The Newest Cool-Kid Brand to Get Bella Hadid's Stamp of Approval


(Image credit: @therosemilk)

It's hard to deny the powerful effect that an It girl like Bella Hadid can have when she discovers an up-and-coming fashion brand. It's pretty much become the standard these days for items to sell out immediately after being worn by a name like Bella, with shoppers racing to purchase the celeb-approved piece. So it goes without saying that the moment we spot one of these celebs in a new-to-us brand, we need to know more ASAP.

This is exactly what happened for Rosemilk, the newly launched NYC-based brand whose dreamy, vintage-inspired aesthetic has already earned Hadid as a fan. Just last month, Bella posted an Instagram photo of herself wearing Rosemilk's Salinas top. ("We cried," co-founder Marcelo Gaia admitted to us about finding out.) It's surprising these days how internet-born brands like Rosemilk are able to explode almost overnight.

Best friends Lisa Caprio and Marcelo Gaia got the idea for Rosemilk when they were on vacation in Sicily last summer. They both shared an admiration and eye for vintage clothing and decided to channel that into a brand that brings a vintage-inspired, romantic sensibility to the modern woman. Take one look at their dreamy silk blouses and colorfully printed skirts to know what we mean.

Since launching in mid-March, Rosemilk has earned a considerable Instagram following and a potential for cult-brand status, in our opinion. We spoke with the co-founders about starting their own brand, who the Rosemilk girl is, and where they see themselves growing from here.


(Image credit: @therosemilk)

Why did you want to launch the brand?

Lisa Caprio: We had worked together in the past for quite some time. Marcelo was a stylist, and I was doing hair and makeup, and we had worked together on set for a while. We were just hanging out on a beach in Sicily and just had the idea. And we started it that day.

Marcelo Gaia: We love vintage shopping together. It was our favorite pastime. We had come across this one blouse that we had been dreaming of finding—this off-the-shoulder ruffle blouse. We both love fashion and have such similar tastes. It felt like the most natural thing to do.

Who is the Rosemilk girl?

LC: There were a lot of preliminary conversations on that trip in Italy, but ultimately, she's a girl who is quite simple. She works hard and wants to feel beautiful and wants to be adored. She's hardworking and wants to be taken seriously, but she's feminine and elegant at the same time.

MG: We'll be showing this a lot more with our upcoming fall collection, but we started to play with the masculine and feminine. We delved in with the oversize trouser, and there's a blazer coming as well. There's this independent sensibility about her.

Seeing Bella Hadid wearing your Salinas top must have been a huge moment. What was your reaction?

MG: We cried.

LC: That was kind of like our aha moment. We work small and simple, everything is made in New York, and it's a very hands-on business. Everything we do and how hard we work is finally showing. We felt like we had finally taken a footprint into something we had been working so hard on.

The website and lookbook came out the second week of March, and then they went down to Miami and shot the whole thing in one day.


(Image credit: @therosemilk)

What's the most exciting thing about designing for the next generation?

MG: Where we're coming from might stem from the place of the market being so oversaturated. We're hoping that more people will realize the importance of supporting businesses that pay fair wages. All of our fabric is deadstock, and in that way, we're being more sustainable. We're producing everything locally, so we're paying livable wages to our workers. In that way, we're prompting shoppers to shop a bit smarter and think about the longevity of our clothes and our planet.

What have been the biggest challenges so far?

LC: The hardest part for me was knowing how to get to where I wanted in technical ways. Marcelo had more knowledge and background in clothing and garments, but the combination ended up working really well. For me, the hardest thing was learning so much about the whole process and what it truly takes. All I can go off of what makes me feel beautiful and how I want other women to feel. But it takes more than wanting to feel beautiful.

MG: For me, it was the other end of it since I did have this understanding of the technicality of it. Lisa is like our fit model, and everything we make, we put on her body first. What's really amazing about how we work together is that she can keep everything in check because we want things to be beautiful, but we also want you to actually be able to wear them. The wearability is the most important thing for us that we try to reinforce with every design. We're always asking, How do you wear this? Is this comfortable?

How does Instagram play into how you're building the brand?

MG: Yeah, it's basically everything for the marketing aspect and how we can get ourselves out there. It's almost kind of scary how much we have to rely on that platform. We think of Instagram as a full representation of the clothes we're selling and basically what we want to say.

We can see when people archive vintage photos we post of our family, and that kind of image is really resonating with this customer. So it's really cool to see how people are getting to know us and wanting to be a part of the brand after seeing the way we styled it.

LC: It has definitely helped us significantly. It's been a blessing but also insane. And because we started with so few followers, we can see how much we've grown.

Which piece defines the brand the best?

MG: For me, it's the Salinas top. It's our best seller, it's gotten the most publicity, and it was the first piece we designed. Before we started designing, we thought, Where were all the special fine details that you see when you vintage shop? The Salinas top has all these small details that captured the essence of the brand. So it doesn't surprise me that it's been the most pervasive since we launched.

LC: The Bambino Trousers. I'm such a girl of comfort, and I wear them every day. Marcelo definitely wants everyone to be sexy, and that's kind of where that masculine-feminine balance comes from.

Shop more of our favorites from Rosemilk:

Speaking of Bella Hadid, she says that these shoes are "a big no for me."

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.