10 Indie Designers to Gift and Wear This Season

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Give well and give wisely. Ditch the mall and shop from indie designers instead. We’ve selected goods from some of our favorite makers, including handbags from a bohemian-inspired line, jackets and jumpsuits from a rock-band babe and cozy digs from a heralded, sporty menswear label. You and your loved ones will be happy you chose to gift innovative, ethical, small-batch pieces that say yes to the future of fashion.

1. Luisa et La Luna

1_Luisa et La Luna.jpg Photo via Luisa et La Luna

Gift the cropped, ruby-colored Lisa sweater and invest in the wear-all-winter Maggie kaftan from Luisa et La Luna, a NYC-lifestyle brand designed by Alicia Rodriguez, the co-founder and creative director of the e-commerce site Founders & Followers. The Luisa et La Luna label focuses heavily on Japanese textiles and silhouettes created for the modern woman.

2. Angela Valentine Handbags

2_Angela Valentine.jpg Photo via Angela Valentine Hangbags

If you’re searching for a foolproof present that’s made in the USA, the search is over. Angela Valentine bags are handmade one at a time from exquisite, unique leathers. The silver iPhone case or emerald green envelope clutch will bring a smile to the faces of even the most hard-to-shop-for.

3. WRAY

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WRAY’s geometric, moon-inspired print Astral Top is an easy-fit button-up shirt that’s suitable for gift recipients of many ages. Parsons alum Wray Cook designs the womenswear brand, which is produced in NYC and by a small, fair-trade manufacturer in Delhi, India.

4. John Elliott

4_John Elliott.jpg Photo via John Elliott

John Elliott’s coveted sweatshirts and button-up shirts are highly giftable, while coats like the Swarm Stadium Jacket are pieces you’ll want to call your own. Made for cozying up to, his garments combine comfort and style.

5. Acorn + Archer

5_AcornandArcher.jpg Photo via Acorn + Archer

Acorn + Archer, a Nashville, TN-based accessories line, utilizes primarily organic materials including wood, clay, cotton fibers and leather. The Spirit Uwan porcelain pendant is accented with 18K gold and hangs from hand-dyed fiber cord. The richly-colored necklace is a perfect statement piece for everyday or special-occasion outfits.

6. Julie Bee’s

6_Julie Bee's.jpeg Photo via Julie Bee’s

Julie Bee’s handcrafted, luxury footwear was born out of the love for American craftsmanship. Gift yourself a pair or ask a friend about her perfect fit. The Providence heel is sleek and sexy—ideal for gift exchanges, festive fêtes and evening’s out.

7. Black by Maria Silver

7_BBMS.jpg Photo via Maria Silver

Maria “Poni” Silver is a founding member of the rock band The Ettes. She’s also the visionary behind the ethically produced brand Black by Maria Silver. Her bomber jackets make dreamy gifts, but you’ll beg Santa to deliver the Baroness Elsa Jumpsuit to a tree near you.

8. Lingua Nigra

8_Lingua Nigra.jpg Photo via Lingua Nigra

Alicia Goodwin designs and assembles her Lingua label in her Brooklyn, NY, studio. Any woman would love to be on the receiving end of her organic gold bangles. She creates each set by etching paint splatters on a sheet of metal, placing it in acid and then sawing the shape. Each bracelet is unique.

9. Emerson Fry

9_Emerson Fry.jpeg Photo via Emerson Fry

Emerson Fry is a small, independent, family-owned business that focuses on limited production runs of new and existing products. Its current mix contains tons of gorgeous pieces including an ecru tux tunic and an incredibly cheerful
sequin jacket. Spice up your look for holiday functions or gift a piece to a friend.

10. Nisolo

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Nisolo makes beautiful, ethical, quality products that you can feel good about wearing or sharing with those you love. Gifts like the Lockwood Trench Boot in brandy or the Leon Weekender are sure to please every fella on your list, while ladies love Nisolo’s jewelry selection.

Emily Davidson Nemoy is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tenn. When she’s not at her computer or on her yoga mat, she can be found at live music venues happily spending her excess cash on concert tickets.

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