This article, "4 Women-Run Indie Clothing Lines for When Fast Fashion Gets Too Boring," originally appeared on xoJane. For more stories like this, visit

xo jane/Hannah Johnson
May 09, 2016 @ 1:45 pm

More and more, I find myself committed to making better choices when I shop. Whether it's through bringing life to old pieces and shopping vintage or being more conscious with my cash and purchasing from indie designers (as opposed to fast fashion brands), I'm feeling a lot more confident in the staying power of my wardrobe.

When it comes to the latter, I've noticed a pattern in the shopping I've been favouring lately. All of the pieces I've been buying or lusting after come from lines helmed by cool, creative young women. It brings me joy to be supporting small businesses and makes me even happier to know those companies are run by extremely cool gals.

Because I've become so enamored with the designs of these women, I want to spread the love — and ethical responsibility! — and share their work with you all. I'm sure you'll be swooning for these styles in no time.

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Samantha Pleet

Samantha Pleet is a collaboration between Samantha and her husband Patrick. The line is whimsical and feminine but always with a clever twist. If Pleet's clothes could be compared to a book, I'd say they remind me of Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived In The Castle. Her current collection has a nostalgic quality, mixing wallpaper-inspired prints with quirky touches (a pocket that looks like a window, for one). Her clothes are not only stylish and fun, but they're also incredibly comfortable — perfect for lounging about in a Sunday afternoon when you still want to look cute.

Arden Wray

With my friend Amanda (right) wearing Samantha Pleet dresses. Amanda is in the Window Dress and I'm in the Wallflower Dress. We were modelling for Toronto boutique Victoire, snapped by photographer Arden Wray.

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Iris Denim

Iris Denim was created by Toronto vintage babes Jess and Lindsay who had spent years sorting through racks and piles of old clothes to find the perfect pair of jeans. Anyone who has attempted this journey knows how fruitless it can often be, and so J&L decided "to hell with it!" and began Iris Denim on the quest to create their ideal jeans. Last year the Bad Reputation launched, a pair of skinny, high-waisted, dark-wash jeans that sucked in and lifted everything into sexy perfection without being uncomfortable, and the patriotic little Canuck in me must mention — they're made in Canada. Now we've got the Spellbound, the same pair in sexy black.

I've seen these jeans on many bodies at this point and I've gotta say, they flatter everyone phenomenally. One tip: definitely size down. While I usually wear a 29 in Levi's, a 26 in Iris fits me juuuust right.

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L'école Des Femmes

L'école Des Femmes is a line created by Laura Sfez, a Paris-native who splits her time between France and Los Angeles. The line is influenced by Laura's love of old-Hollywood glamour, French sophistication, and an intrinsic need for cinematic storytelling. Her clothes allow the wearer to become a different character, and the quality of the garments means they can withstand the test of day-to-day life, whether you're dancing up a storm or sticking to the shadows as a spy on the run.

Libra Libre.

A photo posted by Hannah Johnson (@hannahejo) on

L'école Des Femmes is also known for their super-soft graphic tees (one of which I'm wearing above), most notably the Oui/Non tee. All in all, Laura's clothes are for fun, sexy people who aren't afraid to make a statement. And I'll be pining for the St. Tropez dress until the day I die...


Currently on sale for $99. Too bad my birthday isn't until September.

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Hannah Kristina Metz

Hannah Kristina Metz has creativity in her blood: she's worked as an illustrator, a photographer, a model, and a lingerie designer, so her latest venture — an eponymous clothing line — makes total sense. 

The clothes take inspiration not only from Hannah's illustration background, but from her love of classic literature and period pieces - Wuthering Heights references often make an appearance. Her new collection launches soon, and I can't wait to see the fun ideas she's come up with.

Are there any unique young designers you've been digging lately? I want to hear all about 'em!

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