Why buy? There has been plenty of buzz around the colorfully graphic shoes and bags in this eponymous range, which comes from the woman who is credited with creating Tory Burch's shoe business. Produced in Brazil and Spain from Italian materials, you can be assured that the striking pieces, like a mule with an architectural stacked wooden heel and a honey pot-shaped leather handbag, are very high quality. All the aforementioned chatter about Mercedes Castillo means that these accessories will be easy to find; they will be stocked on the shelves at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and on Net-A-Porter.
Why buy? Cult Gaia was appropriately named by founder and designer Jasmin Larian, whose wooden Ark Bag became a (you guessed it) cult favorite among the style set and the blogger babes of Instagram. Now, Larian is evolving from accessories and moving into ready-to-wear, in a very careful expansion. "The collection is LA made, sexy, feminine, design with detail and soul," she told the Observer.
With just 18 pieces, this collection hovers around $200, making the gingham tank and trouser set and linen slip dress both attainable and chic.
"I’ve been designing pieces for myself all my life, creating what I couldn’t find in stores and in my closet," Larian explained. "My friends started asking for them so I made them as birthday gifts and then decided to introduce it to our customer, because there was clearly something there."
Why buy? Simply put, Vacation took your favorite wardrobe essentials (a pair of jeans, a jean jacket and a leather jacket) and perfected them. Featuring the finest materials, like denim from White Oak Cone Denim Mills and Horween Chromexcel, cut in precise silhouettes, every detail has been considered here. For example, the Natural Leather Moto Jacket features a custom-designed belt buckle and a vintage-inspired zipper; the Raw Selvedge Denim Jacket (that's unisex!) features a raised front yoke and a collar that has been shrunken just so.
Founded by Meghann Stephenson and Krys Maniecki, a duo who have been working in the fashion industry for years, Vacation grew out of necessity.
"We struggled to find pieces that had the level of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and impeccable fit that make a piece a worthwhile investment," the founders wrote on their site. "What started as a side project of one leather jacket, evolved into the necessary endeavor of creating an accessible luxury line of men’s and women’s modern essentials." While they've launched with a limited selection, they promised the Observer that there's plenty more to come. Keep an eye on this brand.
Why buy? Looking to up your street style cred? Look no further than P_Jean, a category of the Italian retailer PINKO. As such, the collection is ripe with plenty of experimental denim pieces, from thigh-high boots to boiler suits, along with girly pink slip dresses and shredded knit sweaters.
This brand might cull inspiration from the '90s (citing Kate Moss, Drew Barrymore and Chloë Sevigny as inspiration), but it feels both youthful and fresh. Plus, we put our trust in any brand that "was developed after an extensive study of denim."
What to buy? Well, you'll have to wait until June when this collection lands in stores. But we recommend keeping an eye on the orange cutout sweatshirt and that red patent leather miniskirt.
Art of the Gentlewoman
Why buy? And now, something for your work wardrobe. Art of the Gentlewoman is a new direct-to-consumer destination that aims to provide a timeless and effortless wardrobe, with a refined vibe.
"To us, the modern suit lagged. It needed to be revisited and reengineered," said California-based co-founders Melissa Martinez-Booth and Melissa Kanarek. So, their first capsule collection focuses on a slouchy suit, one that will look great with both sneakers and heels.
As a bonus, the pieces are functional, too. The suit features a knit rib under the cuff, so your sleeves stay scrunched, but only when you want them to. Meanwhile, the trousers, which are based on a pair of vintage Givenchy tuxedo pants, have an easily-adjustable waist size.
There’s no time like the present…to update your wardrobe. The arrival of spring often encourages a deep closet clean, meaning you have more room (and hopefully a little extra pocket change) to invest in some new threads, plus an accessory or two.
We’ve rounded up five of the newest brands (and brand launches) that have the power to reinvigorate your current clothing lineup, with the addition of just one or two pieces. Pluck an architectural shoe from Mercedes Castillo‘s lineup, select a cool leather jacket from Vacation and slip into a pair of vintage Givenchy-inspired trousers from Art of the Gentlewoman.
New season, new you.