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Figure & Form
Founder and CEO Alexandra Weiner and fashion director Janice Chou's new shopping site offers a smart mix of contemporary and vintage wares aimed at young professionals. The pair, both of whom are former BULLETT Magazine editors, say they approach buying for the site with an "old soul's" eye, sourcing timeless pieces from the likes of Timo Weiland, Whit and Porter Grey along with past-decade treasures from Yves Saint Laurent and Alaïa. Fittingly, considering the Weiner and Chou's publishing background, there's an additional editorial component to the site: the "Go Figure" blog, packed with designer interviews, campaign imagery and more.
KISUA
Fashion's been experiencing a love affair with African textiles for several years running—hello, Suno!—and starting on October 3, this new e-boutique will serve as a dedicated launching pad for both emerging and established designers from the continent. To celebrate its launch, KISUA provided funding for 10 African designers to create their own capsule collections with the help of the company's Creative Director Danica Lepen; starting next month, the clothing and accessories will be available to shop and ship worldwide. Expect lots of breezy sundresses, safari-inspired separates and, of course, vibrant prints galore. Meanwhile, the newly-established KISUA African Designer Fund will help monetize the work of African fashion brands.
Shop Jeen
If you're a fan of the statement sweatshirt, then boy, have we got the e-shop for you. Launched last year in a George Washington University dorm room, Shop Jeen received no formal funding—instead, then-20-year-old founder Erin Yogasundram started the company with $3,000 cash earned from eBaying her beloved Céline Luggage tote. After getting her start selling jewelry from door to door—with GW sorority sisters as her target customers—Yogasundram moved to NYC, opened her own office in the Garment District and hired a creative director (Amelia Muqbel, formerly the director of sales at Noir Jewelry). Today, Shop Jeen offers a crazy-colorful selection of clothing, tech accessories and toys (all of them affordable, to boot) and has racked up hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers in the process (follow the brand @shopjeen). Kind of makes you think twice about hanging onto your favorite designer handbag, huh?
Zady
Soraya Darabi and Maxine Bédat's just-launched e-boutique, which gets its name from the Yiddish nickname for a beloved grandparent, is billed as a destination for the conscious consumer; true to its mission statement, only high-end brands committed to total manufacturing transparency (think Imogene + Willie, Clare Vivier and Winifred Grace) are stocked. The "anti-fast-fashion" site marks each item on offer with a badge indicating whether it's handmade, locally sourced, domestically produced, sustainably made and so forth. As a bonus, five percent of every sale benefits The Bootstrap Project, a nonprofit (launched by Zady co-founder Bédat) committed to nurturing economies in developing countries.
SHOPgrl
If you're a Mary-Kate Olsen fan, you're already familiar with Danielle Nachmani's styling chops; the former magazine editor's worked with both Olsens for almost five years now, as well as with stars like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Last May, Nachmani teamed up with her sisters Arielle (the blogger behind Something Navy) and Michaela to launch a trend-driven e-commerce destination that reflects all three girls' tastes—and ours, too. In addition to Superga sneakers, LNA tees and plenty of printed pants, the site also offers designer one-offs: Danielle recently teamed with Christian Siriano (whose runway shows she styles) to offer a capsule of affordable SHOPgrl exclusives.
Sarah Flint
This Parsons- and FIT-trained footwear designer's Fall 2013 debut collection is full of stunning, retro-influenced shoes that are sure to appeal to anyone with a soft spot for '40s-era fashion. We think it's only a matter of time before Kate Middleton discovers Flint's designs—those origami-inspired ballerinas and pumps have "Duchess of Cambridge" written all over them, no?
Carbon38
For those who wish to sweat in something other than standard-issue spandex, this site—launched jointly by two Miami City Ballet alumnae—offers the chicest activewear on the market ("putting the 'run' in 'runway,'" as its mission statement claims). Mesh-paneled leggings and floral sports bras (the latter so cute, they could double as crop tops) share space with asymmetrical tanks and patterned hoodies by Norma Kamali. Meanwhile, the site's editorial component, aptly titled Page38, features health-and-wellness-centric interviews with the likes of Cynthia Rowley, Dannijo's Danielle and Jodie Snyder and the aforementioned Kamali. We expect Carbon38 co-founder Katie Warner Johnson's roster of A-list personal training clients, which includes Emmy Rossum and Demi Moore, would settle for nothing less.