LNA: Though this LA-based brand, founded by two Cali natives, has expanded beyond the basics that put them on the map, it remains one of our go-tos for tees, leggings, and other relaxed knits. Prices hover around $50 for basic tees, and head up to $175ish for bigger ticket items, like the eminently wearable maxi dresses.
Nasty Gal: If you like your indie a little bit rock 'n' roll, this is the site for you. Started as an eBay shop featuring vintage and flea market finds in 2006, the brand has expanded to include it's own line of trendy, affordable pieces that are both edgy and free-spirited. Prices for Nasty Gal brand skirts, tops, and dresses are mostly under $100, while vintage tends to be in the $100-$200 range.
Oui Boutique: This Etsy shop is tiny, but worth a stop for thecolor-blocked tunics we'll be wearing all summer.
Rachel Comey: New York designer Rachel Comey made the world just a little brighter this year when she launched her e-commerce shop back in March. There you can find her full apparel and swim lines as well as her coveted shoes, plus a handful of styles exclusive to the site.
Steven Alan: Starting out as a shop for other designers, Steven Alan took on his own line in 1999 and was pretty much an instant hit. His aesthetic—for both his own line and the other indie designers he carries—is casual but perfected, simple but elegant, and definitely comfortable. One of the reasons we keep restocking our closets with his boyfriend shirts and smart dresses is because they feel like they were made to be lived in.
Surface to Air: The consummately cool Paris-based collective Surface to Air was founded in 2000 as a creative labs of sorts—they produce everything from music videos and gallery shows to their eponymous clothing collection, which includes several collabs with musicians (Kings of Leon) and artists (Solve Sundsbo). Cool is going to cost you, though—there's not much for under $200 to be found on the site.
TenOverSix: Begun in 2008 as an LA boutique, TenOverSix has expanded to become one of our favorite e-commerce destinations. With a mix of indie brands—A.P.C., Vena Cava, Peter Jensen, Karen Walker, Bodkin—as well as their own TenOverSix line, the site takes pride in "subversive" fashion. They also offer original art and home goods, complete with the requisite rebellious twist.
Tucker: Tucker started with the printed peasant blouses Gaby Basora used to make for herself and her friends, and has grown into a line sold at Barneys, Intermix, and Scoop. The e-commerce shop feels a little low-fi by 2012 standards, but it's in the middle of being revamped, and the opportunity to shop the line in all it's printed entirety makes it worth a visit.
United Bamboo: A collaborative effort between Japanese-born Miho Aoki and Vietnamese-born Thuy Pham, United Bamboo clothing has a distinct Eastern influence. Asymmetrical construction and architectural silhouettes are standard, as are major plays on proportion. In addition to the clothing collection, the website also offers art and music collaborations along with a killer blog.
Won Hundred: Danish darling Won Hundred has a US-friendly website now, which means you can shop the brand's gorgeous, understated collections straight from your computer. With roots in menswear, this is a brand for those who like clean lines and attention to detail.
SHOES & ACCESSORIES
BZR: If you've been itching to get in on the dip-dye craze without sacrificing your, you know, hair, check out this Etsy shop's super fun tight selection. When your legs are half pink, it's pretty much impossible not to be in a good mood.
Collar Stand + Tie We were crazy about Kara Laricksthroughout Fashion Star's entire first season, and we figure we better snap up her designs while we still can. The collections she designed for H&M, Macy's, and Saks as Fashion Star's winner are still available, but here you can find her original collar and tie designs. And you can always say you knew her before she got big.
Dannijo: There are a lot of great indie jewelry designers out there, but we're highlighting DanniJo because their online shop is straight up awesome. The selection of beaded bib necklaces, colorful cuff bracelets, and statement earrings is huge, the photography is gorgeous, and product details are plentiful. Created by sisters Danielle and Jodie Snyder, the line is also stocked at high end retailers like Net-a-Porter and Bergdorf, but we love seeing in its natural habitat, modeled by the girls who made it.
Eugenia Kim: Hats are happening this year, in case you hadn't noticed, and Eugenia Kim is a no-brainer for almost every headwear occasion we can think of. She's got a high-fashion pedigree—she won the 2004 CFDA/Perry Ellis award for accessories design and she's done runway toppers for Ralph Lauren and Diane Von Furstenberg, among others—but her website has a range of styles and price points. Get serious with a $285 ikat-banded fedora from her collection line, or take it easy on your wallet with a $70 crochet version from her genie diffusion line.
Kiel James Patrick: If rope bracelets and ribbon belts are your thing, Kiel James Patrick has enough color and pattern variations to supply a lifetime of Cape Cod clam bakes. A parttime hobby turned full-time job for the founder, this is a great place to get your prep on—especially as most pieces are in the $30 to $40 range.
Loeffler Randall: Narrowing down our favorite indie shoe designers is a tough one, but Loeffler Randall gets a spot on the 38 because not only are the collections invariably cute and wearable, the brand covers as much ground as, well, you do. It stocks everything from flat leather boots for winter weekends to some of the sexiest pumps around and a dizzying array of summer sandals. The brand clearly takes e-commerce seriously, with an super-stocked and easy to shop website, plus an addictively fun blog.
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