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Fashion is where talent, style, and artistry meet – three elements that Portland, Oregon certainly does not lack. As aesthetically-minded as it is hip, the city heaves with young creatives flaunting about in all sorts of unique getups and wearable art, whether they’re out and about, lounging at home, or walking down the aisle. Traveling fashionistas and shopaholics, take note: here’s a list of some of the city’s most interesting designers.
West coast native Hillary Day designs the perfect Portland, Oregon staple: a raincoat for the modern woman. With a degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and experience working for the likes of Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren, and Adidas, Day debuted her eponymous line in 2008 and has been keeping Portlandians dry and warm ever since.
Portland-based knitwear line Hubris Apparel has been creating everyday looks since 2010, focusing on flattering cuts, block colors and fun prints that go beyond basics. Using organic and sustainable fabrics when available, the brand is committed to creating a positive impact on the planet as well as its fans, and can be found at a handful of local Portland shops, including Amelia and Radish Underground.
Up-and-coming Portland plus-size label Copper Union celebrates curves with style and spunk. With a background in jewelry design, costuming, and fiber arts, fashion designer Claire Doody produces plus-size separates with an eye for great fits and creative textiles. Sizes run from 12-30, though Doody takes custom orders on smaller cuts as well. Copper Union is available online and from local boutiques.
Everyone’s favorite local dress boutique also happens to be the namesake of fashion designer Amelia Blakeman. Blakeman sells her eponymous line – which runs from XS-3X – among a selection of other designers and a small collection of her own one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry. Crystals, gems, and minerals dot the accessories line, while Amelia’s dresses range from crazy kaftans to classic cuts.
Stephanie Mai launched her eponymous line in 2012 after years of creating custom bridal and evening looks for her private clientele. The fashion designer grew up with the trade, watching her mother design and sew dresses throughout her childhood. Mai’s penchant for bold, sexy, and modern fits has made her a household name in Portland, while delicate lace and feminine details make her a go-to for local brides-to-be.
Design studio and retail shop One Imaginary Girl is a Portland-based label designed by Sarah Donofrio. Valuing creativity over saleability, Donofrio stays true to her unique aesthetic, playing with bold colors and patterns in unexpected combinations. One Imaginary Girl carries a select few other labels as well, carefully chosen to complement Donofrio’s line.
Committed to local production and vegan materials, Moore is a Portland-based street fashion brand with a deep set of values. Working with a neutral color palette, fashion designer Andrea Moore Beaulieu focuses on quality and attention to detail above all else in her designs for men and women. She’s lived all over the country, bringing her various influences to her Portland store and workshop, which opened in 2014.
Established in 2013, All Bad Days “is art and apparel for the eternally bummed.” Owned and operated by Breyell Dawn Payne and Nathan Bobey, two Portland transplants, the duo sells a quirky collection of t-shirts and pins that make for an excellent memento of the Rose City vibe.
Olderbrother is a line of universal garments designed for men, women, and everyone in between. Each piece is made from eco-conscious materials, like small-batch organics and plant-based synthetics, and those that are dyed are done so by hand with natural colors, free from heavy metals, salts, and toxins. For Olderbrother, quality as just as important as social and environmental responsibility.
Rogue Minx is a one-woman operation run by Anna Marie Cooper in Portland, Oregon. A self-taught fashion designer, Cooper has been selling her work directly to clients for over a decade and is dedicated to ethical manufacturing and female empowerment. Her collection consists of dresses and separates, as well as modern lingerie and undergarments, and can be found online.