If you grew up on fashion Tumblrs like we did, you’d definitely have come across Elin Kling — the queen of minimalist everything (from garments to jewellery and the photos on her blog) who put Scandi-sensibilities on the map for many millennials back in the day. And yes, Kling has stuck to her guns, now the co-founder of a fashion label which puts out achingly simple yet beautiful garments that leave shape, texture and fine detailing to speak for themselves. Known as Toteme, and four-years-young.
Here’s one from the Brits, specialising in fuss-free styles and cuts to kit the globe-trotting professional. Think: crisp blazers, sharp trousers, and lots of lop-on-and-go dresses. While Joseph is by no means a fledgling fashion brand, it’s somewhat of an unearthed gem on our side of the hemisphere.
Pretty much one of our all-time favourite Australian designers to date, Dion Lee has a different take on minimalism, and usually pushes the envelope with the concept. What you see in the image above is just the tip of the iceberg; Lee is known for treating his garments as beautifully unmarred canvases, albeit juxtaposed with the uber rich materials they’re cut from. Once in awhile, his work is tinged with eye-catching details, but just enough to make sure that it still resonates with the unostentatious Dion Lee DNA.
COS started out in 2007 with its first-ever store on Regent Street in London; now, the brand is available across Europe, Asia, North America, the Middle East and Australia. With a knack for high-quality (but yet still affordable) clothing and accessories, the brand is known for their ultra simple, clean and timeless designs. Another unique aspect of this fast-growing brand is its affiliation with the arts – they often collaborate with artists, and not just for fashion collections, but even art events and exhibitions.
Based in the US, Everlane is a mostly online retailer that focuses on no-nonsense, nondescript basics. The brand prides itself on its ‘Radical Transparency’ business model, where customers are able to check out the full cost breakdown of each item they shop – this works, because Everlane adopts a direct-to-consumer model that allows them to bring down the prices of their items.
With a strong emphasis on quality fabrics (there’s even the option to ‘shop by fabric’), this Hong Kong-based brand possesses some similarities with Everlane – it also has a direct-to-consumer model and is transparent about its prices. Good news for us then, as we now have another brand to purchase affordable, well-made clothes from. The young brand started out in April 2014 with just a selection of plain t-shirts, but has now expanded to include items such as accessories, lingerie and sleepwear. One thing that has not changed, however, is the brand’s commitment to using the finest fabrics available, such as Mongolian cashmere, Chinese silk and Peruvian Pima cotton.
Launched in New York in 2014, AYR (pronounced ‘air’) stands for All Year Round, and the name itself is pretty explanatory – the brand mostly deals with timeless clothing that can last past seasons. Unlike the previous three brands, AYR has no Men’s collection, and the Women’s collection, though small, is tightly curated. There’s the basic denim jeans, tops such as t-shirts and sweaters, simple and elegant dresses and outerwear such as coats and bomber jackets.
This long-standing brand that was founded in 1950 in Austria is probably most well-known for its selection of stockings and tights. However, apart from its classic hosiery staples, Wolford also carries a sophisticated line of women’s clothing. From midi skirts to wool cardigans to elegant dresses, the clothing styles are all simple, minimal and refined. The brand also carries a selection of lingerie and swimwear, and if their popular hosiery is anything to go by, the brand’s other offerings are surely just as well-made and enduring.