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Image / Fashion

New labels to shop right now straight from your Instagram


by Niamh ODonoghue
31st Jul 2018
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You might have read yesterday that I find few things more thrilling than the adrenaline rush of happening upon a new brand during my nightly scroll on Instagram. Like Napoleon exploring the seven seas, new app features like the discovery platform (which is personalised depending on your algorithm, meaning you’ll come across things you actually like) and IGTV – the app’s new extended video platform – make discovering new brands all the more possible. It’s the adrenaline rush that keeps on giving.

Mobile technology has drastically altered the way we shop. We can sit down to dinner while browsing our favourite high-street shops and luxury boutiques, satisfy our late-night shopping cravings from the comfort of our beds, and even virtually stand in a queue while waiting for the next It thing to drop. Insta-shopping is a relatively new feature of social media, having only rolled out a few months ago. So far, only select brands have the option to be fully integrated as an “Insta shop”, where the user can buy directly through the app instead of being redirected to a website to complete an order.

As a retailer, Instagram goes one step further by giving us infinite outfit combinations from the smallest street-corner indie shops to global fashion conglomerates; creating dedicated online communities of fashion followers looking to recreate perfect Insta-worthy, white-washed, plush photos for their own feeds. Here, nothing is off limits, which is one of the reasons why Instagram has the potential to outrun popular retail sites like Asos and even the luxury online market like net-a-porter. There’s no right or wrong style, trend or colour combination, but a bountiful supply of inspiration that will inevitably make you want to step outside of your comfort zone.

The move is a new, exciting frontier for traditional fashion labels, and the retail business model as we know it is no more. There’s no doubt that the platform is levelling the fashion playing field; pivoting traditional retailers into a state of uncertainty. Instagram offers more opportunity to emerging designers, too (it’s estimated that a new designer needs funding of close to €1 million to successfully launch a new label in the real world) and the digital space could mean a demise in classic bricks-and-mortar spaces, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing (less bricks, more clicks). Below are a handful of new brands I’ve discovered on my feed that are worth browsing. What brands will you discover? Get in touch and let us know.

Who: Never Fully Dressed

What: Sundresses, blouses, statement pieces

Why we love it: Founder Lucy, “the boss”, has sewing in her blood. Her grandmother and aunt were machinists, a skill Lucy inherited and developed to create her fashion label Never Fully Dressed. Lucy opened her first bricks-and-mortar boutique in 2014 and has since developed the business and its team further. On the brand’s website, Lucy describes her label as “chic wardrobe staples in fresh prints and on-trend palettes”. As well as creating a rising It-girl label, the brand also works with a number of international charities and organisations via fashion collaborations where profits are donated to worthy causes.

What we’re buying:  

Senorita cheetah dress, €88.56 at neverfullydressed.co.uk

Senorita cheetah dress, €88.56 at neverfullydressed.co.uk

Who: Alice and Olivia

What: Denim, stand-out pieces, festival wear

Why we love it: New York-based designer Stacey Bendet struck gold when she launched Alice and Olivia in 2002. The brand was born from Stacey’s personal quest to create the perfect pair of pants and has since grown into a full lifestyle collection including ready-to-wear, gowns, shoes, handbags, accessories and eyewear. With its band T-shirts and rock vibes, the brand has a familiar American feel to it while also giving us something new and fresh. Gwyneth Paltrow, Gigi Hadid and Amal Clooney are said to be fans of the brand.

What we’re buying:  

Fawn multi-coloured cardigan, €540.17 at aliceandolivia.com

Fawn multi-coloured cardigan, €540.17 at aliceandolivia.com

Who: Mondo Mondo

What: Rings, scents

Why we love it: Mondo Mondo is a Los Angeles-based jewellery and fragrance label founded by designer Natasha Ghosn in 2012. I can’t take any credit for discovering this brand because I came across it during a marathon Insta story session featuring one of my favourite fashion reporters. Semi-precious and precious gems and stones are inlaid into a gold band in a disjointed, yet beautiful way. This peculiar style is dotted throughout Mondo Mondo’s entire jewellery collection.

What we’re buying:  

Suede ring, €157.83 at mondo-mondo.com

Suede ring, €157.83 at mondo-mondo.com

Who: LOQ

What: Modern classics

Why we love it: Designed in Los Angeles, but made in España, Loq produces seasonless pieces that have a modern appeal as well as inherently distinctive Spanish qualities (I only wish I could wear strappy sandals the whole year through). The brand was established in 2011 by Keren Longkumer and Valerie Quant who both bonded over their mutual affinity for unconventional forms, proportions, materials and attention to detail. The label fuses California’s (where Valerie is from) relaxed sensibility with the colours and textures of India (where Keren hails from). Today, the brand’s intention is to redefine classics for the modern woman. The name LOQ is derived from the surnames of designers and founders Keren Longkumer and Valerie Quant.

What we’re buying:

Altea Lila patent sandal, €211.58 at loq.us

Altea Lila patent sandal, €211.58 at loq.us

Who: Cult Gaia

What:

Why we love it: Cult Gaia is not your average LA brand. For starters, the handbag label looks as though it could have originated in a far-off corner of the Seychelles. Earthy wood, bamboo and natural materials and textures feature heavily, and the brand has come from nowhere to own the ‘cool-girl’ vibe in a surprisingly short amount of time. Cult Gaia creates objets d’ art that make you look twice and is spearheaded by a young female designer. The label was launched in 2012 by founder and designer Jasmin Larian who, in an incredibly short time, has tapped into the fast and furious world of influencer marketing. As well as It-bags and lust-worthy sundresses, the label has also expanded into jewellery and shoes. It will be interesting to see how Cult Gaia replicates its winning formula in the future.

What we’re buying:

Eva earring in natural wood, €109.18 at cultgaia.com

Eva earring in natural wood, €109.18 at cultgaia.com

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