The women’s fashion startup brands and innovative clothing companies below are transforming retail, and make great gift options for your wife or girlfriend. The entrepreneurs behind these innovative women’s style setting brands offer fresh takes on everything from capsule pieces for professional closets to denim, sweaters, swimwear, socks and more.
While I began Modern Fellows to get to know the entrepreneurs helping men dress sharp in the digital age, over time, I’ve also had a chance to explore innovative brands helping women dress well. I’ve found many of these brands while exploring unique and special gifts for my wife over the years.
The nice thing about the brands below is that they provide gift ideas for your wife or girlfriend that have a story behind it.
Aday is part of the technical fabric craze, offering “consciously-designed” “seasonless wardrobe staples” made of performance fabrics with free shipping and returns. See my separate guide to professional and business casual work wear made from technical fabrics for more gift options.
Ande Swim is the Warby Parker of women’s swimwear, letting women try on bathing suits at home.
Black Halo – Designed and manufactured in Los Angeles, Black Halo features a range of fashion-forward dresses, tops, skirts and pants.
Boden specializes in extremely fashionable and not-outrageously-priced modern takes on British fashion. They shine with both work and casual clothing for women, including the classic Breton. And they will send you an actual, honest-to-goodness physical paper catalog in the mail if you ask for it. Boden has been my go-to destination for unique clothing gifts for my wife. I’ve bought everything from funky dresses to colorblock cashmere sweaters to Boden’s signature striped Bretons as Christmas gifts for my wife. Their snail-mail catalogs provide inspiration if you’re sick of clicking and scrolling online.
Cuyana specializes on “timeless apparel and accessories for the modern woman.” Founded in 2011 by Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah,the direct-to-consumer brand focuses on foundational, business casual pieces featuring premium fabrics and attention to detail.
Grana – Based in Hong Kong, Grana focuses on “modern essentials” for women including tanks, camisoles, shirts, blouses, jeans, pants, joggers, dresses, cardigans, tees and coats made from luxury fabrics including Mongolian cashmere, Peruvian Pima cotton, Australian Tencel and Chinese Silk.
M. M. Lafleur is the brainchild of Sarah Lafleur and co-founders Narie Foster and Miyako Nakamura. I really like this innovative fashion startup, which has been recommended to me as a great gift option for my wife by several friends for its uncomplicated, can’t-go-wrong selection of work dresses, suits, separates and much more. The company has developed into a truly omnichannel retailer, combining its sleek online presence with M. M. Lafleur showrooms in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York City’s Bryant Park, San Francisco and Washington, DC.
Ravella advertises that it makes the “the perfect silk blouse,” along with soft and silky essentials like luxury cashmere scarfs, sweaters, wraps and coats.
Thredup – Founded by Chris Homer, Oliver Lubin and James Reinhart in 2009, this San Francisco-based startup has become the largest consignment shop in the world and boasts a fantastic selection of new-to-you clothing for women.
Pin Me Please: Gift Ideas for Your Girlfriend or Wife
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About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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