What are the best luxury gifts made by a business owned by a woman? Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has curated a list of ideas and inspiration. They’ll work for birthdays, winter holidays, Christmas and “just because” gifts. Here’s our luxury gift guide of the best gift items from women-owned brands.
what to give from a business owned by a woman
Who run the world? Girls! Well, almost.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, things have certainly progressed since the 80’s, when women needed a male co-signor to apply for bank loans. Today, there are many firms and resources committed to helping women founders. As well as organizations and non-profits specifically focused on helping ventures started by women of color. Still, women only lead 4 out of 10 businesses in the United States (although that number is increasing even as we speak).
All good news, for who better to understand the needs of women than other women? And who better to change the way we do business than women, who bring innovation and fresh ideas to the table, after being denied a place for so long?
If you’re searching for a luxury gift, why not shop in solidarity with these female trailblazers who are impacting the retail landscape with their talent and business practices. Why not give a gift from a business owned by a woman?
the luxury gift guide: the best from women-owned brands
Ahead, 30 gift ideas from companies that are founded by women and led by women. They’re gifts made by women, for women. You know what to do!
Founded by Rachelle Hruska Macpherson, Lingua Franca is a line of sustainably-sourced, fair trade luxury cashmere sweaters, all hand-stitched with phrases of the moment by women in New York City. Certain editions like “Fight like a mother” or “In love there is no violence” directly support charities like Moms Demand Action and Sanctuary for Families. We’re particularly feeling the “Nevertheless she voted” ($380) one in seafood and tomato embroidery.
Fe Noel by Felisha Noel is a rising star on the fashion scene. We love this giraffe and palm print dress ($536) made exclusively for Bloomingdales, celebrating Disney’s “The Lion King” with African designs.
The Soiree dress ($330) by Ace and Jig reminds us of our favorite childhood dresses. Breezy textured lightweight single-cloth woven with cinnamon stripes and a hint of neon. Founders and designers, Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson, who met more than ten years ago as fashion design interns, travel to India to produce every authentic textile used in their garments.
additional luxury apparel and lifestyle brands owned by a woman
In early 2019, LVMH Luxury Ventures, an investment arm of LVMH, took a minority stake in Gabriella Hearst, the luxury lifestyle brand known for its Boss Lady suiting and accessories. But the founder, designer and visionary behind the eponymous brand remains Gabriella herself. Born and raised on a ranch in Uruguay, she launched her business in 2015 to immediate acclaim. Timeless pieces like her Freddie wool-blend maxi skirt ($890) would be welcome gifts for the boss women on your list.
The idea for the luxury brand The Row started as a personal project in 2005 when Ashley Olsen challenged herself to create a perfect T-shirt. Inspired by the nuanced expertise of London’s most famous tailoring district, Savile Row, a new brand was born. Since then, co-founders and twin sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have grown the minimalist brand into a full collection of apparel and accessories for both women and men. This Anka suede coat ($3,390) is emblematic of their understated approach to luxury.
Johanna Ortiz continues to shepherd her growing eponymous apparel business, launched in 2015. The Colombia native’s signature ruffles and off-the-shoulder silhouettes have proven to be irresistible, as has her swimwear. Her label places high priority on working with indigenous communities and women in Colombia. We’re dreaming of dancing the night away in this Las Alas de la Memoria midi dress ($1,750).
Celine Semaan is a MIT fellow and founder of Slow Factory, a brand that uses fashion as medium for social change and a way to pioneer the development of new materials. This otherworldly scarf ($150) featuring Semaan’s collage of coral and space would lend an element of mystery to any outfit.
Jessie Randall, the Founder and Creative Director of Loeffler Randall started out her business with a collection of feminine and whimsical shoes. She has now expanded into handbags, apparel, jewelry and other accessories, like this picture perfect Elodie pearl barrette ($125).
We recently met the delightful and talented Jennifer Behr at a women’s breakfast at Bergdorf Goodman, and we’re now serious fans of her hair jewelry and accessories. When we confessed that we’re intimidated by headbands and fun hair clips, she talked us off a ledge with the kind and simple advice: just go for it!
Behr makes it easy with a wide range of colors, textures, and moods, with everything from bejeweled hair clips to velvet bows and silk headbands. You can find them on her website, or at luxury sites like MyTheresa and Moda Operandi. They’re perfect gifts for anyone on your list who loves fashion and has a playful spirit.
Founder and chief clog maker Isobel Schofield and her small team in San Francisco makes every pair of custom Bryr clogs ($264) with vegetable tanned leather.
Aminah Abdul Jillil started her eponymous brand after dancing with some of the biggest names in music, including Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. This Tuxedo Sandal ($445) with rainbow crystal bow embodies all that glitz and glamour.
Brother Vellies was founded by Aurora James with the goal of introducing the rest of the world to her favorite traditional African footwear, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs within Africa. This whimsical leopard print Tabby Mule ($655) is the perfect pick for any fashionista.
We also love the shoes crafted by Rebecca Allen. As women of color, we’ve often confronted the dilemma of finding a “nude” shoe that actually matches our skin color. They only elongate the leg if they’re in the right shade! Enter Allen with a stylish line of flats and pumps in five skin-tone shades. We’ve road-tested them, and we’re giving them two thumbs up.
Co-founders Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah started Cuyana with the vision of creating a global design house that inspires intentional buying through pieces that are crafted with integrity. This clean, architectural Semi-Circle Bag ($235) is as sophisticated as it is practical.
Mlouye merges industrial design and fashion, creating functional handbags made of luxurious and honest materials to improve people’s lives in small but important ways. Founder and Creative Director Meb Rure’s Art Deco Crossbody ($375) would be a delightful gift for a minimalist or for someone who loves color.
Elliot Mann is one of our favorite boutiques in the East Village. Danish Designer Louise Paul fills the shop with her own knitwear, vintage finds and globally influenced designs. Her hand knotted WOW bag ($349) features a unique one-of-a-kind belt detail composed of vintage coins, beads and studs as well as beaded fringes for your bohemian sweetheart.
5. Fine Jewelry
Initial necklaces are an easy gift. This one will stand out from the crowd with a choice of playful, candy colored enamel shadows behind diamond filled letters ($4,645). From Creative Director and Designer, Alison Chemla, whose brand Alison Lou, brings modern and youthful sensibilities to fine jewelry.
Co-founders Jenny Klatt and Stephanie Wynne Lalin launched their fine jewelry company, Jemma Wynne, after crossing paths working in production at another jewelry brand. This pink sapphire and diamond ring ($12,390) combines the classic polish and relaxed femininity that they’re known for.
Founded in New York City in 2004 by Creative Director and CFDA Member Lisa Salzer-Wiles, Lulu Frost has been going strong for 15 years. We adore these Boss Lady earrings ($245) that express a spirited message of confidence rendered in gold metalwork and glittering crystal.
additional fine jewelry brands owned by a woman
Jessica McCormack designs exceptional diamond jewelry, handcrafted in her dedicated London atelier on a tony street in Mayfair. The daughter of an auctioneer, Jessica grew up in New Zealand and inherited her father’s passion for interesting and unusual antiques, which led her to London to work in the jewelry department at Sotheby’s. In 2008, she began her career as a jeweler in partnership with diamantaire Michael Rosenfeld. Her pink star and bow collection bracelet £10,700 is perfect for the one who lights you up.
Sharon Khazzam is a star in the world of haute joaillerie. She was the sole in-house jewelry designer for Asprey for eight years. With Asprey’s support, in 1993 Sharon launched her eponymous collection. You can find her one-of-a-kind collection of earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces at Barneys New York, Isetan and Mitsukoshi in Tokyo, and Ylang 23 in Dallas. Or you can work directly with her to create a bespoke piece, choosing stones that speak to you, and seeing the design and the final product come to life in her studio. This Trinket bracelet ($29,800) is just pure magic.
Foundrae was co-founded by husband and wife, Murat and Beth Bugdaycay in 2015. The Foundrae collection is based on a lexicon of symbols that they culled from a variety of cultures and time periods with the intention to create an inclusive language. This Triptych bracelet in 18-karat gold ($19,995) is decorated with horseshoes, wings, stars, a scarab beetle and an infinity sign, and is sure to bestow good luck on its owner.
Katari founder Ekaterina Fish is passionate about preserving ancient crafts and thousand-year old traditions of Mediterranean beauty using single origin ingredients. Barie oil ($124) is one of our go-to products. It’s filled with Omega-3, 6, 9 and 12, we use it everywhere to plump, lift and smooth.
Victoria Tsai founded Tatcha after a trip to Kyoto, where an encounter with a modern-day geisha changed her life. Her products are based on timeless and classical Japanese beauty secrets. This kit for dry skin ($424) includes Camellia Cleansing Oil, Rice Polish, Violet-C Brightening Serum, Eye Cream, Toner and a Dewy Skin Cream made with Japanese purple rice.
It’s not easy to forget Mally Roncal. We encountered her backstage while working a Tracy Reese fashion show. And her bubbly professionalism and gorgeous work imprinted on our memories. Her line of cosmetics are all about easy glamour for modern women. This trio of crayons ($72) is a fool-proof way to help sculpt, illuminate and radiate skin.
And of course, there’s Pat McGrath, whose Pat McGrath Labs color cosmetics collections are flying off the shelves. We sampled them for the first time when she touched down in London this summer at Selfridge’s.
The Pat McGrath Labs vibe is all about joy and inclusiveness, and it’s infectious. We smile every time we apply one of her Obsessive Opulence Matte Trance lipsticks ($40).
Rihanna may have vanquished Victoria’s Secret once and for all with her diverse, body-positive and size-inclusive Savage x Fenty fashion show a few days ago. Everything she touches just has that element of cool like this bra and leggings set ($48) in a Baby Leopard Chocolate Print.
Designer Helene Morris describes Lonely Label as a collection “For women who wear lingerie as a love letter to themselves.” This loungewear inspired cami ($99) in stretch lace and the softest breathable bamboo is a luxurious and sophisticated choice.
Negative Underwear, founded by friends, Lauren Schwab and Marissa Vosper, features neutral, modern essentials that ditch the lace, padding, bows and decorations. We love a good robe, and the relaxed drape and languid shawl collar neck of this Icon Robe ($175) makes us never want to get dressed.
Justina Blakeney’s ten-year-old blog is our go-to source for bohemian design inspo. And we welcomed her e-commerce site and design collaborations with great enthusiasm. This mesmerizing quilt ($120) gives any neutral bedroom an element of interest and texture.
For small city spaces, this Oh Joy! Settee ($1,210) offers a practical solution and expresses the joie de vivre synonymous with Founder and Creative Director Joy Cho’s lifestyle brand.
Mica DeMarquez of Mimi Ceramics finds inspiration in making practical and functional objects, while focusing on color and pattern on simple shapes. Each piece is hand thrown on the wheel, hand glazed and painted, then kiln fired in her studio in Portland, Oregon. This Macaroni vase ($90) is one of her most popular items.
A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Tyler Haney is the founder and CEO of cult activewear brand, Outdoor Voices. Their leggings ($95) are some of the best on the market. They’re known for their sweat-wicking technical fabrics and harmonious color blocking.
Girlfriend Collective founder Ellie Dinh was having trouble finding activewear that was ethically sourced. So she created her own. Her garments are all produced with recycled water bottles. And yet they have the same breathability, stretch and compression as other activewear. The compressive high rise legging ($68) is a must-have staple for any fitness fanatic.
Pamela Skaist Levy and Gela Taylor may seem familiar to you. They were the co-founders of Juicy Couture, makers of the terry tracksuits of the early aughts. They’re back with a more grown up label, Pam and Gela. We’re big fans of these casual Camo track pants ($225) for runs in the park and around town.
10. Children’s Clothing
The two elder daughters of a large French family, Anaïs and Clémence, started Petite Lucette in 2013. The pair combined their talents for design and style to create a children’s clothing brand that offers beautiful, whimsical pieces in poetic prints and colors. Check out this classic childhood skirt ($73) with straps for the little girl in your life.
Tea Collection consistently produces gorgeous, globally inspired kids wear that lasts. We were thrilled to find out that the founders are a pair of women- Leigh Rawdon and Emily Meyer. The friends are behind one of the most successful independent children’s clothing lines. This stylish and sporty set ($85) is perfect for a fashionable boy. His parents will thank you.
Lillan Gorillan is inspired by the Swedish concept of busig. Pronounced ‘buu-sic’, to be busig is to be mischievous and a little bit rascally. Naughty, but cute too. Sound like any little kids you know? Creative Director Kristin Enstrom’s offbeat rainbow print tees ($24) work for any cute and naughty boy or girl.
why not give a gift from a business owned by a woman?
With all of these stunning options, you can see why we love to support female owned businesses! We’re thinking that we can find a wonderful gift for nearly everyone on our list from a business owned by woman. Are you in? Happy shopping.
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Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, fitness and even investigating police misconduct. Julie lives in NYC where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing and spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.
Join our community
For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. And see luxury in a new light.