grid-line

40 Trending Fashion Startups

by Josh Howarth
July 18, 2022

You may also like: 

Due to the global upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic, the fashion industry’s profits took a hit in both 2020 and 2021, according to McKinsey’s & Company’s State of Fashion.

But there are bright spots in the industry’s future, despite its current rocky state. In fact, the fashion business as a whole is expecting the momentum to pick up in 2022 as the demand amongst consumers is high.

We’ve researched and compiled information on 40 fashion startups primed to profit off of the expected rise in digital channels and other up-and-coming shifts in the fashion world. Read on for funding information and more on these notable companies.

1. Skims

5-year search growth: 4900%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2019

Location: Culver City, CA

Funding: $399M (Series B)

What they do: Skims is a loungewear, underwear and shapewear brand founded by Kim Kardashian. With a focus on size inclusivity, the collections have over 26K five-star ratings. The startup also launched swimwear in March 2022, with prices ranging from $32 to $108.

2. Savage X Fenty

5-year search growth: 2100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2017

Location: El Segundo, California

Funding: $310M (Series C)

What they do: Savage X Fenty is a lingerie and apparel company founded and run by famous music artist Rihanna, aka Robyn Rihanna Fenty. The company’s key focus is to revolutionize the lingerie space by offering a wide range of styles at affordable prices. In February 2021, Savage X Fenty hit a whopping $1 billion valuation.

3. StockX

5-year search growth: 1280%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: Detroit, Michigan

Funding: $690M (Secondary Market)

What they do: StockX offers a virtual marketplace specializing in rare and popular sneakers, in addition to apparel and other sought-after items. On the platform, users can purchase and sell items with a transparent live bidding method. StockX touts secure transactions, guaranteed authenticity, and global reach. The company’s valuation was $2.8B as of December 2020.

4. Depop

5-year search growth: 75%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: London, England

Funding: $105.6M (Non-equity Assistance)

What they do: Depop is a web and mobile marketplace connecting buyers with sellers to exchange apparel and accessories from top brands. The app encompasses a worldwide community of users and originally evolved from a social network that allowed people to purchase items seen in PIG magazine, a publication co-founded by Depop founder Simon Beckerman.

5. NA-KD

5-year search growth: 95%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Funding: $88.5M (Secondary Market)

What they do: NA-KD.com is a fashion marketplace founded in Sweden. The website’s inventory includes products from well-known, established brands, such as Levi’s and Calvin Klein, in addition to unique collaborations with social media influencers. Entrepreneur and founder Jarno Vanhatapio has considerable experience in e-commerce, having founded successful e-commerce businesses ZooZoo.com and Nelly.com. On December 21, the company plans to go green and merge with Cenntro Automatic Group.

6. Allbirds

5-year search growth: 31%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $202.5M (Series E)

What they do: Allbirds creates footwear, apparel, and accessories, most notably a model of wool sneakers. The brand puts a heavy focus on using natural materials and prioritizing sustainability from manufacturing to packaging. Allbirds’ founders include native New Zealander Tim Brown and engineer Joey Zwilinger.

7. Everlane

5-year search growth: -18%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2010

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $86.2M (Series F)

What they do: Everlane is an apparel company that designs and produces items for both women and men. The fashion brand focuses on creating well-made items that are also made in a socially responsible manner, and they partner exclusively with factories that demonstrate ethical practices when it comes to wages, working environment, and work hours. Founder/CEO Michael Preysman started the company when he was 25, working with former CTO and co-founder Jesse Farmer to build the business.

8. FIGS

5-year search growth: 34%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Funding: $75M (Series B)

What they do: FIGS is a medical uniform clothing business offering high-quality and comfortable scrubs, lab coats, face masks, activewear, and more. The company was founded by Heather Hasson and Trina Spear and grew out of Hasson’s epiphany that traditional scrubs were unpleasant and uncomfortable to wear for long medical shifts. Jeffrey Lawrence, FIGS current CFO, has decided to retire on December 24 and will be replaced by Daniella Turenshine, the current Senior VP of Finance and Strategy.

9. Universal Standard

5-year search growth: 74%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $8.5M (Series A)

What they do: Universal Standard is an apparel company focused on providing fashion for women of different body types. The brand’s “universal sizing” is based on a more realistic look at female body types in the U.S., with options ranging from 4XS to 4XL. Universal Standard was co-founded by Polina Veksler and Alex Waldman, who wanted to give women of all sizes a quality, rewarding shopping experience.

10. Lunya

5-year search growth: 206%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2014

Location: Santa Monica, CA

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: Lunya sells quality, elevated sleepwear using its own fabrics, such as washable silk, hypoallergenic wool, and antimicrobial pima, designed specifically for comfort and wearability. Ashley Merril, who founded Lunya and its brother company Lahgo, originally aimed to offer women a better, more thoughtfully created alternative to traditional sleepwear options.

11. Bolt Threads

5-year search growth: 6%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2009

Location: Emeryville, California

Funding: $472.1M (Series E)

What they do: Bolt Threads creates innovative materials with a focus on preserving the environment and reducing the impact of the textile industry. Materials they’ve produced include Mylo, a leather alternative made out of mycelium, and b-silk protein, a bioengineered substance used in skin and hair care products. Bolt Threads was founded by Dan Widmaier, Ph.D., and David Breslauer, Ph.D.

12. Trouva

5-year search growth: -17%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: London, England

Funding: $41.1M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Trouva is a virtual marketplace where people can purchase clothing and more from independent brands and boutiques. The e-commerce platform is supported in part by investors with experience at Net-A-Porter, Secret Escapes, and other successful companies. Trouva was co-founded by Mandeep Singh, Alex Loizou, and Glen Walker to connect consumers with unique products from brick-and-mortar shops.

13. Pomelo

5-year search growth: 50%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Funding: $117.6M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Pomelo is a Bangkok-based fashion company that offers current styles at reasonable prices for a global customer base. Pomelo was founded by David Jou, whose previous pursuits include co-founding e-commerce and technology company Lazada and spending time at New Mountain Capital and Bain & Company. The fashion company raised another $10 million in their most recent funding round, which will be used to expand their presence to other worldwide markets. 

14. Grailed

5-year search growth: -30%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $76.5M (Series B)

What they do: Grailed is a buy-and-sell e-commerce platform for menswear with a sister platform, Heroine, focused on women’s clothing. The company, founded by Jake Metzger, Julian Connor, and Arun Gupta, was started to provide a more usable menswear forum experience.

15. ManiMe

5-year search growth: 54%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2017

Location: Santa Monica, California

Funding: $8.7M (Series Unknown)

What they do: ManiMe is an at-home manicure company that produces and delivers stick-on gel manicure sets. The startup leverages 3D technology in creating their nails, which require less time to apply than traditional salon services and last up to 2 weeks. ManiMe was founded by former Stanford Graduate School of Business students Jooyeon Song and David Miro Llopis.

16. Lookiero

5-year search growth: 266%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Bilbao, Spain

Funding: $53.6M (Series C)

What they do: Lookiero is a clothing curation and personal shopping company targeted at women in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Like U.S. competitor StitchFix, users of Lookiero received a customized box of clothing tailored to their preferences. Lookiero snagged a €17 million investment in late 2019 with ambitions to use the money to grow its reach.

17. Cudoni

5-year search growth: 1283%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: London, England

Funding: $7.9M (Series A)

What they do: Cudoni is an online marketplace that allows users to buy and sell previously-owned luxury items. Founded by James Harford-Tyrer, Cudoni’s investors include Vita Coco CEO Giles Brook and Capital One founder Matt Cooper.

18. Dolls Kill

5-year search growth: 162%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2012

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $61.6M (Series B)

What they do: Dolls Kill is an apparel and accessories company with an e-commerce presence paired with retail stores that sell clothing for “misfits.” The company features collections created around specific personality aesthetics, or “dolls,” with a focus on club and festival clothing. Founded by husband and wife Shoddy Lynn and Bobby Farahi, Dolls Kill received a $40M investment from venture company Sequoia in 2019.

19. Queenly

5-year search growth: 25%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2019

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $9.4M (Seed)

What they do: Queenly is a peer-to-peer e-commerce site and mobile app focused on matching women with the right formal wear for their prom, wedding, or other formal events. Despite its launch during a global pandemic, Queenly saw upwards of half a million in sales and tens of thousands of daily site visitors in 2020, according to Kathy Zhou and Trisha Bantigue, the company’s co-founders.

20. presize.ai

5-year search growth: 600%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: Munich, Germany

Funding: $2M (Seed)

What they do: Presize.ai is a fashion tech company that developed a way to determine body measurements and deliver clothing size recommendations via targeted questions and mobile video. The technology, powered deep learning and computer vision, aims to help e-commerce site owners increase sales and reduce returns. Presize.ai’s investors include German entities UnternehmerTUM and seed + speed Ventures, as well as Silicon Valley-based Plug and Play.

21. The Yes

5-year search growth: 27%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Burlingame, CA

Funding: $30M (Series A)

What they do: The Yes is an AI-powered shopping platform that recommends clothes based on your style. After taking a style quiz, the startup’s algorithms build each customer a daily feed. While customers shop the hundreds of brands available, they can select “yes” or “no” for each item and the shopping feed will grow increasingly personalized.

22. Shein

5-year search growth: 1214%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2008

Location: Nanjing, China

Funding: $2.1B (Series F)

What they do: Shein is a Chinese fast fashion online clothing retailer. The startup posts over 6,000 new products daily, and could potentially be worth $100B in its next funding round, topping the owners of H&M, Uniqlo and Zara. In 2020 alone, sales tripled to $10B.

23. Rebag

5-year search growth: 4000%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $101.3M (Series E)

What they do: Rebag is a second-hand luxury goods resale site. Its product categories include handbags, watches, jewelry and more. In April 2022, the company also launched Rebag Auction, which allows clients to know exactly when new arrivals will drop on the site.

24. Mejuri

5-year search growth: 644%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: Toronto, Canada

Funding: $28M (Series B)

What they do: Mejuri is a DTC jewelry startup that focuses on affordable luxury pieces not just for special occasions but for daily wear. Mejuri prioritizes quality craftsmanship alongside socially conscious production practices, with partners in Toronto, Canada; Seoul, Korea; Arezzo, Italy, and more. Noura Sakkijha and her husband, Majed Masad, founded the company in 2013.

25. Outway

5-year search growth: 733%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2016

Location: Victoria, Canada

Funding: $3.2M (Seed)

What they do: Outway designs and manufactures socks. Originally created to meet the needs of professional athletes, the socks are now made to be wearable for any occasion. The product has several characteristics, including breathability, compression and arch support. Since its inception in 2016, the company has sold “millions” of socks.

26. Xiaohongshu

5-year search growth: 809%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: Shanghai, China

Funding: $917.7M (Series E)

What they do: Xiaohongshu, or “little red book,” is a Chinese app that combines product reviews and shopping. It has been previously compared to Instagram because of its social media features and is popular with Gen Z. As of March 2022, the app has 200M users.

27. By Rotation

5-year search growth: 122%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: London, England

Funding: $3.4M (Seed)

What they do: By Rotation is a clothing rental, lending and purchasing app. Lenders can list their item on the app in less than 2 minutes, and get paid after their item is successfully rented. Renters can browse and communicate with lenders via the app. For lenders with a large wardrobe that do not have the time to ship their items, By Rotation offers a concierge service.

28. The Frankie Shop

5-year search growth: 446%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2014

Location: New York, NY

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: The Frankie Shop is a boutique clothing store located in the Lower East Side in New York City, as well as in Paris, France. The clothing pieces are limited supply and tagged with the #frankiegirl hashtag on Instagram. In January 2022, the label debuted a line of menswear for the first time, with price points ranging from $150 to $180.

29. ShopLook

5-year search growth: 1600%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding $150K (Pre-Seed)

What they do: Powered by Google, ShopLook is an app that offers personal styling inspiration. Users can create and discover new outfits, build vision boards and interact with the community. The short form videos are 90 seconds long, and there are more than 1M app users.

30. Whatnot

5-year search growth: 900%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2019

Location: Marina Del Rey, CA

Funding: $224.7M (Series C)

What they do: Whatnot is a live video shopping app that is currently valued at $1.5B. Verified sellers can start live streams at any time, and sell products ranging from vintage fashion to sports cards. As of late 2021, the startup’s GMV was up 30x since early 2021, when it raised Series A.

31. Vinted

5-year search growth: 327%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2008

Location: Vilnius, Lithuania

Funding: $562.3M (Series F)

What they do: Vinted is an online clothing marketplace for secondhand clothing. The startup offers thousands of brands on its app. For users who post their items to sell, there are no seller fees, so they can keep all the earnings. Vinted also offers a Buyers Protection fee with each purchase to ensure that buyers receive the exact item that they purchased.

32. Vuori

5-year search growth: 900%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: Encinitas, CA

Funding: $445M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Vuori is an athleisure company that offers clothing for both women and men. Although it is based in the San Diego area, it is expanding to 7 new countries this year, including Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Ireland and Netherlands. As of its last funding round last year, the startup is valued at $4B.

33. GOAT

5-year search growth: 110%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: Culver City, CA

Funding: $492.6M (Series F)

What they do: GOAT is an online sneaker and streetwear marketplace. Based in Southern California, the company has 13 physical store locations across the US, Asia and Europe, and ships to 170 countries around the world. The platform features over 350 brands.

34. Lenskart

5-year search growth: 156%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2010

Location: Faridabad, India

Funding: $927.5M (Series I)

What they do: Lenskart is an Indian online shopping platform for eyewear. The company promises a 48-hour free delivery and a 1-year return policy. Catering to all age groups, customers can choose from over 500 different eyewear designs, as well as from a collection of contact lenses.

35. Musinsa

5-year search growth: 143%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2001

Location: Seoul, South Korea

Funding: $250.1M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Musinsa is an online shopping platform based in Seoul. In May 2021, the startup opened its first brick-and-mortar store, which saw 80K visitors that month. On average, there are 23K order pickups in a month, which is equivalent to almost 18% of the physical store's entire sales.

36. LTK

5-year search growth: 143%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2011

Location: Dallas, TX

Funding: $315M (Series Unknown)

What they do: LTK is a platform that allows influencers to create and sell branded merchandise. Over 5,000 retailers also use the platform to run marketing campaigns and collaborate with influencers. To date, more than $1B has been invested in influencer marketing on the platform, and shoppers have purchased $3B+ of products each year.

37. Printful

5-year search growth: 236%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Charlotte, NC

Funding: $130M (Private Equity)

What they do: Printful is an online marketplace that allows customers to create and sell custom products. With eight fulfillment centers around the world, the company has delivered 32M+ items and hit more than $200M in revenue in 2020.

38. Popshop Live

5-year search growth: 5800%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2016

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $23M (Series A)

What they do: Popshop Live is a live streaming marketplace. Currently only available in the US, users can host their own channel and interact with buyers through the platform. Sellers are seeing GMV of $500K and more, and 80% of customers return within one month to buy more.

39. Fashionphile

5-year search growth: 47%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 1999

Location: Carlsbad, CA

Funding: $38.5M (Series B)

What they do: Fashionphile is an online marketplace for second-hand luxury handbags, accessories, jewelry and watches. Its inventory is also available at select Neiman Marcus stores. The company uses algorithms to authenticate merchandise. This involves feeding the algorithms millions of photos to train them to recognize patterns and spot counterfeits.

40. Hill House Home

5-year search growth: 25%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $8.4M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Hill House Home is a lifestyle brand that sells clothing for women and babies and home goods. While the startup began as a bedding company, in 2021 it expanded into apparel, launching a line of women’s clothing in the summer. Prices ranged from $25 to $175.

Conclusion

As consumers’ needs and attitudes change, the world of fashion shifts alongside them.

From startups that prioritize ethical supply chains to brands that champion inclusive sizing, these 40 companies are perfect examples of businesses with the foresight and intuition to provide customers with fashion products and experiences that will resonate with the mass market.