Whether a T-shirt is from Spain, Turkey, Lithuania or the South of France, American shoppers love to discover new international fashion brands. You can do the work for them by adding pieces from a curated selection of brands that have already carved a niche overseas—but remain undiscovered on our side of the pond.
Whether your shoppers are looking for a pop of bold color, an edgy statement piece or something that aligns with their values (think sustainability and slow fashion), these brands will deliver.
1. Elsie and Fred
Elsie and Fred is the brainchild of three British siblings who wanted to combine mischievous designs with trending fashion pieces.
The brand has over 175,000 followers on Instagram and is making waves on TikTok with short, viral clips about hot issues affecting young people. Each piece is designed in-house using planet-friendly materials—no single-use plastic in sight. If you want to bring a bit of bold color to your shelves this summer, you can count on Elsie and Fred to bring the fun.
2. The Knotty Ones
The Knotty Ones works on the ground with female artisans in rural Lithuania to produce beautiful knitted jumpers, dresses, skirts and summer tops. The brand has been called “a knitwear brand to know” in listicles by Sheerluxe and The Zoe Report but has positioned itself and its social media presence so that it’s still relevant during the summer months—hello knitted swimwear.
There’s a pretty cool backstory behind The Knotty Ones, too. The three founding friends were keen fashionistas before traveling to Southeast Asia, where they discovered the dark side of the fashion industry. In an attempt to do better for the planet, they’re now on a mission to bring sustainability and contemporary fashion together.
3. Kali Shoes
Handmade by local artisans in Italy, the cowgirl-inspired designs from Kali Shoes are created using age-old traditions to showcase the rich heritage of Italy. But don’t be fooled: Each boot takes on a trendy, modern shape to bring those traditions into the present day. The brand is run by an all-female team and is going from strength to strength—it was recently ranked in Italy’s top three boot shops and has a significant following on social media.
4. Touché Privé
Touché Privé brings a new dimension to the world of women’s fashion, creating a beautiful mix of striking colors and classic design. Each piece features slick modern lines and great fabric quality for a long-lasting, timeless wardrobe. The brand has a range of lines suitable for work and weekends, but the floaty skirts and pastel kimonos are perfect for summer.
The brand benefits from sourcing fabrics in-country for faster lead times and production, creating over 400 original designs each month. It has a rich online presence, featuring products on six proprietary channels, 11 marketplace channels and physical stores dotted around Turkey.
5. The New Society
Spanish-based brand The New Society was born from the desire to combine the growing need for sustainable goods with the beauty of timeless aesthetics. The pieces feature rich pastel color palettes, soft, organic materials and charming patterns that bring something different to shoppers’ summer wardrobes—perhaps a chunky knit cardigan in gemstone colors for those cooler summer nights or a floaty boho dress for a chic office look.
The brand is renowned for producing slowly and on a smaller scale to create a feeling of exclusivity around its pieces. It even has its own magazine that generates engagement around the brand and its sustainable values.
6. Heretic Nine
Heretic Nine was founded in the stylish folds of Shoreditch, London and inspired by the area’s gritty subcultures and streetwear trends. The aim of the brand’s quirky fashion line is to inspire self-expression for nonconformists and creative misfits. There are plenty of fresh takes on traditional office wear, including bold, asymmetrical blazers, oversize T-shirts and chunky accessories.
The brand is always ahead of trends and runs a bold line of unisex fashion pieces.
Lacerf is a pioneer of eco-friendly fashion in the South of France and was founded by Franco-Moroccan graduate Halima. Its specialty is occasionwear and is renowned for its festival edits that create hype in the summer months.
The brand’s tailor-made clothing is created in small quantities from fabric offcuts and sustainable materials found in and around its Moroccan workshop. Essentially, every product is upcycled, taking on a new lease of life and transforming the idea of ready-to-wear fast fashion. From unusual patterned trousers and bold swimsuits to lacy dresses and handmade shirts, Lacerf’s creations will add intrigue to your shelves.
8. eikō ai
Eikō ai has evolved from its early days selling kimono-like dresses. Now, it’s become a full-fledged lifestyle brand that aims to inspire memories and evoke emotions through high-end, elevated fashion pieces. Its pieces are futuristic and sustainable, and they will stand out on your shelves this summer.
Online lifestyle magazine Sheerluxe named eikō ai one of the top three coolest small fashion brands, and the brand has seen incredible growth since its online launch during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eikō ai brought fashion to the masses during lockdown through interactive avatars (or digital ambassadors), a revamped website and a digital presentation of its collections.
Stock your store with new international favorites this summer
From brands that have thousands of followers on social media to those that are innovating the world of online fashion, these new international go-tos won’t sit on shelves for long. Stay one step ahead and stock these emerging brands before they saturate the American market.