackets and impeccably tailored yet relaxed clothing. pants the basis of their wardrobes.

Surf on Saturdays: 31, rue Crosby (212-966-7875); 17 Perry Street (347-246-5830,

LINE & LABEL: Founded in 2013 by Kate O’Riley, LINE & LABEL defends local design in all aspects of its business model. In addition to its own in-house line, the store offers unique yet effortless clothing, accessories and home items from other independent local designers. As for the aforementioned house line, think about the kind of staples you would wear forever, but updated with nifty twists that manage to transcend trends while staying at the forefront of fashion. The fall 2015 collection includes items such as eye-print sweatshirts and scorpion-adorned military jackets, and O’Riley is particularly known for her gorgeous leather handbags, all of which are affordable.

LINE AND LABEL: 568 Manhattan Avenue (347-384-2678,

Top of the line

IN THE STATE : Upstate’s clothes have that bohemian, cool vibe. It looks like the wardrobe of a globetrotting adventurer who doesn’t even try to be so stylish and is always relaxed. And yet, the traditional shibori process and other hand-dyeing techniques that Upstate uses are done right in the Brooklyn studio of designer Kalen Kaminski. Dresses, dusters and leggings are cut into sophisticated silhouettes, but then splashed with tie-dye in hues still worthy of a downtown gallery and not a head-shop.

Kaminski launched the brand in her apartment in 2011 with her then-partner Astrid Chastka, and although the line has grown and been picked up by retailers around the world, she still personally dyes all prototypes.

Upstate (info @,

WILLIAM OKPO: Sisters Darlene and Lizzy Okpo started getting their lines talking right from the start. Named after their father, William, their brand is inspired by the way their Nigerian parents style interact with American culture. Turns out the result is crisp, crisp minimalism and a razor-sharp cut that plays against feminine silhouettes and pops of prints and colors. Polished and classic but urban and sometimes a little offbeat, dresses, blazers and knitwear are easy to wear on a daily basis but will certainly shake up a sartorial routine.

In addition to an outpost in Brussels, the Okpo sisters sell their products in a few New York boutiques (including in New York and Los Angeles), as well as their own flagship, one of the stores that contribute to redo the South. Street of the seaport.

William Okpo: 6 Fulton Street (212-482-8869,

CADET: CADET was launched by Raul Arevalo and Brad Schmidt in 2011 — Arevalo wanted quality clothing that could fit a wider range of shapes, with the two designers taking inspiration from art, from the American nostalgia of post-war and outdoor heritage brands to make their clothing. With Arevalo at the helm of design and Schmidt at retail and production operations, the two set out to create a casual, comfortable and effortless men’s casual clothing line. From sheer, crisp shirts to bomber jackets, the brand showcases a strong sense of craftsmanship, which is sold through its three retail outlets in New York City.

CADET Williamsburg: 46 North 6th Street (718-715-1695); CADET East Village: 305 East 9th Street (646-633-4560); CADET West Village: 69 Eighth Avenue (917-722-2390,

ELECTRIC FEATHERS: Leana Zuniga’s line was born in Brooklyn and raised in Brooklyn, but these are clothes for the world traveler. A globetrotter herself, Zuniga launched Electric Feathers in 2007 based on the premise of versatile and easy-to-pack designs. The collections consist of dreamy dresses that can be worn in multiple ways and jumpsuits that can be rolled up to fit in the most packed suitcase. Even though Zuniga’s jackets, skirts and tops sport an ethereal elegance, they ultimately prove to be ridiculously utilitarian and functional. After all, how many things can you put in a backpack, then take it off later, put it on, and still be the fanciest person at a party? Presumably for this unique reason, Electric Feathers has been a darling of publications like Vogue and Maintenance, and is sold in stores located across the country. He also has his own spot in Williamsburg, Electric Nest.

Electric Nest: 60 Broadway (347-227-7023,


VERAMEAT: If you don’t think of a dinosaur eating fried chicken as a glamorous jewelry creation, then you haven’t discovered Verameat, which has a store both in the East Village and in Williamsburg. The jewelry line has a dedicated, creative downtown clientele and also boasts fans like Miranda July and Tilda Swinton. Ukrainian-born designer Vera Balyura draws inspiration from her own travels and experiences, her grandfather’s woodcarving, and her grandmother’s career as a surgeon to create beautiful silver and gold pieces that are delicate, badass and whimsical at the same time. Although the design themes vary, you can rely on Verameat to make necklaces and the like with animals and human body parts. You can also find understated letter rings, quirky skateboarder charms, and a collection of celebrity portrait rings like Bill Murray and Jemima Kirke.

Verameat East Village: 315 East 9th Street (212-388-9045); Verameat Williamsburg: 132 North 5th Street (718-388-2400,

ALEXANDRE OLCH: Filmmaker Alexander Olch started his line of ties in 2001 after designing a bundle to give to his team at the close of a shoot. Within a few years, places like Bergdorf Goodman started noticing Olch’s designs and placing orders. Olch has since carved out a niche for himself in the men’s accessory market that is dapper and classic, yet creative and a little eccentric. He said he thought a bow tie should always be a bit “loose” and that a great no-no style is to look too buttoned up. And so, Olch makes accessories that can look effortlessly polished, like her signature clutch, which is easier to handle than a pocket square. Just a few years ago, the designer opened a boutique on Orchard Street.

Alexander Olch: 14 Orchard Street (212-925-2110,

COLLINA STRADA: Hillary Taymour launched this line of accessories in 2008, known for its avant-garde leather bags. Designed to capture a trifecta of rugged, minimalist and feminine, each clutch, backpack and tote is a busy girl’s best friend: roomy and durable, clever enough to stand out but understated enough to match any. what outfit. Expect pieces of butter sharpened by geometric panels or canvas bags splashed with prints that Taymour herself creates from distorted photos, one of the many steps in her process that she performs in her studio. from Brooklyn. You’ll find Collina Strada in some of the city’s most well-known stores, such as OAK, Article & and Assembly.

Collina Strada (,

WE BELIEVE IN GOD: We have to thank In God We Trust for the cutest way to berate people. Their “Sweet Nothings” line includes heart pendant necklaces featuring everything from “I Woke Up Like This” to things our mothers taught us not to say carved into the script. Shana Tabor opened IGWT in 2005, and has since expanded to three physical locations in Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Soho. She also started an e-commerce business that has helped place the brand’s jewelry, accessories and clothing in magazines, on blogs, and in the hands of more low-key trendsetters and dressers. Beyond Sweet Nothings, IGWT jewelry is minimalist and artistically sculpted, and is usually available in silver or gold. Each piece is somehow magically current but timeless, a feature all the more attractive at the reasonable prices of the line.

In God We Trust Greenpoint: 70 Greenpoint Avenue (718-389-3545); In God We Trust Williamsburg: 129 Bedford Avenue (718-384-0700); In God We Trust Soho: 265 Lafayette Street (212-966-9010,


Gladys T. Hensley

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