Women’s History Month: 10 Contemporary Women-Owned Brands to Know

Women’s History Month: 10 Contemporary Women-Owned Brands to Know

This Women’s History Month, we’re shining a spotlight on just some of the remarkable contributions of emerging female designers and contemporary women-led brands in the fashion and retail industry.

Hailing from across the world, from Los Angeles and Montreal, to Cape Town and beyond, these visionary women are making waves with their creativity, passion, and entrepreneurial spirit. Standing apart not just for their stunning designs, but the ethos behind them, The Folklore’s roster of women-founded brands are about empowerment, self-expression, and the celebration of women.

From Claudette Floyd’s timeless eveningwear to Elizabeth Laine’s elegant accessories, these brands embody the essence of empowerment, individuality, and innovation, each of them striving to make an impact in the world of fashion and design.



ARCH NYC Lovestruck shoes

is a women’s footwear brand specializing in statement pieces that are designed to stand out. Each design is infused with creativity and individualism, stemming from founder Jazmin Veney’s mission to make conversation-starting shoes, while marrying fun and sophistication with function and comfort. 
With a background in fashion marketing for prestigious luxury brands, Veney brings a wealth of industry experience and a keen eye for innovation to the table, infusing each ARCH NYC design with a unique blend of creativity, sophistication, and functionality.


Nicole Benefield Portfolio

Nicole Benefield Portfolio

While Nicole Benefield’s eponymous brand may have debuted in 2020, its roots run deep in the fashion industry. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Benefield honed her craft in senior design positions at renowned retailers, where she cultivated a keen eye for detail and a profound understanding of the intersection between casual comfort and sophisticated elegance. Drawing from her extensive experience working with brands such as LOFT, Banana Republic, and Elizabeth and James, Benefield now translates her mastery of creating collections into a bold vision of feminine, investment-worthy outerwear that displays a commitment to form and conscious design. Each piece is meticulously crafted to embody adaptability, functionality, and season-less style, reflecting Benefield’s belief in building a modular wardrobe that transcends fleeting trends.



EDAS Maria handbag

In 2013, New York-based designer Sade Mims founded EDAS (her first name backwards) to create chic and staple accessories with a focus on sustainability for the everyday woman. Introduced to accessories by her grandmother’s handbags, jewelry and hats, Mims was taken by the way small accent pieces could add the perfect finishing touch to a look. Her aesthetic borrows from classic silhouettes and artful motifs that evoke nostalgia for past eras, seen in the signature Yshaia bag, which is reinvented season after season with new shades and sizes.
Along with sleek leather bags, Mims designs also crafts eclectic jewelry and hats in her Brooklyn studio and showroom, with the intention of making every woman feel beautiful, one accessory at a time.


Lurelly cocktail dress

Founded by Los Angeles-based designer Lurell Walker in 2012, Lurelly is an ethically sourced fashion brand with a glamorous aesthetic that calls back to a bygone era. Defined by feminine silhouettes, billowy fabrics and muted color palette, Lurelly’s designs exude elegance with modern women in mind. The brand’s cocktail dresses, slip gowns and eveningwear offer a nostalgic nod to the past, thanks to embellished details, tulle skirts and lace trims. Lurelly’s fabrics are locally sourced from dead stock and excess materials to reduce its carbon footprint, and each piece is manufactured in Los Angeles.


Perade Blossom Belle Bag


Born from the vision of founder Performance Adejayan, Philadelphia-based accessories brand Perade offers a signature range of beaded bags, which are crafted by hand by female artisans in Nigeria. Taking its name from the words “per“, which means “for every” and “ade”, which is Yoruba for “crown”, Perade is a celebration of diversity, inclusivity and the vibrant spirit of Africa. Inspired by her Nigerian roots, Adejayan infuses her designs with the rich and colorful elements of African heritage, offering accessories with a bold and playful verve. Craftsmanship lies at the heart of Perade designs, resulting in a blend of traditional culture and modern sensibilities.


Twelve AM

Twelve AM footwear

Statement shoes are what Twelve AM is known for. The footwear brand was founded in 2015 by entrepreneur Areial Lomack to provide comfortable yet stylish shoes for a wide range of women. Starting out in the industry with a background in wardrobe and production, Lomack has been able to use the skills and experience she gained in those sectors and apply them to her own shoe brand. From thigh-high boots to cozy house slippers, Twelve AM designs are crafted to stand apart thanks to their exaggerated shapes, animal-print patterns and textured finishes. 


Claudette Floyd

Claudette Floyd Oceanic Gown

Claudette Floyd, the eponymous brand founded by designer Claudette Floyd, combines an appreciation for craftsmanship, creativity and femininity to create collections of sleek and elegant eveningwear. What began as a passion for sewing grew into a career in fashion as a self-taught designer, and Floyd opened her first atelier in Montreal in the 1990s. With a Jamaican heritage that informs her aesthetic choices, the designer infuses her designs with a blend of cultural influences and the beauty of nature. With an unwavering commitment to local manufacturing, each Claudette Floyd garment is meticulously crafted, paying attention to detail and made in small production quantities.


Elizabeth Laine

Elizabeth Laine Luximi earrings and necklace

Elizabeth Laine, the brainchild of Los Angeles native Elizabeth Laine, epitomizes elegance and sophistication in the realm of women’s accessories. Drawing upon her background in art and design, Laine embarked on a creative journey driven by a passion for crafting accessories that transcend adornment to become mini works of art. From metallic earrings to pendant necklaces, its accessories are designed to make a statement, infusing every outfit with an air of elegance and versatility.


Ru by Rupal

Ru by Rupal FW24


Indian-American Rupal Bannerjee started her eponymous brand as a way to combine her fondness for contemporary streetwear fashion and her South-Asian heritage. What emerges is a creative expression of colors, prints, drapes and silhouettes that showcase an identity forged from strong female figures and iconic deities. Ru by Rupal offers an idiosyncratic take on fashion, rendered in mesh printed dresses, velvet bomber jackets and more.


Sadie + Jean

Sadie + Jean jewelry


Founded in 2019 by friends Ilana Jossel and Nikki van der Westhuizen, jewelry brand Sadie + Jean is a celebration of the women who have shaped their lives. The brand takes its name from the fusion of the founders’ daughter and grandmother, blending their vision of the “old” and the “new”. The founders share a vision for creating well-made products that embody a relaxed lifestyle and reflect their minimalist aesthetic. Sadie + Jean places a premium on quality, attention to detail, and sustainability. All pieces are meticulously designed and handmade in South Africa, with materials and gemstones sourced ethically and sustainably. The commitment to a zero-waste policy ensures that each jewelry piece is crafted to last.

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