February 20, 2024
15 mins read

Top 15 Female Founders in Fashion Industry

Female Founders Taking the Fashion Industry by Storm: Unstoppable Innovators of Style.
HEYMAEVE Founder Alicia Sandve
HEYMAEVE Founder Alicia Sandve
Frasier Sterling Founder of Frasiersterling.com
Frasier Sterling Founder of Frasiersterling.com
CAMILLA Founder Camilla Franks
CAMILLA Founder Camilla Franks
BYCHARI Founder Chari Cuthbert
BYCHARI Founder Chari Cuthbert
Brilliant Earth CEO Beth Gerstein
Brilliant Earth CEO Beth Gerstein
Blackbough Founder & CEO Jemina Ty
Blackbough Founder & CEO Jemina Ty
JMP The Label Co-Founder Juliette Porter
JMP The Label Co-Founder Juliette Porter
MONROW Founders: Michelle Wenke and Megan George
MONROW Founders: Michelle Wenke and Megan George
VELA Co-Founder Marwa Atik
VELA Co-Founder Marwa Atik
Logan Hollowell Jewelry Founder
Logan Hollowell Jewelry Founder

The fashion industry is brimming with incredible female entrepreneurs who continue to inspire and shape how we perceive style.

In light of International Women’s Day, we have closely examined some visionary women and their successful brands.

Alongside their accomplishments, the article delves into the empowering perspectives and advice they have to offer other aspiring women entrepreneurs in fashion.

With a vibrant line-up of founders from many fashion labels, readers are presented with a compelling and diverse insight into how these women have navigated the competitive landscape of the fashion business.

From persistence to embracing self-confidence, these industry leaders offer invaluable guidance that inspires growth and innovation.

Key Takeaways

  • The article showcases successful female-founded fashion labels honoring International Women’s Day.
  • Insights and advice from these female founders can empower and inspire other aspiring women entrepreneurs in the fashion industry.
  • Persistence, self-confidence, and innovation are key themes these visionary women in fashion discuss.

Blackbough Founder & CEO Jemina Ty

Blackbough Founder & CEO Jemina Ty

From Bedroom Business to Celebrity Brand

Jemina Ty, a 27-year-old entrepreneur from the Philippines, started Blackbough Swim in her bedroom after identifying a gap in the market for affordable and well-made bikinis.

Initially selling to friends, the brand has since grown exponentially and counts celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Lucy Hale, and Vanessa Hudgens as fans.

Empowering Women Through Fashion and Business

Jemina Ty finds empowerment in creating clothing she wants to wear, bringing ideas to life, and seeing women worldwide look amazing in her designs.

At Blackbough, women make up 97% of the workforce, and they actively support and encourage female team members to contribute their ideas to the business.

The company works with women-led businesses and also supports women-centered charities, such as Tahanan Sta. Luisa and weaving communities in the Ilocos Sur province.

A Favorite Product: Tona Top and Maui Bottoms

The Tona Top and Maui Bottoms are some of Jemina’s favorite products.

These popular designs, some of the first released in 2017, showcase a classic twist top and sporty-cheeky bottoms.

Jemina loves these styles in unique prints, such as Sour Slush, Wild Petunia, and Secret Garden.

Supporting Tahanan Sta. Luisa

Starting March 1, 2022, Blackbough Swim began a year-long partnership with Tahanan Sta. Luisa, a charity that cares for homeless, orphaned, and abandoned female youth in the Philippines.

Between March 1-8, 2022, the company donated $1 for every piece purchased from their Good Stuff collection.

They will also send care packages throughout the year to assist with daily operations, providing essential items like food, vitamins, hygiene products, and recreational materials.

Brilliant Earth Co-Founder & CEO Beth Gerstein

Brilliant Earth Co-Founder & CEO Beth Gerstein
Brilliant Earth Co-Founder & CEO Beth Gerstein

Launching an Ethically Sourced Jewelry Business

When Beth Gerstein had trouble finding ethical, sustainably sourced engagement rings, she started her own fine jewelry business, Brilliant Earth.

Empowerment through Intention

Beth Gerstein feels empowered by acting intentionally in her decision-making process.

At Brilliant Earth, a core principle is to have a bias toward action, meaning that seizing opportunities when they arise is important.

Creating a company culture where ownership is encouraged and failure is seen as a learning opportunity has been essential for Beth’s personal growth.

Inspiring and Supporting Women

Gerstein uses her business to champion women and create opportunities for their success.

This is exemplified through key hires and promotions of women to leadership positions, as well as cultivating a predominantly female Board of Directors.

Gerstein paves the way for future senior female leaders within her company by identifying potential and offering growth opportunities.

Brilliant Earth also supports female empowerment through its non-profit efforts, including the Moyo Gems initiative, which aids female gemstone miners in Tanzania.

A Favorite Collection: The Wildflower Collection

Beth Gerstein’s current favorite product is The Wildflower Collection, which includes engagement rings, wedding bands, and fine jewelry featuring hand-selected gemstones.

This nature-inspired collection is especially suitable for the wedding season and offers unique, intricate designs and vibrant pops of color that customers will love.

BYCHARI Founder Chari Cuthbert

BYCHARI’s Origins

In 2012, Chari Cuthbert founded BYCHARI to express her personal style and attitude towards life.

With a unique approach to fashion, she focused on minimalistic and high-quality investment pieces complemented by layers of fine jewelry.

Often inherited from female family members or discovered during her travels, these pieces held stories and redefined minimal style.

Empowerment through BYCHARI

BYCHARI Founder Chari Cuthbert
BYCHARI Founder Chari Cuthbert

Chari Cuthbert takes pride in building BYCHARI from scratch, entering a predominantly male industry with confidence, and learning every aspect of production single-handedly.

Her story empowers her, and she aims to inspire others similarly.

She acknowledges an amazing all-women team’s indispensable role in her success today.

Supporting Women and Uplifting Others

Through BYCHARI, Chari endeavors to support women from diverse backgrounds.

As she rightly points out the ongoing issue of gender wage inequality, hiring an all-female team is both equalizing and empowering.

This allows the entire team to grow BYCHARI beyond their expectations.

Current Favorite Product

Chari’s favorite BYCHARI product at present is the Diamond Initial Necklace.

She enjoys changing her jewelry daily but tends to wear the initials of someone very dear to her, allowing her to carry a piece of it no matter the distance.

CAMILLA Founder Camilla Franks

A Leading Fashion Designer in Australia

Camilla Franks is the creative force behind the luxurious Australian brand CAMILLA.

Since its inception in 2004, she has garnered global recognition for her imaginative and intricate designs, which incorporate tales from her international travels and a sense of creative escape.

Over the years, CAMILLA has evolved into a global print house renowned for its distinctive aesthetic and narrative-driven designs.

CAMILLA Founder Camilla Franks
CAMILLA Founder Camilla Franks

Empowerment through Risk-Taking

Camilla believes that taking risks and trusting her instincts empower her.

Despite the fear associated with venturing into the unknown, staying true to herself has led to success in her career.

Throughout her 18-year journey with CAMILLA, she has never hesitated to pursue unconventional ideas.

For example, she launched boutiques during a worldwide pandemic and expanded her product lines to include wallpaper, surfboards, pet beds, and crockery.

Inspiring Women and Upholding Community Values

The CAMILLA brand aims to symbolize love, joy, and inclusivity.

Camilla harnesses the power of her platform to build a supportive community of individuals from all different backgrounds and lifestyles.

Through her ongoing charitable partnerships, she addresses issues such as domestic violence, child marriage, breast cancer, cultural change, ethics, and sustainability on a global scale.

She is always working to adapt and learn as the world changes.

A Commitment to Sustainability and Nature

Camilla’s love for Mother Nature drives her passion for sustainable products.

Her current favorite items include recycled ECONYL swimsuits made from regenerated nylon, which help reduce pollution caused by waste materials.

This dedication to Earth’s well-being has been ingrained in the CAMILLA brand since its foundation on Bondi Beach. It embodies a commitment to living purposefully and respecting the planet.

Frasier Sterling: Frasiersterling.com

Establishing Her Brand at 20 Years Old

Frasier Sterling started her accessory line in her apartment at 20. The brand has come a long way since 2011, attracting celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid as fans.

Empowerment: Pregnancy and Business

As an expectant mother and businesswoman, Frasier feels particularly empowered now.

Running Frasier Sterling while eight months pregnant is no small feat, and she appreciates the reward of managing her own business.

Inspiring Women and Supporting Each Other

With a strong Gen-Z female following, Frasier Sterling focuses on leading by example and promoting kindness, self-love, and confidence through their social media presence.

Frasier Sterling Founder of Frasiersterling.com
Frasier Sterling Founder of Frasiersterling.com

The brand actively supports various charities and nonprofits. For instance, on International Women’s Day, they donated 10% of their sales to Girls Inc, an organization that mentors and empowers young girls.

A Favorite Product: The Shine On Custom Diamond Name Plate Necklace

Frasier’s current favorite piece from her collection is the Shine On Custom Diamond Name Plate Necklace.

This fine jewelry item is perfect for everyday wear, and for Frasier, it holds a special meaning as it has her baby’s name on it.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, Frasier Sterling donated 10% of all sales made on March 8th to show their support for women worldwide.

HEYMAEVE Founder Alicia Sandve

Jewelry and Lifestyle Brand with a Mission

HEYMAEVE, a jewelry and lifestyle brand, was founded by Singapore-based Alicia Sandve.

Her primary goal for the brand is to serve as a platform to support and empower women within its community while also giving back to causes close to her heart.

These causes include non-profit organizations that support sexual assault survivors like herself.

HEYMAEVE Founder Alicia Sandve
HEYMAEVE Founder Alicia Sandve

Finding Empowerment Through Voice

Alicia’s journey to empowerment started after her own experience with sexual assault in 2019.

Facing a legal system with ingrained flaws and an unsupportive employer, she found her voice and the strength to advocate for herself.

This experience inspired her to create HEYMAEVE as a means of healing and eventually using it to help and empower others.

As a mother to two girls, Alicia considers her voice invaluable. She is keen on setting a positive example for her daughters, teaching them that everyone deserves to be heard.

Impacting Lives Through Business

Alicia established HEYMAEVE shortly after her sexual assault to regain control of her life and channel her painful experience into empowering and educating others.

To contribute financially to relevant causes, she needed to create a successful business.

HEYMAEVE prioritizes giving back as a key brand value, donating $1 from every order to one of three women-focused non-profit organizations chosen by the customer.

I=change facilitates this process for transparency.

Additionally, HEYMAEVE collaborates with Destiny Rescue, a non-profit that rescues children from human trafficking and sponsors the education of two young girls in Indonesia through the Bali Children’s Project.

The Heiress Ring: A Popular Product with Purpose

Currently, Alicia’s favorite piece from her brand is the Heiress Ring.

Apart from being an affordable, luxurious, and beautiful product that has gained popularity on Instagram, it is also part of the #WESTANDWITHUKRAINE collection.

As a result, 20% of the sales from this collection will be donated to Global Empowerment Mission to support humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.

JMP The Label Co-Founder Juliette Porter

Building JMP The Label

Juliette Porter, a star in Siesta Key, utilized her loyal following of over 780,000 fans on Instagram to launch JMP The Label in January 2021.

She attributes her sense of empowerment to building the brand from scratch and witnessing its growth.

According to Juliette, overcoming the fear of starting a business and surrounding herself with experienced partners was crucial in her journey to build this successful swimwear line.

JMP The Label Co-Founder Juliette Porter
JMP The Label Co-Founder Juliette Porter

Empowerment Through Swimwear

With a passion for swimwear and fashion, Juliette Porter aims to create products that evoke positive feelings in women and boost their confidence.

She believes that swimwear can be an intimidating part of a person’s wardrobe, and JMP The Label aims to eliminate this discomfort and replace it with confidence.

The brand focuses on creating swimwear that is not only beautifully designed but also helps women feel good, both inside and out.

Current Favorite Product

Juliette shared that her favorite product is an unreleased white crochet bikini adorned with colorful beads. The bikini is designed with the upcoming festival season in mind.

The excitement of designing new products and anticipating their release keeps her motivated and passionate about the swimwear line.

Juliette Porter, co-founder of JMP The Label, has turned her passion for swimwear and fashion into a successful brand. The brand empowers women by making them feel confident and beautiful in their skin.

The support of her Instagram fanbase and experienced partners have played a significant role in the brand’s growth. They have allowed her to create a fashion line focused on boosting confidence and eliminating discomfort often associated with swimwear.

Logan Hollowell Jewelry Founder: Logan Hollowell

Empowerment through Control and Vision

Logan Hollowell, the founder of her namesake jewelry brand, finds empowerment in controlling her destiny. She also finds empowerment in taking action to achieve her goals and maintaining a clear vision. She values discipline, setting boundaries, and nurturing her physical well-being.

By staying curious and learning, Logan strengthens her inner voice. She also supports philanthropic efforts through her company, which makes her feel even more empowered.

Inspiring and Lifting Others through Business

Logan Hollowell Jewelry Founder
Logan Hollowell Jewelry Founder

Logan aims to touch people’s hearts and souls with her mission, designs, and message. She emphasizes the importance of supporting other women-owned companies and setting an example for one another. Logan believes that by uplifting each other, everyone benefits and grows together. To further inspire women, her company’s marketing efforts focus on self-love and mutual support.

Current Favorite: Emerald Pieces

At the moment, Logan is captivated by emerald jewelry pieces, specifically queen emerald rings and emerald Cuban link items. She feels that every empowered goddess should own an emerald, as it represents unconditional love and abundance.

The green color of emeralds symbolizes growth, like a flourishing forest teeming with life. The stone also resonates with the heart chakra energy center, making it a perfect addition for anyone seeking to heal and attract more love and abundance. With a rich history dating back to ancient Egypt and Cleopatra’s favorite stone, emeralds carry a magical allure.

MONROW Co-Founders: Michelle Wenke and Megan George

Meeting at Otis College of Art and Design

Michelle Wenke and Megan George first crossed paths as students at the Otis College of Art and Design. At the college, they both pursued BFAs. After gaining experience in the fashion industry, they ultimately decided to combine their talents and establish MONROW.

Empowerment Through Collaboration

When asked about the sources of their empowerment, Michelle emphasized the inspiration she draws from people’s ideas and personalities. Meanwhile, Megan expressed her enthusiasm for teamwork. They both cherish exchanging ideas and collaborating with others to create something meaningful.

MONROW Founders: Michelle Wenke and Megan George
MONROW Founders: Michelle Wenke and Megan George

Inspiring Women with Their Business

Michelle and Megan strive to simplify a small aspect of their customers’ daily lives to uplift and inspire women. MONROW’s clothing is designed to make women feel comfortable and confident, empowering them to put their best selves forward.

Favorite Products at the Moment

Michelle enjoys their new poplin shirts and cozy sweater sets, while Megan’s top pick is the men’s military jacket. The oversized, lightweight design makes it a versatile, trans-seasonal garment that embodies MONROW’s cool and casual aesthetic.

International Women’s Day Contribution

In honor of International Women’s Day, MONROW is donating 20% of the proceeds from their Women’s Day Athletic Tee to the Downtown Women’s Center.

RESA Founder Suzanne Marchese

Starting RESA in 2015

Suzanne Marchese began her journey with RESA by selling dresses online and operating from her apartment in Venice Beach in 2015. Today, RESA products are available on popular websites like Revolve and its e-commerce platform.

Empowerment Through Helping Others

Suzanne Marchese feels empowered when she assists others, especially by offering guidance in the career paths she has experienced. She believes sharing her mistakes and providing advice can positively impact other women’s journeys.

Suzanne stresses the importance of cooperation, not competition. She emphasizes that there is room for everyone to succeed in the fashion industry. She also emphasizes that when women support each other, anything is possible.

Inspiring Women and Uplifting Others Through RESA

Suzanne strives to design clothing that makes women feel confident and beautiful. Her brand focuses on creating effortless pieces suitable for various occasions, from running errands to enjoying a night out. The goal is for women to feel comfortable and at their best at all times.

Current Favorite Product: The Noelle Maxi

When asked about her favorite product, Suzanne mentions the Noelle Maxi dress, especially in its new knit version. The adjustable cut-out feature offers a perfect balance of sexiness and class, while also complementing various body types. The dress can effortlessly transform from a statement piece for events to a casual outfit with simple flats. No wonder it’s a best seller!

Sanctuary Co-Founder & Chief Creative Director Debra Polanco

Establishing Sanctuary in 1997

Debra Polanco, together with her husband, founded Sanctuary in 1997. Their vision was to combine the relaxed Californian style with New York’s effortless cool to create a brand that offers versatile everyday clothing for customers.

Empowerment Through Teamwork

For Debra, seeing the completion and results of a project as a team effort is fulfilling and a source of empowerment.

Using Business to Inspire and Support Women

At Sanctuary, Debra leads a predominantly female design team. She strives to bring out the best in each member with inspiring examples. Additionally, Sanctuary supports organizations dedicated to women empowerment through their #sanctuarygivesback initiatives.

A Favorite Product Highlight

Currently, one of Debra’s preferred products is the rebel pants, available in camo or solid design. These fashionable cargo pants showcase the brand’s fun and versatile style.

SKATIE Co-Founders Mandi Glynn and Skatie Noyes

Meeting and Launching SKATIE

In 2011, Mandi Glynn and Skatie Noyes crossed paths at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. Their shared passion for fashion would later lead to the founding of SKATIE, a brand launched on Instagram in 2016.

Committed to sustainability and ethical production, the duo has focused on creating clothing that aligns with these values.

Empowerment Through Community

Glynn and Noyes draw their empowerment from the thriving community they’ve built within their brand.

This community includes their employees – a team of dedicated women who support and uplift each other – and their loyal customer base, which has continued to expand on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

Witnessing the enthusiasm and confidence women exude while wearing their creations is a major driving force behind the co-founders’ motivation.

Encouraging Body Positivity

The SKATIE brand places a high priority on inclusivity and creating swimwear that suits various body types. Their ultimate goal is to boost women’s self-esteem and help them feel comfortable in their own skin.

Favorite SKATIE Product

Both Glynn and Noyes agree that their favorite products are the comfortable yet stylish basics.

These pieces can be effortlessly combined to create chic and versatile outfits for any occasion, from casual outings to office wear.

The simplicity and ease of integrating these items into daily wardrobe choices make them indispensable in the co-founders’ own lives.

The Daily Edited Founder & CEO Tania Liu

The Daily Edited Journey and Tania’s Entrepreneurial Leap

Tania Liu initially created The Daily Edited as a side project, combining a fashion blog with a retail store. However, it soon transformed into a significant accessories brand.

With a background in law, Tania made a significant career change by diving into the entrepreneurial world. She now dedicates her time to managing The Daily Edited.

Empowerment Through Knowledge and Experience

Tania believes that empowerment comes from a combination of knowledge and experience. Reflecting on her own successes and failures, she gathers understanding and strength for future endeavors.

In addition, Tania surrounds herself with individuals who possess greater creativity, intellect, and wisdom. She does this to ensure she is constantly learning and growing.

Uplifting Women with The Daily Edited

Tania acknowledges that The Daily Edited would not have succeeded without the committed and talented female-led team and their supportive community.

As the business continues its journey towards social, environmental, and creative excellence, Tania hopes that she can inspire other women to take leaps of faith and become their best selves.

Tania’s Current Favorite Product

Tania’s current favorite product from The Daily Edited is the Cosmetic Case Set in Mango. This item is part of the High Summer collection and represents the brand’s beginning of creative transformation.

Furthermore, it serves as a nostalgic reminder of times when travel was more accessible, allowing individuals to immerse themselves in various cultures.

The Range Founders Brittney and Mia Rothweiler

Launch of The Range in 2017 by Brittney and Mia

In 2017, sisters Brittney and Mia Rothweiler established The Range. They aimed to provide fashionable women with trendy and sophisticated wardrobe staples. The brand is available at numerous retailers such as Net-A-Porter, FWRD, and Shopbop.

Empowerment Through Freedom

When asked about empowerment, Brittney and Mia believe freedom plays a significant role. They find strength and confidence in having autonomy over their lives, working together, and creating the lifestyle they’ve always wanted. They also emphasize the importance of having a supportive community and family in providing an empowering environment.

Inspiring and Elevating Women Through Business

The sisters aim to inspire women and elevate them through The Range by designing clothing that makes them feel strong, sexy, and comfortable. They want their customers to instantly feel chic and put together when wearing their pieces, which, in turn, positively impacts their mood and energy.

Favorite Current Products

Brittney and Mia are currently fond of dressing in sets, which they find effortlessly stylish and easy to wear.

While casual sets were popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, they now appreciate more dressed-up sets and tonal outfits. Their collections include thermal, rib, terry, and satin fabrics they confidently wear.

VELA Co-Founder Marwa Atik

A Market Gap Leads to VELA’s Creation

At 18, Marwa Atik discovered a lack of stylish and trendy scarves in the market. To address this issue, she joined forces with her sister and co-founder, Tasneem Atik Sabri, and started VELA to bring a fresh perspective to modest fashion.

VELA Co-Founder Marwa Atik
VELA Co-Founder Marwa Atik

Women’s Empowerment and VELA

When asked about her source of empowerment, Marwa states that being a woman itself gives her strength. She is proud of the company she built with her sister and is thrilled to lead a team of inspiring women.

VELA’s goal extends beyond selling hijabs and modest wear; it aims to encourage women and girls to take pride in their identity.

Lifting Others Through VELA

Marwa uses VELA to challenge the stereotype of oppressed Muslim women portrayed in the media. Instead, she emphasizes that hijab is a personal, empowering choice.

Marwa finds satisfaction in positively impacting women’s journey with hijabs through VELA. This is expressed by individuals who feel inspired and empowered by her brand.

Marwa’s Current Favorite Product

As for her personal preferences, Marwa is focusing on skincare this year. Currently, she is particularly fond of the Fortuna skincare line, appreciating their products’ artistry and their positive effects on her skin.

WAYF Founder Meredith Fisher

The Creation and Expansion of WAYF

In 2006, Meredith Fisher established WAYF, an acronym for Where Are You From, as a collection of 10 unique pieces. The brand has since grown and now features additional lines, such as WAYF Bridal and WAYF’98, available at well-known retailers like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Shopbop, and Revolve (story).

Empowerment through Growth

Fisher is empowered by reflecting on the journey of her company. She created dresses in middle school and later launched a successful clothing line. The growth of WAYF, the support from the major retailers, and the dedication of her predominantly female team constantly empower her.

They continue to expand into new categories, like bridesmaid dresses and athleisure.

Inspiring Women and Supporting Others through WAYF

For Fisher, uplifting and inspiring women involves providing accessible and inclusive clothing. The clothing caters to various budgets and body types.

With most of their collection priced under $100, WAYF aims to offer a diverse range. This allows women to feel confident and stylish during significant life events, such as a prom, wedding, or baby shower, to create lasting memories.

Favorite Product from the Spring Collection

Meredith Fisher expresses excitement about the Spring collection. It represents a return to the joy of dressing up.

The collection consists of dresses suitable for spring events. It also includes alluring sets for summer nights, captivating prints, and vibrant colors. Fisher eagerly anticipates seeing customers enjoying their lives while wearing pieces from this collection.

Julia Dobson

Julia Dobson, co-founder of Village England, blends luxury with accessibility in handbags. Her expertise from LVMH and entrepreneurial spirit, alongside balancing motherhood, showcases her journey in filling a niche in the fashion industry.

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