The “contemporary” moniker used to have a negative connotation for fashion labels, but a new class of buzzy brands at approachable price points has helped change that.
Comb through a street style gallery from any one of the recent fashion weeks around the world and you’ll no doubt spot a few pieces making recurring appearances: Shirred Ganni dresses in eye-catching prints; ruffled Maggie Marilyn blazers; checked, broad-shouldered Tibi suits; and Staud bucket bags in every shape and color.
Aside from their “It” status among editors and influencers, these items have one thing in common: their relative affordability. Most of them cost less than $500, and only a handful of the aforementioned brands’ pieces surpass the $1000 mark. Zara prices these are not, but they do stand out among the designer offerings on sites like Net-A-Porter, Matchesfashion and Farfetch. In fact, a cadre of mid-price brands are breathing new life into the contemporary market, a tier once dominated by names like Vince, Alice + Olivia, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Theory that’s largely struggled in recent years with declining sales and over-distribution.
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