The Affordable Cult Brands That Will Be All Over Your Instagram Feeds in 2019

The word “affordable” is one I’m always wary of using within my fashion writing, as one person’s bargain is always going to be another person’s splurge. The pieces I’m about to talk about below certainly aren’t cheap, however, unlike many of the brands on Net-a-Porter and MatchesFashion, they are potentially accessible to those of us who normally shop at Zara and Topshop

The contemporary market is one which has been growing significantly over the past two years. Back in 2017, I wrote about how brands like Ganni, Rixo, Staud and Réalisation are fighting to make your wardrobes brighter, better and more affordable. Instead of diffusion lines that mimic the aesthetic of a bigger design house at a lower price point, this new breed of labels are independent selling direct to consumer, with their own instantly identifiable design. Over the past two years, most of the cult buys that we have written about at Who What Wear are by these designers and priced around the $200-$350 mark.

This direct-to-consumer contemporary bracket is one that’s still hugely growing, and these are no longer just small Instagram-led businesses but a key priority for leading luxury retailers. In fact, buyers now scout for brands by scrolling. Net-a-Porter this summer is launching seven brands that were previously only direct-to-consumer, taking niche brands to a global audience. Keep scrolling to shop the new affordable cult brands that we at Who What Wear are championing in 2019.

Faithfull the Brand was founded in Bali in 2012, but this year, it has gone from an under-the-radar beach brand to a mainstay on our Instagram feeds. It specializes in holiday clothing with a zesty color palette and playful prints, but the dresses look just as good in your city as they do in Positano.

Kalda was founded three years ago by London College of Fashion graduate Kata Alda, however, this year it has really cranked its business up a notch, launching its own e-commerce site. These shoes are as comfortable as they are Instagrammable. 

The Frankie Shop has tiny stores in Le Marais and New York, however, this boutique is widening its reach this year, as it just launched on Net-a-Porter. This brand is getting a lot of love from power influencers and street style stars—the pleated skirts and boxy blazers are particularly popular.

Influencers are often responsible for items reaching cult status, and the Line by K was created by fashion blogger Karla Deras. This is another new name to Net-a-Porter, and it sold 500 items in its first week on the site. The lime-green slip skirt has been particularly popular with the Instagram crowd.

Rotate was launched by Danish fashion influencers Thora Valdimars and Jeanette Madsen last year and creates beautiful ’80s-inspired dresses, with bold colors and Dynasty-worthy shoulder pads.

Art Dealer is one of Net-a-Porter’s new direct-to-consumer brands that launched this year. It creates elegant co-ords for grown-ups and consist of printed blouses and matching pencil skirts. As the name would suggest, this brand creates beautiful prints with a nostalgic vintage feel. 

Sandals brand Studio Amelia only launched this year, but it made its debut on Net-a-Porter. Quite the entrance…

Next up, see our guide to the key trends for spring/summer 2019.

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.

The 6 Bikini Styles Jet-Set Celebs Are Packing This Summer

With summer vacations on the fast approach for many of us, now’s the time to talk swimwear. Among our editors, we’ve all agreed on the five swimwear trends we’re into, the three we’re not, plus the fact that thong swimwear continues to reign supreme, but that doesn’t mean we’ve actually gotten to purchasing yet. Similarly, you may have been putting off investing in that key bikini until the very last moment. And just as well, for we have the inside track on the biggest bikini trends of the season.

Every year, the Who What Wear team turns to celebrities to help inform our swimwear choices. Traveling around the world is an integral part of their careers—it’s just a fact that they spend a great deal more time topping up their tans on the beach or a yacht (remember when Kourtney Kardashian’s glitter bikini made its debut from a boat in the Turks and Caicos?)—so who could be more fitting to emulate swimwear looks off of? Indeed, we can’t think of anyone better. 

From Emily Ratajkowski’s print penchant to the pretty detailing Rosie Huntington-Whiteley always zeros in on, keep scrolling to see and shop the bikinis blessed with the celebrity seal of approval in 2019.

Style Notes: Polka-dot prints are making a massive comeback on swimwear this season, giving it an undeniably retro twist. Naturally, Emily was one of the first to give it a whirl on an exotic break earlier in the year. Supersized straw hat optional, though highly recommended.

+ Las Olas Bottom ($75)

Style Notes: The shirred trend isn’t merely reserved for dresses. Hunza G actually kick-started the trend in swimsuit form, which has won over countless celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West. The stretchy fabric makes for the most comfortable bikini you’ll likely over own.

Style Notes: Thong swimwear may be all the rage but conversely, high-waist bottoms that cover your bum—as seen on Kate Hudson—are also proving popular right now. Look for twee prints like gingham or colorful florals to play on the ’50s vibe.

+ High-Waisted Bikini Bottom ($56)

+ Lydia High Waist Bikini Bottoms ($102) 

Stye Notes: Sometimes, it’s the small details that make the most dramatic impact, and one of this year’s top bikini trends is exposed underwire, as seen on supermodel Jasmine Tookes. 

Style Notes: We’re never not imitating our wardrobe to that of Rosie’s, and her holiday wares are certainly no exception. As such, when we spotted her striking a pose in a scallop-edged bikini, we instantly invested in this Topshop iteration. 

Style Notes: It seems simple silhouettes are having a moment in 2019, as we’ve seen several celebrities sporting basic bandeau tops and matching briefs. Make like Iskra and give yours a fashion-girl spin by tying your hair with a coordinating scarf. 

+ Most Wanted Bikini Briefs ($90)

+ Canyon High Cut Bikini Bottoms ($44)

Next up, check out the five swim trends the chicest girls from Kenya, Angola, and Nigeria are wearing

This post was originally published on Who What Wear UK and has since been updated. 

This Miami Fashion Girl’s Look Is Screenshot-Worthy (and Under $100)

When I daydream about Miami style, I get excited: I immediately think bright colors (and even brighter whites), bold prints, and evening-ready looks that seem synonymous with both the tropical climate and electric vibe of the city. That being said, I actually find it even more exciting to discover someone who stays totally true to their unique personal style, no matter their location. Take Miami local and fashion girl Bianka Walker, for example. “I’d say I’m more a New Yorker soul stuck in Miami,” Walker tells me. “I’m not a dress-and-heels type of girl. I’m all about sneakers and platforms.”

Originally from Ecuador, Bianka has lived in Miami on and off since she was 16, and she feels at home in the city thanks to its large Latina community and gorgeous weather. When I noted that her personal style differs from her fellow locals, she conceded that the city definitely has a style that everyone follows, and she sometimes feels the pressure to conform.

Ultimately, though, she feels that it’s important to stay true to herself when creating an outfit. So what does a Miami girl with an NYC soul (and a knack for affordable finds) want you to buy this summer, you ask? For starters, this perfect straw bag and these platform dad sneakers, both of which she scored at Walmart. Scroll to shop her entire look, see her favorite summer trends, and discover the one touristy spot in Miami she actually enjoys.

What’s your summer vibe in one word?


What are the top trends for summer you’re looking forward to trying?

I’m looking forward to including bright colors in my outfits. Usually I wear nudes and blacks, but I’m ready to go out of my comfort zone this summer. I also want to try mixing textures more, like I did with the straw bag and jeans here.

Tell us a bit about the outfit…

This outfit screams my name. I love the black denim (especially the detailing), and the hat and shoes are such cute accessories. Plus the jacket. Fringe and metallics are two trends we’ll see a lot of this season, and what better way to display that than in this jacket? The top is super simple but cute, and while the shoes were originally a little crazy for my taste, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I chose this outfit because these pieces feel versatile enough to pair with other looks in my closet as well.

Do you believe in mixing high and low fashion?

Yes, I’m a big fan of mixing high and low! I think it’s the perfect combo. I tend to splurge most on staples like purses and shoes.

Name the one tourist destination that’s actually worth seeing in Miami.

Calle 8! Love the vibes, and the food is amazing. It’s the perfect mix of Miami and Cuba.

Next, 8 Basics That Deliver, No Matter Where in the World You Live

This Compliment-Generating Swim Trend Just Became 445% More Popular

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a swimsuit that’s really dang pretty. In my experience, nothing garners compliments and “where did you get that?” inquiries quicker than a pretty swimsuit. The trend that generates the most compliments this summer also happens to be spiking in popularity. According to a recent Pinterest report on the most-shopped swimsuits, leopard print has increased in popularity by a whopping 445% over last year, thanks mostly to this $25 H&M version. (Don’t worry. You can shop it further down.)

I’m definitely not a numbers-oriented person, but that strikes me as a pretty significant jump in interest from shoppers. Since animal print of all kinds is a huge trend for 2019 (both on and off the beach), it makes sense why this would translate to some of the summer’s prettiest bikinis and one-pieces. I have definitely contributed to the leopard swimsuit’s popular reputation, as just last week I found myself going out of my way to compliment a woman I spotted wearing the eye-catching print on the beach. It’s just that good!

Ahead, see just how cool the swim trend looks on fashion girls, and pick out a leopard bikini or one-piece to wear on your next beach day.

Shop the matching Leopard Bikini Bottom ($40).

Shop the matching Chiara Bikini Bottoms ($95).

Shop the matching Leopard-Print Bikini Briefs ($70).

Shop the matching Sweetie Pie Bottom ($78).

Next, the random sandal trend blowing up at Zara.

Diane Kruger’s Hair Stylist Taught Me How to Do Perfect Beachy Waves at Home

If I had to pick just one hairstyle to wear my hair in for the rest of my days, it just might have to be beach waves. The epitome of cool-girl hair when done right, it’s a timeless look that remains stylish year in and year out, works for every occasion and looks great on basically everyone. There’s just one problem: Despite it being my go-to style request when I get my hair professionally blow-dried, I suck at creating perfect beach waves on my own hair. In fact, after a session with the curling tongs, I’m more often left with ’80s-esque prom ringlets than chic waves.

So to help me shake my rather formal approach to DIY waves, I decided it was time to ask an expert for advice. Enter: Adam Reed, who’s one half of the iconic haircare brand Percy & Reed. Adam is the go-to stylist for celebs like Ellie Goulding, Diane Kruger and Sophie Dahl. Oh, and he’s also on speed dial of the most well-renowned beauty editors in the biz.

From the insider steps that everyone should be following to the products you need to get the look, I caught up with Adam to get the inside scoop on creating the ultimate beach waves at home.

Keep scrolling for his top tips for perfect beach waves and everything you need get the look.

Can any hair type and texture create cool-girl beach waves?

Absolutely. Anyone can create cool-girl beach waves; it all comes down to the prep. If you have curly hair, it’s important to smooth first before styling. Try a product like L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Liss Control, which is designed to control and smooth any frizz. After tonging, hold is always essential to avoid the curl losing the beachy look and turning frizzy. L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Fix Design is great for this. It is important to use light products that don’t weigh the hair down, as you want it to look soft and tousled rather than heavy and defined.

Can you talk us through the steps to creating beach waves, from shampooing to blow-drying to heat styling?

The steps for creating the perfect beach wave are very different depending on hair type. But my three key tips would be to use a good softening shampoo and conditioner, choose the correct prep product for your hair type, and don’t over-tong the hair. Beach waves should be natural, soft and subtle, so I suggest taking random pieces of hair and tonging in different directions to achieve the look.

What products do you recommend to keep waves in place?

I love L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Constructor. It’s perfect for finishing and adds texture and flexible hold to the hair. L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Beach Waves is also one to try. You can spray onto dry or damp hair, work through with your fingers, and leave for curly hair types (or spritz before tonging to create beautiful beach waves). Top tip: After tonging, make sure you brush through the curls with fingers and dishevel ends for a messy finish that isn’t too polished.

How can you keep the waves looking cool and tousled rather than verging into ringlet territory?

If you have prepped the hair correctly, you should be safe and it will stay the way you originally styled it.

For best results, start with a softening shampoo like Reed. This one from Aveda softens even the most damaged of strands, and it smells incredible.

Packed with natural plant and vegetable extracts, this rich conditioner does an amazing job of softening hair and boosting shine.

Reed was keen to stress that it’s important to use the right prep product for your hair type. This one is great for fine to coarse strands, helping to smooth and protect hair from heat styling.

Curly hair types can spray this onto damp hair and leave to dry for natural beach waves. Otherwise, spray it onto dry hair before tonging to add texture while you style.

A lightweight spray containing Cornish sea salt for a natural approach to beach waves at home.

Another salt water spray that’s great for finer hair types. We love the way it also boosts volume and bulks up strands.

For natural-looking beach waves, opt for a larger-barrel curling tong for a more relaxed finish.

Seal in all of your hard work with this lightweight hair spray.

Next up, the only celebrity hair transformations of 2019 that actually matter.