New York tends to get all the attention for emerging fashion brands, but this L.A. girl is starting to feel a bit, well, jealous. It's just that the East Coast has shined in the spotlight as this country's fashion capital for long enough, and biased as I may be, there's a lot happening over here on the Pacific side of the continental U.S. that's just as buzz-worthy.
In reality, I hate even comparing the two cities because they're almost too different to warrant such a comparison, but I have a feeling the rivalry will persist, which is why I'm going out of my way today to point out the thriving scene of smaller indie and emerging names we Angelenos have. Don't worry—I'm not trying to slam you, New York. I'm only trying to show that the following Los Angeles clothing brands are the kind that every stylish Angeleno knows about but won't be spilling to her NYC friends anytime soon. Hey, we have to have some of our own nice things, right?
It's only natural, then, that the overarching theme of the following 10 brands is of the laid-back, fun-loving, and—dare I say—"chill" variety that this sunny city is known for. Expect to discover everything from retro-inspired denim to romantic swimwear and slinky satin two-piece sets in the below roundup. You might even find yourself arguing that L.A. is the better coast. (If so, I'll have taught you well.)
1. Lykke Wullf
Meaning "lucky wolf" in Danish, Lykke Wullf marries Scandinavian minimalism with more eccentric Western motifs. Take the silhouette it's best known for: a rancher-style shirt-jacket and matching high-waisted, wide-leg pants that are just begging to be styled with sleek cowboy boots.
2. Who What Wear Collection
Not to sound biased or anything, but our very own Who What Wear Collection is a total vibe, and L.A. girls have already been all over the trend-forward basics in the newly launched collection.
3. Gil Rodriguez
Eliana Gil Rodriguez's namesake line focuses on a few things and does them really well—e.g., simply cut bodysuits and cotton pieces that evoke the late '80s and early '90s. Everything is handmade ethically and transparently in Downtown Los Angeles.
You know Rails, but you don't know that you know Rails. This is because the line has become the best-kept secret for wardrobe basics in all of Hollywood. Celebrities flock to the brand for its selection of easygoing button-downs and breezy sundresses that are meticulously crafted from the softest fabrics.
5. Eve Denim
There's denim, and then there's really good denim. Fans of Eve Denim are camped squarely in the latter category thanks to founder Adélaïde Bourbon's meticulous search for the perfect vintage pair. The line has a narrow focus on a few key silhouettes, like its wide-leg Charlotte jeans that nod to the '70s.
6. Roxana Salehoun
Designer Roxana Salehoun was inspired by images of vintage beachside glamour when creating her namesake swimwear line filled with the prettiest retro details and timeless fits.
Stylist Linda Meltzer is the reason baby tees were even a thing in the '90s. Her shrunken, cropped tees ended up on everyone from Jennifer Aniston in Friends to the cast in Clueless and nearly every other style icon of the decade, fictional and not. Pretties is the modern-day iteration of her '90s project, ensuring the OG baby tee and other pieces like lace camis are still relevant today.
8. Calle Del Mar
Native Californian Aza Ziegler actually launched Calle Del Mar while studying fashion design NYC, but we still think it's as California a brand as they come. (I mean, the name basically translates to "beachside street.") The knitted varsity-striped tees are the perfect pieces to toss on with denim cutoffs and sandals and, well, head to the beach.
9. Rezek Studio
Rezek Studio is a brand-new line of silky, disco-inspired pieces designed to hug your body in all the right places. Wear the Boogie Dress with strappy sandals for a warm-weather night out or style the Foxy Top with vintage jeans. Each piece is meant to be special yet versatile.
Cherry is a line of graphic tees and hoodies that's earned a loyal following from celebs like Kaia Gerber and Hailey Bieber, making it one of the coolest "insider" brands to know and wear.