Nelly B.'s 2020 local fashion brand wish list

It is no secret that supporting local is a big deal for me. What started out as me supporting a colleague when she launched her natural hair care product line back in 2012, has turned into me becoming a go to for local natural hair and skin care product information. I love my local brands! And honestly (though I'm not always able to), I'd rather give my coins to them. Admittedly, one aspect of local that I've always found a bit daunting is fashion. Mainly because I have very little style sense. Now before you go saying "Tshenelle, stop talking filth," let me explain. 

I've never had an eye for fashion. I literally throw something on, grab an accessory or two and hope it all looks good together. Some days are a hit, others a miss. I often rely on friends like Rochelle of Eller Style or Arrianne Talma to guide me, but this year I've decided to trust my own style instinct (fashion deities, hear my plea!) and get more fashionable items from local designers. Hence this list of local fashion brands that I want to support this year. 

This was probably the first local fashion brand that I ever followed. This brand oozes Caribbean vibe and their signature hand dyed batik has captivated me from day one. By now I am positively sure they know how much I love their aesthetic. Just as much, I am even more sure that they know that I am horribly (or horridly) indecisive. Just when I've made up my mind to get one piece from them, they create something else that catches my eye. Will I get the spider back dress? Or the batik kimono. decisions... decisions... decisions...

I remember getting a pair of their cocoa pod earrings years ago in the now discontinued Diembox, which was the first local subscription box. And then I lost them. That still bothers me to this day. What amazed me about their collection, is that ceramic is one on the main mediums that they use to bring forth their Caribbean/tropical inspired earrings and necklaces. I've not seen anyone else do that, and I think it is awesome. So I will definitely be replacing my lost earrings this year. Fun fact: Cyrstal is also my friend in my head, and she knows this. 

I'm a huge fan of Natalie's work, and she is such is joy to be around. You'd think that with us meeting up at markets all the time I'd at least have one of her pieces, but no. Again, the indecisiveness is real. Her necklaces are so intriguing, and I love how she mixes prints, and how unusual some of her designs are. I am making up my mind to make up my mind on getting something from her this year that I know I will love... problem is I think I love them all... struggles. 

I fell in love with their  Nolana Clutch. This is actually the item that inspired this blog post. I originally found Gale & Co. through the collaboration that they did with my friend Sheri Approved, though truthfully, I didn't follow until I saw my friend Meagan aka Trinipino1 collaborate with them over the Christmas season. Their pieces are beautifully well constructed and I love in particular, how many colour variations you can get in the Nolana (Classic Pink, Fifth, Classic Hide, Milly, to name a few). As to which one I plan to get, I cannot say just yet, again, the indecisiveness is real.

This another local fashion brand that I've been following for a long time. She uses a lot of African and geometric prints and her silhouettes, giving you a mix of Afro-Caribbean vibes. Maxi dresses and rompers? You can't go wrong! 

I am not even sure how I came across this brand but I certainly do not regret it. Their custom crown headpieces are out of this world. I have not the slightest idea where I'd wear one when I get it, but trust and believe I'm getting one and I will be wearing it. 

I've been following them for a while, and Shari is my bestie in my head (Shari girl, if you didn't know before, you know now). From her earnings, to her kimonos and everything in between, I am enthralled by her use of vibrant colour and print. Their merch is pretty awesome too, so that leaves me with quite a few options as to what I can get. Time will tell.

Taylor M., like the others, has been on my radar for a while now. and while I was able to purchase an item from them recently I still wanted to give them a shout out because I absolutely love what I got and I cannot wait to wear it. I am a fan of their tropical theme from their swimwear, to their kaftans. Now if someone could take me out so I could wear mine, that would be nice, thanks. 

Now this list isn't comprehensive, rather, this is just the tip of my local fashion list iceberg. As I tick one off the must have brands, I'll add another. In writing this, I've realised that I lean towards simple silhouettes, African prints, and colour. Maybe that knowledge may help me fine tune my sense of style going forward... or not. Time will tell.

Any local fashion clothing/accessory brands on your must have list? Have you ever bought anything from a local designer at all? Sound off below!!

*All images have been sourced from their respective Instagram accounts*

Tshenelle aka Nelly B.