The Indie Style Fashion Guide To Craft Clothing Brands

Whether it’s spring trends , what’s trendy at New York Fashion Week, or simply what sells at a local boutique, indie style fashion for clothes is a major part of what makes the industry tick. Indie fashion serves as a creative link between the famous and obscure, the household names from the underground artists. But what is indie fashion exactly?
We’ll show you how to capitalize on indie fashion and guide you toward starting your very own indie clothing brand with comprehensive collections with the help of Los Angeles clothing manufacturers at The Evans Group (TEG).
And, for good measure, you’ll discover some great independent fashion designers to inspire your own projects.

What Is Indie Style Fashion?

Indie fashion, short for independent fashion, is a term to describe a few things. First and foremost, indie style is the product of an independent clothing designer .

An independent fashion designer isn’t affiliated with any major clothing brand or mainstream fashion trends and blazes a creative trail of their own through the industry.

Aside from coming from an independent designer , indie style can include retro, vintage, indie sleaze, indie aesthetic, or other iconic looks that buck the mainstream. So all those styles, whether they be pieces of 80s fashion, avant-garde styles, or generally anything hearkening back to yesteryear, are perfect examples of classic indie fashion.

Which do you see creating a fashion collection for?

What is the difference between Indie Sleaze and Indie Aesthetic fashion styles?

Indie Sleaze

Indie Sleaze is a fashion trend that emerged in the late 2000s and was popular until around 2014. It is characterized by a messy and lethargic take on vintage fashion styles, especially from the 1970s, and was particularly popular among the hipster subculture and indie rock bands. Indie Sleaze is a rebellious and chaotic style that embraces mismatched and out-of-proportion outfits, often mixing different elements and eras of fashion. It can be both affordable and expensive for sustainable fashion, depending on the individual’s budget, and is often associated with a DIY and thrifted fashion ethos.

Some fashion designers that align with indie sleaze as a style include American Apparel, Steves Peeps, and other designers who embrace the rebellious  clothes or  anti-fashion roots of the movement. These designers may incorporate elements of vintage fashion, messy and affordable styles, and a mix of different eras such as the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s into their designs.

Indie Aesthetic

The indie aesthetic style is a celebration of self-expression, creativity, and a departure from mainstream trends. It emphasizes individuality, authenticity, and originality in fashion choices. The style often incorporates an unconventional aesthetic outfit, vintage, and artistic elements, drawing inspiration from various cultural influences for outfit ideas. It is independent from mainstream trends and values uniqueness and creativity in self-expression. The indie aesthetic style allows for individual artistic expression and offers a sense of authenticity and freedom in self-expression.

Some notable fashion designers known for their indie aesthetic style include Isabel Marant, Free People, Urban Outfitters, Free People, Rag & Bone, and Zadig & Voltaire. These designers are known for their eclectic and bohemian-inspired collections that resonate with the indie fashion scene.

The Mini Dress or Mini Skirt and Indie Style

A mini dress can be an example of indie style in several ways. Mini dresses are often a staple in indie fashion due to their versatility and ability to be dressed up or down. Indie fashion embraces a mix of vintage-inspired designs and contemporary trends, making mini dresses a perfect choice for those looking to express their individuality.

Whether it’s a flowy sundress with floral patterns or a minimalist slip dress, mini dresses offer a range of options for indie enthusiasts to express themselves creatively. Sometimes pairing a dress with a leather jacket is enough to offer an indie outfit with your personal style.

How To Start An Indie Clothing Brand

Since many independent fashion designers act as the head of their brand, they don’t have the support of a big fashion production house. As such, starting your own clothing line from home can be a challenge. But nowhere near impossible.

There are a few things to consider when first launching your own brand.

What Are You Bringing To The Table?

When independent fashion designers join the ranks of bespoke clothing creators, they need to pin down a gap in the market. Sure, a creative individual can forge ahead with well-tread ideas and items.

But if you’re just starting out, it’s well worth doing some significant background research into what your market needs.

For example, it doesn’t seem as if the industry needs too many puffer jacket designs, as exhibited by winter’s fashion trends . When researching, it’s the perfect time to focus on being fashion-forward or anticipating a particular style or fashion cycle.

When you’re fashion-forward, you’re learning more about the industry’s movements, what people (your audience) will gravitate toward, and creating unique clothing of your own.

Who’s Your Audience? 

So now that you have a certain style or gap in the market cornered, who are you marketing your clothing toward? Is it members of Gen Z looking for the latest Y2K trend? Maybe it’s women looking for the perfect wedding dress . Regardless of the specifics, you need to know your audience intimately.

Again, background information and research are key here. At this stage, you can formulate your ideal buyer persona. Your buyer persona is a profile of your perfect customer. Who are they? What are their age, occupation, and views towards fashion? When you flesh out your buyer persona, research your audience, and nail down a niche in the market, you’re well on your way to crafting memorable indie fashion.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Fashion Line?

When crafting indie fashion, you need to know your budget. The cost of a clothing line varies from style to style.

A few critical aspects of the clothing manufacturing process can determine how many resources you use during your line’s creation.

For example, if you’re opting to forego mass-production and lean into sustainable practices (good for you for avoiding fast fashion! ), then it may cost a bit more.

Plus, if you’re working with a small batch clothing manufacturer who shares your vision of a memorable indie fashion brand, then you’ll save on costs as well as successfully flesh out your brand.

However, we believe that no cost is too high to preserve the environment and have complete control of your clothing production. In short, choosing a U.S. apparel manufacturer is an indie fashion designer’s best bet for saving on costs in the long run.

And at TEG, indie fashion is a major possibility. With multiple packages and financial options, indie fashion designers aren’t ever penned into manufacturing a clothing line that goes over budget.

Why You Should Use Domestic Clothing Manufacturers

You have more flexibility when you choose a domestic clothing manufacturer to take on your clothing line. This flexibility comes in many forms.

It could be the valuable one-on-one relationship you develop with your pattern maker and how much you can oversee production at any given time.

Plus, you can always go back to that essential fashion mood board whenever you need to tweak your designs. In short, choosing domestic is easily the best way to ensure your indie fashion stands out amongst the rest.

At TEG, both established and emerging fashion designers can take full advantage of our ‘no minimums’ policy. That means we don’t stifle designers with gratuitous minimum orders quantities (MOQs) .

With no minimums on clothing orders, indie fashion designers can choose what they like best about their collection and feel free to experiment to their heart’s content.

Notable Indie Fashion Brands

One of the best parts of indie fashion and clothing manufacturing in Los Angeles is seeing some of the most talented designers spring up and take the industry by storm. Let’s take a look at some notable indie fashion designers. Maybe you can find some inspiration of your own from their iconic looks?

Greg Lauren

If we’ve said it once, then we’ve said it a thousand times; Greg Lauren has one of the best menswear lines on the market. With distressed, worn-looking clothing for men, some graphic tees or baggy jeans, Lauren takes the glitz and glamor out of his family’s namesake and brings it down to earth.

For example, every indie fashion designer should take note of Greg Lauren’s Fall 2022 menswear collection . Not only is the collection all about sustainability in fashion, but it represented, in Lauren’s own words, an “effortless, relaxed elegance and a return to formalwear.” And with watercolor-inspired items like velvet blazers, wool topcoats, and distressed jeans, he continues to push the envelope in the indie fashion space.


This Ukrainian independent fashion brand is a women-led collective that has mastered the art of the skort and statement top.

Cultnaked deals in everything from trousers to dresses, all with an iconic flair.

In its own words: “CULTNAKED is a seasonless slow fashion label that unites femininity and comfort designed for real life. We do usual things in an unusual way.”

And the brand nails that goal. With a focus on sustainability, this slow fashion brand started turning heads with its ‘DANCING ON A TABLE’ skirt. With a winning production model where Cultnaked makes items on demand, it’s an indie fashion brand to take note of for its sustainable and ethical emphasis on clothing design.


Everlane is a high-quality producing clothing brand that has committed itself toward the ethical and sustainable principles that make up indie fashion.

Even better than its track collection and women’s denim is its transparency in clothing manufacturing. Everlane visits factories where they plan on doing business, sussing out exactly how ethical the manufacturing approach is, and chooses to do business.

Everlane’s rigorous standards for manufacturing helps this movement thrive on winning principles and practices.

Indie Fashion Is Within Your Grasp

It’s more possible than ever to start your own clothing line, especially if you’re looking to break the mold in the slow fashion movement .

Whether it’s finding your niche, your audience, or your ideal domestic clothing manufacturer, crafting your indie fashion brand is well within your reach. All you need to do is research, plan, and collaborate with indie fashion professionals to reach your particular goals.

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