Emerging brands, Gen Z labels, and more: the brands the Internet loved in 2020

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We scouted the up-and-coming brands that were the talk of the town in 2020, and that experienced a spike in interest on Stylight globally. Discover our top 4 emerging brands of the year.



Our #1 emerging brand? Vegan label Apparis, co-founded by French duo Amélie Brick and Lauren Nouchi. The label ascended into fashion thanks to its instantly successful faux fur coat, initially sold in their Brooklyn boutique. The brand has come a long way since then, and its elevated, technicolor streetwear has become the ultimate must for it-girls all over. On Stylight, the brand increased by over 1000% vs 2019.




Peter Do launched his eponymous label only in 2018, and his ultra-stylish creations have already made him a celebrity favourite: Zendaya and Solange are among the many that love his menswear-inspired silhouettes and innovative tailoring techniques. On Stylight we reported +155% more clicks for the label in 2020 vs 2019, suggesting the world is ready to redefine glamour, “à la Peter Do”.



Created by sisters Ilona Hamer and Peta Heinsen, Matteau is a sleek, minimalist apparel label, voted to make every woman feel beautiful. The brand started with swimwear and now incorporates ready-to-wear, featuring comfortable essentials of long-lasting quality. On Stylight, the number of clicks for Matteau increased by +41% in 2020.




The Paris-born label has made waves this year, thanks to its instantly iconic Swipe bag, the it-accessory of Paris Fashion Week 2020, that won over fashion forward celebs like Dua Lipa and Maisie Williams. On Stylight, clicks for Coperni grew by +131 vs 2019: we’re keeping an eye on this one!

“Social media has played a huge role in the growth of emerging brands, and this just got amplified during lockdown, with consumers embracing a more conscious and local approach to discovering fashion labels.”

– Ilenia Sarman, Head of Brand & Content Marketing at Stylight


According to a 2019 study by DiversityVC, only 22.9% of venture capital-backed businesses over the past five years were founded by POC. Thanks to the 2020 wave of BLM protests, fashion & media started giving brands owned by POC the recognition and space they deserve. And of course, the Internet followed: from May to June this year on Stylight several POC owned labels have experienced an uptick in clicks. Let’s take a closer look at these outstanding Black and POC owned labels.



Brother Vellies

shoes and handbags with the goal of keeping alive traditional African artisanal crafts. In June, James launched the 15 Percent Pledge, asking brands to dedicate 15% of their stock to Black owned businesses. "}” data-sheets-userformat=”{"2":899,"3":{"1":0},"4":[null,2,16573901],"10":1,"11":4,"12":0}”>Powerhouse Aurora James, the creative director and founder of Brother Vellies, started designing shoes and handbags with the goal of keeping alive traditional African artisanal crafts. In June, James launched the 15 Percent Pledge, asking retailers to dedicate 15% of their shelf-space to Black owned businesses. When comparing May to June 2020, clicks for the Brother Vellies increased by +282% on Stylight.



Wales Bonner

dress at her first public appereance with baby Archie? The UK-based brand, created by Central Saint Martins alumnae Grace Wales Bonner, has made waves since its founding in 2014. The label won the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund in 2019 and most recently Wales Bonner collaborated with Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior’s Cruise 20 collection."}” data-sheets-userformat=”{"2":899,"3":{"1":0},"4":[null,2,16573901],"10":1,"11":4,"12":0}”>Remember when clicks on Wales Bonner increased by 1633% when Meghan Markle stepped out in the label’s white trench dress at her first public appereance with baby Archie? The UK-based brand, created by Central Saint Martins alumn Grace Wales Bonner, has made waves since its founding in 2014. The label won the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund in 2019 and most recently Wales Bonner collaborated with Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior’s Cruise 20 collection. On Stylight, clicks for Wales Bonner grew by +117% from May to June 2020.



Stella Jean

Stella Jean is an Italian-Haitian designer, whose bold, beautiful pieces have been worn by the likes of Rihanna and Beyonce. She is the only member of the Italian Chamber of Fashion who is of Afro-European descent. Her aesthetic reflects her multiculturalism, merging classic Italian sartorialist rigor with artisanal references to her Creole background. Compared to May, in June 2020 Stella Jean clothing reported an uptick of +132% in clicks on Stylight.





Telfar has become an iconic brand thanks to its immediately recognizable it-bag you will see everywhere on the streets of NYC. The label, founded by Queens native Telfar Clemens, embraces unisex designs, guided by the mission that Telfar clothes, “[aren’t] for you – [they’re] for everyone.” On Stylight, clicks on Telfar grew by +49% when comparing May to June 2020. 


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Made-to-order labels: are they the future of fashion? With a completely revolutionary approach, contrasting with fast fashion cycles we’ve become accustomed to, made-to-order labels have seen quite some attention in 2020. These labels have revived the lost art of tailor-making to produce high quality, sustainable apparel with a personal feel. We’ve selected the hottest made-to-order labels based on their social following.





An Instagram sensation, Maison Cléo was founded in 2016 by Marie Dewet, VIP at Vestiaire Collective, and her mother Cléo, a seamstress, based on the values of transparency, sustainability and accessibility. These simple, hand-made pieces are crafted with deadstock fabrics, and prices are set as fairly as possible, and communicated transparently, so that customers are aware of each cost that went into making the garment. The label has a strong community around it, among which you’ll find quite a few it-girls, like Emily Ratajkowski and Camille Charriere.




By Megan Crosby


In 2019 Megan Crosby decided to launch the “colorful, ethical label” she was ”so desperately looking for”, and boy did she: this made to order label radiates positivity and joy, thanks to its sustainable production and its deliciously whimsical aesthetic (quite appreciated by Gen-Z). Her bespoke garments are made-to-order and can be customized according to customers’ measurements – and keep it working-girl budget-friendly, at a max of 150 £ per piece.



Olivia Rose The Label


This small independent label was founded in 2017 by Olivia Rose Havelock, and is described as a “one woman show”: even today, Olivia crafts the garments all on her own, meaning orders accepted per week are limited, making this label extra-exclusive. From ordering the materials to sewing the piece, everything is strictly made-to-order, in an attempt to avoid wasting fabric; the label also offers custom sizing to make “everyone feel welcomed.”



Azi Land


Inspired by the cultures of the Silk Road, Azi Land offers high quality, lightweight essentials, described as “ever-lasting objects”. Its philosophy? Attention to detail, skilled craftsmanship and a deep connection to Mother Earth. On its e-commerce website you can browse hand -finished ready-to-order garments that, once sold out, can be made upon request.”


That cult brands like Champion or Converse are pretty popular among Gen Z generation is not “new-news”; so we were interested in finding which independent labels are having a major moment among the younger demographic. Here are 4 labels that, thanks to their aesthetic, their image and celebrity following, are making waves among Gen-Zers.




South Korea native and Berlin based DJ Peggy Gou has already achieved cult status in the music scene, and is now heading towards fashion stardom. Her label Kirin (which is Korean for giraffe, her spirit animal) features pieces that are eclectic and bold, just like her music. Kirin counts many celeb fans, like Virgil Abloh and Selby Drummond, and looks like our users are catching up too: on Stylight, clicks on the label increased more than 1000% vs 2019.




Designed for real “bad gyalz”, O-Mightys very Gen-Z aesthetic revolves around sexy cuts, wild prints and an undeniable early-Aughts vibe – just check out their Instagram to be transported to a Destiny’s Child video. Even Halsey and Bella Hadid are fans of the label’s bold pieces. On Stylight clicks for the O-Mighty in 2020 increased by over <1000% when compared to last year – hot hot hot!



Founded in 2012 by Isaac Ross, Solid & Striped was initially known for its timeless swimwear, and has now established itself as a go-to brand for the younger demographic, fuelled by the countless sightings of celebs wearing their pieces, from Taylor Swift to Gigi Hadid. Compared to last year, clicks on the label have grown by 112% on Stylight. Fun fact: unexpectedly, the most popular item was not a bikini, but this tie-dye dress!



Lisa says Gah!

Former buyer for Sophia Amoruso’s Nasty Gal, Lisa Bühler founded online shop Lisa Says Gah! with the goal of connecting customers to unique pieces made by female independent designers. In the process, she has also developed her own super cool private label, which perfectly fits the artsy and edgy Gen-Z aesthetic.



Our analysis is run on internal Stylight data from our 12 million monthly users across the 16 markets in which we are present. Time frame selected is from 01.01.20 to 30.09.20, and compared to 2019 for the same period. Whenever the timeframe selected may refer to a different time frame, or whenever the data may belong to an external source, it has been duly referenced in the body of text of the report. The logic behind the selection of the brand has been also duly referenced in the body of text.

written by:

Clara Del Genio

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