Even the most diehard fashionistas out there can become a little jaded when they are faced with the same rotation of apparel brands season after season. Sometimes, it feels like all brands are blending together, each just rehashing what their predecessor has done.

But, once in a while, you will find a new fashion label that really catches your eye. These moments always remind me why I got into fashion in the first place: to express myself and have fun doing it!

And there is nothing like finding an underground or relatively unknown fashion brand to share with your friends. It’s quite special to know you are wearing a piece from a brand on the rise, and you are helping them spread the word from the ground up. 

To help you catch a glimpse of that fleeting euphoria again, here are 5 apparel brands you’ve never heard of.

  1. 28 Grams Apparel

When it comes to “high fashion,” you won’t get any higher than 28 Grams Apparel. Starting off this list is a brand with a sense of humor, both about themselves and their customers. 28 Grams Apparel is the king of self-proclaimed “party shirts.” If you are looking to have a good time with fashion in something comfy and casual, you can’t go wrong with the tops, t-shirts, and sweatshirts available through 28 Grams.

Customers have noted that the designs don’t fade or crack even with multiple washes, like screen prints are known to do.

  1. Chrome Industries

Chrome is a brand which focuses heavily on practical, city-friendly streetwear. They take seriously the construction of their apparel and the durability of their bags. In fact, their messenger bags are their greatest claim to underground fame: they say that it is the only bag you’ll ever need. You can even get them custom made.

Beyond bags, however, they bring this dedication to practicality and durability to their clothing. Their focus is on functionality, which is reflected in the overwhelmingly monochromatic and utilitarian nature of their color schemes and designs. Their clothes are made for active participants in urban life.

  1. Whistles

Moving away from party and streetwear, we have Whistles. Whistles is the gateway between the casual and the functional, an intriguing blend of office-ready silhouettes with standout prints. Whistles is professional without being boring or stuffy, and you can readily make the transition from your workday into happy hour with any of their pieces.

Whistles targets the working woman who takes herself seriously but still knows the value of a good time. Whistles apparel is cool enough without being too trendy that it will date itself when you pull it from your closet in a few month’s time.

  1. Laura Theiss Knitwear

The pieces you will find designed by Laura Theiss are unlike the knitwear you will find anywhere else. They are elegant, enduring fashion statements without being too indulgent or fussy in execution. Laura Theiss Knitwear runs the gamut from straight laced to party fiends and covers everything in between. You will find knit sweaters, knit cardigans, slips with 3D designs, knit dresses, wedding dresses, and even just embroidered t-shirts.

The brand is internationally renowned for its unique yet accessible high fashion made available for consumer purchase. Indeed, the prices are not outrageously expensive and are, in fact, on the cheaper end of the spectrum for high-end, intricate knitwork.


SMYTHE might be considered the most daring and outlandish brand to appear on this list. Out of all the apparel companies mentioned here, SMYTHE is by far the priciest and the least accessible to the average consumer. SMYTHE is a brand for fashion aficionados, by fashion aficionados. It is probably unlikely that even the most fashion savvy members of your crew have more than one piece by the company, considering that $395 is on the lower end of the spectrum of their prices.

But beneath the slick lacquer of high-end fashion that coats everything the SMYTHE brand name touches, there is actually a very accessible vibe to everything they produce. There is something very aspirational about the pieces they create, but they are aspirational in a way that makes them feel tangible. 

You might not ever be able to buy that knit sequin side slit dress for just under a thousand dollars, but you can easily picture yourself wearing it. That is a special talent SMYTHE and its designers have that is lost on many modern high-end designer brands. They have lost sight of the longing and daydreaming that makes fashion fun.

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