Now this is a song to celebrate the conscious liberation of the female state. Mothers, daughters and their daughters too. Woman to woman we’re singing with you. The “inferior” sex has got a new exterior. We got doctors, lawyers, politicians too. Everybody take a look around. Can you see? Can you see? Can you see there’s a woman right next to you? We say: Sisters are doin’ it for themselves. -Annie Lennox.
One part review, one part shopping guide and one part personal wish list- this article will bring together a group of women-owned clothing brands that have inspired and motivated me along the road to establishing my own independent business. Their owners, who have each undertaken incredible journeys through setting their sights on the insane career path that is self-employment all deserve some serious props for chasing their dreams and making them become realities. It takes guts to work for yourself and take control over your own creative output, and these women will at the very least leave you feeling mega inspired and likely have you coveting all of their wares! So delve in and discover some vintage rock & roll and boho clothing brands that will earn a permanent spot on your list of brand loves!
WAISTE– owned by Sara Thomas, pictured below.
Waiste has to be my favourite vintage web shop ever created. Sara’s ‘magical vintage heaven’ is full of genuine 60s and 70s treasures. She sources her stock in line with her personal style, which works just perfectly as a business plan because if there’s any style that one should want to emanate it’s her paired-back, bohemian, 70s chic aesthetic. Waiste is the ultimate incarnation of a lifestyle brand- her homewares section offers a glimpse into a perfect, print-filled, eastern-influenced, bohemian sprawl of a living space. Her clothing and jewellery listings display products in the environment for which they’re intended, alongside luxurious fabrics and enchanting crystals in sun-soaked rooms filled with wicker furniture. Waiste is more than just a clothing brand, it’s an adventure into Sara Thomas’ fond reincarnation of a golden era bygone!
Waiste release new pieces every Saturday night at 7pm to a keen audience that wait to snap them right up! Sara also runs a blog which you should check out here.
MIRACLE EYE– owned by Larissa, pictured below.
Larissa is one of those people whose general talent will leave your mouth hanging open incredulously as you gawp at her achievements! Miracle Eye came into existence in 2010 when she was just 15. She proffers her business to ‘todays 60s lovesick babes addicted to the nomadic lifestyle’. Her groupie-orientated threads embody an air of wanderlust and nostalgia for the rock & roll lifestyle of ‘the older days, rich in musical history’ and I’m fully convinced that had she been born earlier she would have been employed to design the wardrobe for Cameron Crowe’s ‘Almost Famous’. Her wares exhibit a huge fondness for velvet, the most holy of fabrics! My favourite designs of hers are the mother mountain and gold matador bells, but I wouldn’t be against curating the whole collection in a room of its own, where I would display them on plinths against a constant looped backing track of Janis Joplin tunes. Ahhhh.
TUNNEL VISION– owned by Madeline Pendleton, pictured below.
Tunnel Vision is a brand that I discovered years ago through Madeline’s lookbook.nu account. It was back before the days of Hello Margaret! and I can surely say that I attribute a big chunk of my motivation to establish my own business to them! I used to spend hours scrolling through their lookbooks which embodied a rough and ready American lifestyle that to me, a Brit in cold rainy England represented adventure, freedom, something bigger! From starting out as a vintage shop they’ve quickly grown to stock a variety of brands for ‘grungey hippie weirdos’, including their own line ‘Bad Vibes’ which is designed in house by Madeline and her friend Brit Nason. Tunnel Vision embodies a real sense of community, which is exhibited through the passionate support of the stunning, colourful friends that model their wares and their empowering, self-loving, body positive Instagram feed. Click follow and feel instantly uplifted!
BACKBITE– owned by Selena @thesiren, Brit @britdisarming, Taylor @taylorconzelman, Casey @caseystrawberry & Rachel @arcadey, pictured below.
Ever lamented the absence of a girl gang of stone cold foxy biker chicks from your life? Well lament no more! Backbite is the love child of five salty-haired mega babes from L.A. that draw in customers by being like enviably perfect! They each have cult-like followings on their personal IG’s which tease us with free-spirited, adventurous, vintage-filtered, light-leak-singed images of lives spent driving beaten up old trucks through nature and dancing in the desert. It’s enough to make you weep. But you know what they say… If you can’t beat em’, steal their wardrobes. The store houses an array of vintage picks as well as re-worked garms by Brit who co-owns Bad Vibes with Madeline Pendleton. Their Harley Davidson hot pants are to die for!
WE ARE HAIRY PEOPLE– owned by Sarah Caulfield, pictured below centre.
We are Hairy People is a brand borne of community spirit with a body positive message. As the label’s owner once professed, their name declares their imperfection. They are hairy, happy and dressed head to toe in super fun hand-painted threads! The Bristol-based brand is a social enterprise that does a lot of work towards rectifying self-image issues. Their #beautyisfreedom campaign gained them a devoted support base including high-profile personalities like Cara Delvingne. Their model programme takes applications from all types of girls with all types of bodies, enforcing the fact that beauty comes in all forms! It presents the opportunity to be photographed make-up free and natural in gorgeous, hand-painted WAHP designs. Next on their agenda is a relapse support group established to help girls with eating disorders. Basically this brand is run by angels and we can’t think of anyone more deserving of support!