Lesser-Known Designer Brands Worth Adding to Your Repertoire

Lesser-Known Designer Brands Worth Adding to Your Repertoire


There’s nothing I love more than discovering a new brand that’s truly worthy of adoration, undulation, and well, all the other doting “shun” words.

Especially when they prove to be more affordable versions — and in some cases, arguably of equal or even greater quality — of some of my ultra-luxury favorites.

So if you’re ready to expand your horizons a bit, here are a few recent discoveries that you might find in your shopping cart soon.

Like Rolex? Meet Omega.

Omega is definitely not a new brand — in fact, it’s been around longer than Rolex and is in many ways just as legendary (since 1848, to be exact).

It has that quiet allure of a brand that ‘those in the know’ will recognize — which is it’s own sort of tantalizing, in my humble opinion. Similar in both price and quality to Rolex, Omega offers comparable designs, but with more size and movement options, as well as a few other distinctions, not the least of which is a great story.

Take the Omega Speedmaster, for example, which many will compare to a number of stainless steel styles from Rolex. Designed in the 50’s, the Omega Speedmaster has a delicious story behind it. The style is the first flight-certified watch for NASA and the first watch on the moon. (How’s that for a conversation starter?) As I mentioned before, Omega also offers a much wider range of options, with a range of designs and distinctive movements, depending on your preferences.

The Omega Seamaster is in many ways a similar timepiece to the Rolex Submariner in both branding, form, and function. Though many will argue it may even be a better option — in part because of the price point, but also in terms of detail and design options that can make your timepiece feel more distinctive.

Huge Hermes fan? Check out Delvaux.

Another timeless brand that manages to fly under the radar, Delvaux bags have been around longer than Hermes or Louis Vuitton. They entered the fashion scene in 1829 before Belgium was even a legitimate kingdom. (yes, kingdom).

Loved by Jackie Kennedy and her contemporaries, the quality and craftsmanship are comparable and in a similar spirit to that of Hermes, and indeed some of the designs are reminiscent as well. (ie, the Delvaux Brilliant Satchel or the Delvaux Tempete could be mistaken for an Hermes Kelly bag at a slight distance.)

To this day, Delvaux has only two hundred employees — a testament to their commitment to craftsmanship, apprenticeship, and the art of luxury handbag making.

They’re available at some Nordstrom’s and of course, at FASHIONPHILE.

Meet Mansur Gavriel, Bottega Veneta’s cousin.

Ok, they’re not literally related — or contractually, or anything like that. But in terms of design and ethos, they’re definitely family.

Case in point: Mansur Gavriel came out with the Cloud Mini Clutch, which feels tremendously comparable to Bottega Veneta The Pouch, but at a friendlier price point.

It seems like a great solution if you’re looking to explore more adventurous bags or brands outside of your usual purview, but aren’t sure if you’re ready to invest in a really high-end one. Mansur Gavriel is also known for their bucket bags, for those who are low-key obsessed (I see you, I get you, I’m with you.)

Of course, these are just a few top finds — there are tons of designers to explore beyond the usual suspects, including Alaia, IWC, Damiani, and so many others.