Gift-giving season is upon us, and never before has it been more necessary to shop mindfully for your loved ones. Fashion brands across the board have been devastated by COVID-19, closing brick-and-mortars, slashing prices or shutting down entirely.
Smaller brands are even more vulnerable, which is why we are dedicating this shopping guide to beloved businesses local to New York City.
Here are eight great stylish options that will not only spark joy, but will also contribute to keeping our city’s pulse beating.
Boys of New York
Launched in 2014 by designer Isidoro Francisco, the streetwear label quickly became known for its classic varsity jackets emblazoned with the brand’s quietly elegant logo. Inspired by ’90s hip-hop and infused with a minimalist sensibility, Francisco’s threads enable us to wear our love for New York City on our sleeves — now more than ever.
Logo sweatshirt, $70 at Boys Of New York
Bushwick-based Jamaican-Chinese designer Brandon Blackwood launched his eponymous label in 2015. Celebs including Lupita Nyong’o, Zoë Kravitz and Cardi B have toted his purses (all of which are completed by fair-trade craftsmen in Asia, Europe and the US), but the label went next-level viral this October when Kim Kardashian posted a photo of herself alongside Blackwood’s “End Systemic Racism” bag on Instagram.
“Kuei” mini shearling bag with vegan-leather trim, $125 at Brandon Blackwood
Collina Strada founder Hillary Taymour has spent more than a decade committed to designing sustainably minded pieces that are unabashedly infused with whimsy — think hand-dyed hoodies, floral frocks and tapestry totes embellished with floral brooches, all spun from deadstock fabrics. That sentiment is perfectly summed up in this festive (and reusable) water bottle. Fill with water, drink, repeat. Cheers!
Rhinestone water bottle, $90 at Collina Strada
LoveShackFancy x Morgan Lane
Both LoveShackFancy and Morgan Lane are ultra-feminine brands helmed by women and bearing an aesthetic that pines for brighter days, so their sleepwear collaboration — at a time when we’re spending so much more time at home — is a dream. Slip on this silky eye mask for an escape to your happy place.
LoveShackFancy x Morgan Lane “Love Shack” eye mask, $98 at Love Shack Fancy starting Saturday
Launched in 2015, Noah oozes effortless cool with it’s surf-meets-skate-sprinkled-with-prep aesthetic. But founder Brendon Babenzien isn’t one to rest on his sartorial laurels. In the spirit of collaborations, 20 percent of proceeds from the brand’s Keith Haring holiday collection, ranging from holiday cards to T-shirts, will go to New York Cares, a nonprofit that places volunteers with services who need them.
Noah x Keith Haring candle, $48 at Noah NY, 195 Mulberry St.
S.K. Manor Hill
After studying fashion design in Florence, Italy, Brooklyn-based designer Dominic Sondag launched this brand in 2016 with a view to create vintage-inspired pieces with long-lasting sensibility. Sourcing fabrics from Europe and Japan, his classic designs are finished with a modern twist (think long camel coats paired with a hoodie, or a fanny pack made from plaid mohair) and are made in the Garment District.
Watch cap, $100 at SK Manor Hill
Born and raised in Queens, Sandy Liang’s namesake brand is a go-to for fashion die-hards with a penchant for nostalgia. Known for her outerwear (specifically, playful fleeces trimmed with ruffles, plaid and animal prints), Liang often cites her Chinese roots — and her grandmother — as a source of design inspiration. We love this two-for-one ’90s throwback: a whimsical flower necklace that can also be worn as a heart locket.
“Dubbo” necklace, $275 at Sandy Liang
In 2009, this under-the-radar surf brand opened its doors on Crosby Street and encouraged customers to sit, sip on a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, and laze on their outdoor patio attached to its impeccably curated store filled with T-shirts (with a perfectly broken-in feel), swim trunks and surfboards (of course). Since lingering in-store isn’t the easiest option these days, embrace the brand’s chill vibe in these cozy socks.
Logo socks, $15 at Saturdays NYC