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  • Post published:10/09/2021
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Sophia Bush and Nina Farran

Credit: Fashionkind

Every thread of your sweater, stitch on your t-shirt, and cuff on your pant leg tells a story — and FashionKind is here to tell it.

Created by cofounders Sophia Bush and Nina Farran, Fashionkind bills itself as “a new way to discover and shop for luxury fashion online.” Yes, the company most certainly features stunning goods any fashionista would covet, but it also goes much deeper than showing off clothing’s outer beauty. As the women share, they want their company to help improve the clothing lifecycle from the ground up while shining a light on artisans making a real difference.

“Our mission really hearkens back to the original values of luxury: to seek out the best in craftsmanship from around the world and to forge an emotional connection to it through storytelling,” Farran and Bush shared with Travel + Leisure. “The biggest difference is that we also curate designers based on the positive impact they make, whether that’s saving a traditional type of artisanship from disappearing, using environmentally responsible materials or processes, or empowering women through stable employment opportunities. We also want to restore the soul of luxury through highly personalized customer service, which so many players in the industry lack.”

Woman in blue outfit

Credit: Fashionkind

The supreme attention to detail, both in the clothes and for the customers, is evident throughout the company’s website. And for travel lovers, there’s one major button to push: shop by region.

“We offer the option for customers to shop by region, which is the perfect place to start,” the women explained. “Last summer we forged a partnership to help Latin designers and artisans survive the pandemic after many of their wholesale orders were canceled. We have a lot of beautiful products from Central and South America, but our designer mix also includes brands that employ artisans in Kenya, Israel, India, and more.”

women in red shirt showcasing rings

Credit: Fashionkind

According to the duo, many of the designs on their shop feature geographically specific craftsmanship and techniques that you’d come across if you traveled to these destinations.

“We also work with a lot of local collectives and designers who are very familiar with the regions so we can really offer an insider’s perspective on a destination,” they added. “Our goal is to offer our customer the same thrill of discovery that she would have while traveling.

Woman in billowy dress

Credit: Fashionkind

As for their own favorite under-the-radar destinations to shop, Farran and Bush noted Antigua is at the top of the list. The pair even launched a brand called Coco Shop, which grew out of a local shop on the island that was first opened in the 1940s and featured the work of local artisans and seamstresses. “A young woman named Taylor Simmons, who had been visiting Antigua all her life, bought the shop in 2017 when it was on the verge of closing. She relaunched in 2019 and has stayed true to the mission of the original store,” they said.

Beyond regional shopping, the two female founders also made certain that customers could also shop by cause, making it easy to put their purchasing power to good use.

“We’ve always felt strongly about preserving artisanal techniques that are at risk of being lost and marrying them with modern design. These skills are traditionally generational; once you lose a generation, you run the risk of losing that skill forever,” they said. “Most of our brands fall into at least two or three categories out of our seven positive impact categories we use as part of our criteria for selection on the site (artisan craft, emerging economies, made in the USA, philanthropic, sustainable materials, women’s empowerment, and vegan).”

So, who should you shop first? Farran suggested looking at Pili Restrepo, a Colombian designer based in Miami, who creates fine jewelry using mercury-free gold. Bush highlighted the Colombian luxury lifestyle brand Juan de Dios and home decor firm Moye, who are collaborating on a home and fashion capsule that ranges from resort wear and swim to throw pillows and wallpaper.

“Both brands are inspired by elements of Colombia’s landscape and culture, with a very distinctive sense of place, and they’ve come together to create something that’s joyful and transporting,” Bush said. “The partnership reflects values that are essential to Fashionkind.”

See all your shopping options, and more about FashionKind, here.

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