Good fashion has certainly been democratized with the influx of social media, but there’s another element of great personal style that can’t be learned. Case in point? The four women I’m showcasing here: these power players quite literally have their fingers on the pulse of what’s next in the fashion world– they are the owners of some of the world’s coolest boutiques. From buying to merchandising and marketing, growing a small retail business singlehandedly is no easy feat, but these indie shops have gained cult status among editors and tastemakers alike. Quite likely, they’re your favorite fashion girl’s favorite fashion girl, propelling some of the trends and designer names we’ve come to know and discuss often at Who What Wear.  Tapping into their insights, I asked T.A.’s Telsha Anderson, Mr. Larkin’s Casey Blond, LCD’s Geraldine Chung, and 8vo Ático’s Isabella Soto about which spring trends and styles stand out from the pack. It’s no surprise that this list is so good, so take a few screenshots and get your springtime wardrobe in order. 

Nestled in a charming town a stone’s throw away from Copenhagen, is Casey Blond’s, Mr. Larkin. Originally founded in San Francisco by Blond over a decade ago, Mr. Larkin is now a mecca for Scandinavian It-girls. In addition to stocking the who’s who of cool indie designers like Jesse Kamm and Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Mr. Larkin produces its own in-house collection of exuberant, uncomplicated separates.  

“Learning to layer is really important to spring dressing in Copenhagen because the weather is always changing, and we bike and walk everywhere. My key layering pieces are vests. They are less of a commitment than a full knit or jacket and can go over or under anything. I love this knit vest that can be worn super casual with sweats or over a girly dress.”–Casey

“I adore an oversized pilgrim collar. The Selma blouse combines all my favorite things, puff sleeves and an exaggerated collar that makes an instant statement.”

“I’m always drawn to elegant styles with feminine details, and especially love the look of vintage lace in updated silhouettes. This Victorian-inspired Mr. Larkin dress is one of my favorites. The romantic neckline & deadstock fabric recreates the feeling of my favorite vintage finds.”

If I polled my editor friends asking the best place to shop in New York, I have no doubt T.A. would top the list. Telsha Anderson opened the doors to her meat-packing district boutique in the midst of a pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped her buzz. You can find a mix of big familiar brands you already love, and emerging designers you’ll surely come to love.

“For spring, I’m looking forward to breaking out items in my closet that are full of color and expression, and this Julia Heuer dress is 100% the perfect item to do so. After the past few months full of snow and cold, I’m looking forward to wearing anything that falls above my ankles.” –Telsha

“The Row is one of my favorite brands! They have an incredible way of producing luxury items that can fit into a woman’s everyday wardrobe. I’ve been eyeing their black flip-flops for a while and I’m ready to step out this Spring/Summer with a fresh coat of paint on my toes and a new pair of leather sandals.”

“If there was ever a time to wear a dress more than one way and more than one time, now is it. Carrying Rosie Assoulin at t.a. is a very big deal to me and featuring their SS21 collection was a dream. If you couldn’t guess by the name, this dress can be worn multiple ways and the fabrication behind it unmatched.”

After moving to Los Angeles last year, Geraldine Chung’s LCD became a fashion destination that quickly popped up on my radar. It’s impossible to visit the shop without wanting to buy out the entire store. I’m a huge fan of the selection–from streetwear standards like Stüssy, to whimsical emerging designers like Collina Strada–every brand and SKU at LCD is handpicked by Chung in the ultimate exercise in curation. 

“One of my favorite trends of the past year has been the huge surge of men shopping at LCD. They’re here for it all, and we are here for them! Many of the designers that we carry started out as menswear designers, but I always thought anyone could wear them. And now, most of those lines are offered as unisex/gender-free collections, like this adorable Perks And Mini shirt. British designer Wales Bonner also started out as a menswear designer but has been growing her “women’s” collection, but many of her pieces like these striped pajama pants, are unisex. The added bonus of a unisex collection is that it often also opens up-sizing availability as well, for those of us who are a bit, well, more.”–Geraldine

“We’ve been noticing a huge trend towards anything related to mushrooms, psychedelia, and other trippy references. Not sure if this has anything to do with re-cent legalizations of practitioner-overseen mushroom use, but it’s pretty fun to push some buttons. Get it? Buttons.”

“Our clients are shopping very conscientiously–they like to buy directly from small designers and ask about sustainable manufacturing processes, but they also seek out Black designers like La Réunion.”

Isabella Soto likes to keep things fresh: her Miami-based online store, 8vo Ático, meaning “8th attic” in Spanish, is always in a constant state of change. Soto keeps a tight edit of her shop, stocking only eight brands at a time in periodic rotation. The result is a place for fashion discovery and new, completely unique finds. 

“When I want to include a bit of color into my rotation, I tend to every time for butter yellow. It gets the job done without getting me too far from my everyday neutrals + it goes with almost everything. “–Isabella

“Sustainability is a must for me personally, and something I look into for all brands I take into consideration for 8vo Ático. The best part is that you’ll never guess that each bag was probably a couch before becoming this chic accessory.”

“I love mixing heavy textures with minimal pieces. They add dimension, as well as an intriguing factor to an outfit that could have just feel flat otherwise.” 

Coming up, I’m Trading In My Bulky Winter Layers For A Trench Coat–and These 24 Are A1.

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