5 Brands Creating Streetwear for Women


The brothers Jacob and Axel Hagg moved to Los Angeles from New York in 2012 — and a year later, they launched their brand, Brashy Studios. “There was and is a creative opportunity in creating a new women’s streetwear line not present in the men’s market,” says Jacob, who first moved from Stockholm to New York to intern for a creative agency before decamping to the West Coast. The brothers draw inspiration from the deep corners of the internet — as well as from people they find on Instagram, like the musical artist Tommy Genesis, an underground female rapper known for her rebellious attitude and lyrics. Though Brashy is geared toward female customers, some pieces in the collection — such as oversize hoodies, boxy jackets and roomy trousers — are intentionally gender-fluid. “For us, streetwear should incorporate something of an anti-establishment ethos; establishment can of course be freely interpreted,” Jacob says. The brand’s spring/summer 2017 collection — which is available now at Colette in Paris and on the Brashy Studios website — consists of a fluorescent-pink vinyl jacket and pants, a tearaway tracksuit and pieces emblazoned with the word “GIRLS.”


Erin Magee, the designer of MadeMe, is no stranger to the world of streetwear: She also serves as the director of development and special projects for Supreme. And before starting there full time in 2005, she worked on the Umbro by Kim Jones Collection and the Umbro x Supreme collaboration a year later. “After working in men’s wear for many years, I wanted to provide something for girls like me,” Magee says. “It was a little bit of a reaction to my day job.” Magee launched the brand in 2007; her pieces include a leather moto jacket with tattoo-style embroidered sleeves — available on her site and at Opening Ceremony  which she produced in collaboration with the leather brand Schott. “I create collections and pieces because I feel they’re cool and right for the time,” Magee tells T. She does not feel the pressure of having to constantly create to keep up with the retail or wholesale calendar — which she feels makes MadeMe distinct. She looks to women like Kim Gordon and Petra Collins for inspiration, and when asked who her ideal customer would be, she says: “Literally any woman except Kellyanne Conway.”


Leather is a common material used throughout a streetwear, but with Anne-Sophie Kohler’s brand, A-Line, every piece is made of it. She started the label in 2012 as a contemporary women’s wear line  and relaunched it last year as one focused solely on leather. Kohler says she was inspired by the history of the leather jacket. “What started as a symbol of rebellion and individualism in the ’50s and ’60s for those trapped by the everyday, ended up taking multiple roles of identification,” she says. A pair of leather pants features a sporty pink stripe, and she fashioned a patchwork jacket entirely out of leftover leather scraps. She sources leather in Britain and works with local manufacturers to make sure no off-cuts or leftovers are wasted. “A streetwear brand to me has to be effortless, easy — combined with durability,” Kohler says. “I design to empower my female customers.”


When coming up with a brand name, the designers Celine Kreis and Suman Gurung quite literally took inspiration from the word “streetwear.” Rue means street in French, and elle means she (they abbreviated it to the letter “l.”)  The design duo met while studying at the London College of Fashion, from which they graduated in 2015; they then interned at various fashion houses (Gurung at Céline and Kreis at the contemporary label Perks and Mini as well as at Paco Rabanne) before starting Rue-L in 2016. They felt that the streetwear industry was lacking an attention to women’s wear. “There is a huge gap in the market for a predominantly women’s wear focused streetwear brand — especially one that really thinks and considers the woman’s body and form,” Kreis tells T. The designers wanted to make a collection with classic pieces like a hoodie, a sweater, a tracksuit — but tailored in ways that would be more flattering for women. They began by studying Kreis’s wardrobe (she dresses primarily in high-waisted, colorful miniskirts, T-shirts and tracksuits) and then Gurung used those pieces as inspiration to create a comfortable streetwear collection tailored to female proportions. As Gurung puts it, the aim of the brand is to make their customers “feel confident in Rue-L, and, to us, to be confident you have to be comfortable.”


Ben Taverniti got his start in women’s wear as the head designing assistant to Jeremy Scott from 1999-2001, and then became the creative director of Hudson Jeans, a position he still holds.  “I wanted to get away from the norms of fashion,” he says. “I felt that trends weren’t important and wanted to create elevated, timeless pieces.” His women’s wear brand, Unravel, launched in March of 2015, and his first collection took inspiration from staple pieces from his closet such as T-shirts, leather jackets, pants and bombers. “I started to destroy them and create something fresh while still maintaining that classic style.” Half a year later, he met the makeup artist Joyce Bonelli, who is now his partner and creative consultant. Taverniti credits her as an inspiration for Unravel and its clients, showing how streetwear should be worn today. “Her influence in my design process for Unravel is huge. The way she puts the pieces together and styles the pieces is contagious — she embodies Unravel,” he says. His best sellers are logo hoodies, oversize bombers and lace-up denim and leather. He also debuted his first men’s wear collection a few months ago during Men’s Paris Fashion week.