Philadelphia is an extraordinary city brimming with history, culture, and art. The area is charged with a scintillating fusion of clashing worlds held in check by local pride and a sense of brotherhood that is unmatched by any other city in the nation. These elements create an environment ripe for producing some of the most creative, innovative, and resourceful designers found in today’s clothing and fashion industry. Check out the top up-and-coming local brands listed below.
1839 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Commonwealth Proper is a brand tailored for men who recognize their own sense of style. The inspiration for the company’s line came in 2007 when the future founders were faced with the seemingly impossible task of finding a durable, ready-made shirt that offered the wearer a splash of individual style along with a comfortable fit. Today, not only can you find custom suits and shirts, but also a bounty of limited run items such as upcycled cufflinks as well as t-shirts, ties, pocket squares, scarves, and more. With storefronts in Philadelphia and Atlanta bolstered by online and social media purchasing options, Commonwealth Proper is poised to become one of the leading local clothing brands in the city.
Earl Salko is the classic, timeless brand of choice for busy working moms who desire both fashion and comfort. The designs utilize elegant vintage-inspired shapes and lines to show off the woman, not the clothing. Created primarily from knits, the brand offers both comfort and durability. Most of the clothing is handmade by the designer herself in a local Philadelphia studio. Earl Salko clothing can be purchased at Nostalgia, a vintage and contemporary boutique that is located in Queen Village at 704 S. 5th St.
Lobo Mau Designs, LLC
Lobo Mau is one of Philadelphia’s hottest up-and-coming brands. The highly stylized look is for the woman who wants to offer a peek at her wild side while still proclaiming that she is a sophisticated, successful adult who has it all together. With the release of its edgy-chic Spring 2015 line, the company is transitioning into the national market. Lobo Mau is available at US*U.S. at 323 Arch Street in Old City, Style Camp at 8433 Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill, and via pop-ups at Knit Wit at 1729 Chestnut Street.
With its striking monochromatic tones culled from the tempestuous palette of slate, black, navy blue, and sand, NINObrand makes a bold statement. It is a line for the mature, sophisticated, and well-traveled woman who cherishes the finer aspects of art and culture. This edgy brand affords its collectors a crisp style, impressive durability, an enticing comfort, and the confidence that comes from knowing you are adorned in luxury. You can find NINObrand both online and at the company’s atelier at 333 S. 20th St. in Rittenhouse Square.
Senpai+Kohai is for the woman who seeks to make a distinctive, artistic statement through fashion. An individual who sports this stunning local brand not only understands the importance of quality and value, but desires to look as confident and as beautiful outside as she feels inside. With an additional focus on fit and fabric, the Senpai+Kohai brand encourages the wearer to transform herself into a work of vibrant art without ever sacrificing comfort. Besides shopping online, you can find this fetching line at Bianca De Pietro’s Toile: Custom Atelier at 1333 Frankford Avenue in Fishtown.
Allen Foster, a lifelong Greater Philadelphia resident, has been writing about all those wonderful things that make us feel so alive for over 20 years. He approaches each day as an adventure, eager to discover what new and vibrant surprises await just around life’s corner. You can see his work on Examiner.com.