29 Women-Owned Finds From Nordstrom That Demand Your Immediate Attention
In case you hadn't heard, either from us or one of the many exceptional women in your life, tomorrow is International Women's Day, meaning that it's time to start preparing for the one day a year when women and only women get the spotlight firmly planted on them. To mark the occasion, I'm planning on spending the day treating myself to a bit of shopping (shocker), and this year, for once in my life, I have set a few strict guidelines.
Really, there's just one self-imposed rule on today's agenda: only shop brands that are owned by women. That way, I can contribute to moving the needle in the fashion industry, where, according to a 2015 Business of Fashion survey, only 14% of 50 major fashion brands are run by women, despite them making up the majority of fashion-school enrollments and entry-level fashion positions. That being said, there are still plenty of shockingly good options on the market that stem from the creative and business-savvy minds of women in fashion, with standout designers including Catherine Holstein, Sarah Staudinger, Aurora James, and, of course, the matriarch in all our hearts—Miuccia Prada.
To further keep my shopping day on track, I chose to zero in on one retailer that I know is stocked full of pieces by women-owned brands. Without further ado, shop the 29 women-owned finds from Nordstrom on my International Women's Day consideration list. After looking them over one last time, I get the feeling they'll be on yours too.
Practically every Who What Wear editor owns a pair of these or some other Jenny Bird earrings. But the Canadian jewelry designer isn't just beloved by our team—celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez adore her pieces too.
I don't have to tell you the story behind Skims, Kim Kardashian's cult-favorite basics and shapewear brand. Though her bras and thongs are hard to resist, nothing from the line is as tempting as the classic tees, which are perfectly fitted and baby soft.
Another Kardashian-owned brand is Good American, the size-inclusive denim label founded by Khloé Kardashian and entrepreneur turned Shark Tank investor Emma Grede. A roaring success, the brand drops 10/10 denim silhouettes season after season, all of which are available in sizes 00 to 32 plus.
At the moment, Tory Burch is one of the most talked-about and praised female designers in fashion, with her past two runway collections ringing in a new era for her nearly 20-year-old brand.
Filipino American designer Josie Natori founded her lifestyle brand, most known for its lingerie, in 1977 after leaving a cushy Wall Street job as Merrill Lynch's first-ever female vice president of investment banking. And just like her finance career, her brand is a roaring success.
Founded by Holstein in 2016, Khaite is one of fashion's most beloved brands at the moment, having just opened its first-ever retail location on Mercer Street in New York City, where Holstein hosted her fall/winter 2023 show during New York Fashion Week.
Toronto-based designer Kathryn Bowen specializes in unique pieces made to last in order to avoid consumers having to buy piece after piece every season. Her big break arrived in November of 2021 when Kim Kardashian DM'ed her on Instagram and requested three dresses be made for her upcoming fragrance campaign. The rest was history.
Norma Kamali started her namesake brand back in 1967 and, in the decades since, has made quite the name for herself in fashion. Most known for inventing the Sleeping Bag Coat, beloved by the late André Leon Talley and recently worn by Rihanna at the Super Bowl, Kamali has an eye for designing pieces that people want to wear and wear a lot.
New York–based lingerie brand Hanky Panky was founded in 1977 by Lida Orzeck and Gale Epstein and has since sold over 45 million pairs of its famous Original Rise Thong, which is lauded for feeling invisible.
Staudinger co-founded her L.A.-based brand alongside George Augusto in 2015 in an effort to design clothing for women that combined accessibility with style. In the eight years since, she's built up a cult-like following that stretches far past the Los Angeles city limits.
Though originally founded in 1913 by Mario Prada, Prada is now synonymous with its co-creative director and owner Miuccia Prada. Miuccia Prada took over the company in 1978 from her mother, Luisa Prada. Miuccia Prada built it back up with husband Patrizio Bertelli, starting with its now-iconic use of nylon for its bags. Today, she designs alongside Raf Simons, putting out collections that influence the whole of fashion and culture.
One of Instagram's favorite brands, Jasmin Larian Hekmat's Cult Gaia was founded in 2012 in Los Angeles and grew to fame with its Ark Bag, an almost architectural wooden purse that thousands sat patiently on the wait list for. Today, her designs continue to awe fans of the brand, with everything from feathers to jewelry-like hardware contributing to its success.
French influencer and fashion consultant Chloé Harrouche launched her brand Loulou Studio, named after her social media handle @louloudesaison, in 2019 with the intent to create wardrobe essentials that she'd long struggled to find elsewhere. In the few years since, her pieces have become staples in many a fashion person's closet, specifically her knits, outerwear, and trousers.
The child of two tailors, Eszter Áron was destined to start a clothing brand, which she did in Budapest in 2012. Naturally, she made a name for herself and the brand by zeroing in on tailoring, only shifting her focus to knitwear during the pandemic to account for the need for comfortable clothing to wear at home. Though different, the designer adapted quickly, and the brand is now made up of a perfect balance of both.
The latest viral Skims item is this Contour Lift Underwire Tank (it also comes in bodysuit form), which has grown wildly popular on TikTok as a potential going-out top.
If you follow a lot of fashion people on Instagram, you've probably seen your fair share of handbags and shoes (maybe even denim) from Elza Wandler's eponymous brand Wandler, which she launched in Amsterdam in 2017. Almost immediately, her Hortensia bag blew up online, followed by countless other cult items like her Rosa mules and Georgia bag.
Rebecca Allen's namesake footwear brand was founded to allow people of color the ability to buy and wear nude shoes that actually match their skin tone after decades of the "nude" color way oftentimes being associated with only white tones. Every pair of Allen's shoes are crafted in Brazil with the very best materials in order to allow them to last no matter how often you wear them.
Grace Wales Bonner started her brand Wales Bonner in 2014 as a menswear brand, quickly becoming favored for her brilliant tailoring and ability to mix colors and prints in a casual-cool way. Fortunately for her female fans, the 2016 LVMH Prize for Young Designers recipient recently began designing for women as well as men, while, at the same time, collaborating with Adidas on one of the brand's most popular sneaker offerings yet (check StockX for proof).
Hanky Panky's thongs might be the brand's most famous item, but its bralettes are seriously slept on. Trust me. I own way too many of them. (Just kidding—I can always use another.)
James created her footwear and accessory brand Brother Vellies in 2013 to support artisan communities in Africa and bring traditional African craftsmanship to a wider audience. The founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge has done just that, with everyone from Beyoncé to Zendaya having worn pieces from the brand.
More so than accessories, Khaite's Holstein is known for her simple, elegant, and elevated ready-to-wear, which is consistently worn by the fashion industry's best dressed members.
Miami-based creatives Cristy Mantilla and Duda Teixeira never thought their jewelry brand Éliou would be the internet sensation it is today, but after their years of working together as stylists and designers, the brand was destined for success. From the beginning, their marine-inspired earrings and necklaces were prone to sellouts, but it wasn't until Harry Styles's stylist, Harry Lambert, started accessorizing the singer in its pieces that the brand really blew up.
Joyce Azria, the daughter of famed designer Max Azria, founded her brand Avec Les Filles—or "with the girls" in French—in 2017. According to an interview in the Los Angeles Times, she wanted to create clothing that felt "a little charming and special" but also wearable. Most importantly, the brand had to be affordable.
Israeli American designer Nili Lotan built up quite the résumé while working at Ralph Lauren and Nautica in New York City before going off on her own in 2003, launching her namesake brand in the process. The perfect balance of preppy and sophisticated, her designs have the kind of timeless appeal many designers work their entire careers to grasp.
Though known mostly for her Sleeping Bag Coat, Kamali has more recently gone viral for her Diana dress, as seen on Sarah Jessica Parker in And Just Like That….
Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel started small and simple with their accessory brand Mansur Gavriel. Even so, it wasn't long before their totes and bucket bags took off in the fashion community and beyond.
Alexia Elkaim's Instagram-famous brand Miaou was the result of Elkaim's quest to design the perfect pair of women's pants—a silhouette that worked for every occasion and for every type of woman. But the brand didn't stay fixated on pants for long, with corset tops and dresses soon becoming its It items.
Indian and Nigerian designer Priya Ahluwalia draws from her heritage for her namesake London-based brand Ahluwalia. The LVMH Prize–winning designer, who started out designing menswear before recently adding womenswear into her offering, places much of her focus on sustainability, using only repurposed materials as well as fair-wage factories, according to Forbes.
Founded by Prada owner Miuccia Prada, Miu Miu is often referred to as Prada's little-sister brand; though, it certainly doesn't live in its sibling's shadow. From its micro miniskirts and satin ballet flats to its roughed-up leatherwear and buckle moto boots, Prada time and again deliver viral designs that send the fashion world shopping.