Best of 2022: Top Brands of The Year

1. ALUNIA

Hong Kong-based contemporary fashion label, ALUNIA, wants to strike modern skylines with classic shapes and silhouettes of centuries-past. Co-founded by Alexander Ho, Benjamin Wong, and Felix Chan, the standing power of ancient luxury is alive and well with ALUNIA, who just unveiled their debut collection to critical acclaim. The brand offers ready-to-wear garments and related accessories that highlight authenticity, exclusivity, luxury, nature, confidence, and distinctiveness. ALUNIA’s mission is to create artisanal pieces that reflect cosmopolitan panache while simultaneously showcasing traditional craftsmanship that blooms brighter today than it did hundreds of years prior. ALUNIA employs a unique approach to traditional luxury cuts, weaving familiarity and contemporary design elements with a refreshing take on chic simplicity. ALUNIA maintains a compelling eye for details, spotlighting overlooked fabrics and forms that stand strong on their own. Their debut collection showcases a new interpretation of ‘post-modern’ Chinese fashion, intent on harmonizing old and new design factors to create a fluid approach that flatters all demographics. ALUNIA’s core team manifested the brand through an active passion for fashion and a craving for something more in creative spaces. The group’s  dream to create their fantasy fashion label has driven ALUNIA to become a vehicle of creative authenticity and self-discovery, paving the way for a vibrant renaissance in modern fashion that will span generations.

2. Oaza

Oaza Beverages is a drink company specializing in dynamic caffeine coolers that don’t compromise hydration or energy. The company’s product line of strong (200mg caffeine) cold brews, which are infused with electrolytes and L-theanine for hydrating the body, come in a variety of frothy flavors to fit most palettes. Oaza was founded in May of 2022 in Manhattan, NY, by Jeff Burbank, who envisioned the creation of a drink that serves as the healthiest functional cold brew that will provide sustained energy throughout the day. All products are built with less than 30 calories, zero sugar, and come in three primary brews: black, oat milk, and cacao mocha. The company caters to college students, working professionals, busy entrepreneurs, parents, and anyone in need of a trusted co-pilot. Oaza is keen on becoming the next alternative that prioritizes health and sustainability while still packing quite a punch. Oaza’s unique approach to coffee utilizes optimal ingredients that provide a performance edge over traditional coffee drinks. Their inclusion of electrolytes helps to balance the dehydrating effect caffeine and coffee have on the human body while keeping the distinct flavor that coffee cravers love. The humble beginnings of Oaza Beverages began when Burbank traveled extensively between Las Vegas and Manhattan for work. After realizing he was enduring an energy zap at the hands of coffee, he set out to create an emerging drink that would revolutionize the coffee industry one drink at a time. 

3. Functional Patterns

Functional Patterns is a groundbreaking health and fitness company that educates people from all walks of life on movement and pain management. Founded in 2007 by Naudi Aguilar and based in San Diego, California, Functional Patterns teaches people how to move better and stay healthy for the long haul. The company pioneers high-caliber physical training equipment, online programs, and in-person courses. Their systems, such as the “10-Week Online Program” and “The Functional Training System”, offer a unique take on traditional workout techniques, delivering impactful exercises that promote sustainable gains, pain reduction, and long-term improvements in fitness. Before launching Functional Patterns, Aguilar questioned why his body experienced minor pains after training using conventional fitness methods. This inspired a new journey toward a more accessible approach to sustainable wellness. From the average Joe or Jane to athletes and anyone in between, Aguilar has built a deep understanding of how to build muscle, and improve mobility and movement, all while remaining pain-free throughout intensive training sessions. Over the last 15 years, Functional Patterns has transformed a range of athletes, including world champion wrestler, Kyle Dake, and renowned MMA fighter, Johnny Elben, who is also a Bellator champion. What started as one man’s discovery has evolved into a resource for rehabilitation, better movement, strength building, and weight loss without the pain and injuries that can come with conventional training methods. Those who suffer from chronic conditions like Scoliosis or Cerebral Palsy have also found support through Functional Patterns. As the company continues to innovate the way we train our bodies, anyone interested can easily consult their website for more insight on how Functional Patterns will benefit them.

4. Outspoke

Launched during the turbulent, post-pandemic landscape, Outspoke is a Chicago-based online marketplace for a diverse range of high-quality jewelry. Founded by Steven Royster in March of 2022, Outspoke offers the finest selection of 14k gold-bonded and 925 sterling silver chains and bracelets to elevate your everyday style. This bespoke jewelry company wants to provide complete transparency around the materials crafted in their pieces, openly discussing pricing, product care guidance, and their business model with customers. Outspoke lists trust as a critical component in their identity, fostering meaningful relationships with its customers where other online jewelers commonly swindle. Outspoke is keen on becoming a household name for accessible, high-quality jewelry and wants its’ clientele to wear their pieces with pride. Royster’s mission is to elevate everyday style using jewelry as a staple of expression. Words like luxurious and transparency don’t often share spaces, but Outspoke wants customers to understand the value of crafting authentic pieces that give customers ownership and confidence. What began as the pursuit of creating a middle ground between trendy streetwear jewelry and luxurious jewelry flourished into a movement for quality. Outspoke is grounded in its customer service, for its business model is centered around the client experience. As their Chicago e-commerce presence continues to grow and transform the way people express their style, Outspoke’s goal of being a leading source for classically styled jewelry that compliments any occasion remains on track.

5. FreshIAM

+FRESH.I.AM+, or Freshiam. is an emerging contemporary streetwear brand selling unique apparel, accessories, and lifestyle pieces. Based out of Los Angeles, Freshiam was officially launched in Atlanta, GA, in 2010 with the goal of catering to individuals with a strong sense of identity by blending luxury aesthetics , with streetwear spirit and high quality production. Since then freshiam has been sold all over the world from Dubai to Japan and Paris back to Los Angeles; and has been worn by global stars such as Wiz Kahlifa, Rihanna, G-dragon and even more! But this is not why Tunde started Freshiam, the goal was and still is to create pieces that inspire and push the culture forward. Founded by Nigerian born designer, Tunde Ogunnoiki, Freshiam designs all of its products in his downtown LA studio.The brand’s bespoke pieces have helped the young designer remain a trailblazer in the contemporary streetwear space, with many of his designs being copied and even bootlegged. Freshiam continues to trailblazer with his new collection “2022—2023 E. Collection” of knits and denim. As leaders in the culture the brand has been embraced by the Afrobeats music community and has increased visibility, thanks to famous African Afrobeat artists such as Davido, Dj Spinal, and WizKid. With a genuine passion for fashion and a growing, dedicated fanbase, Freshiam is positioning itself as the new leader in Contemporary streetwear fashion for a new era.

6. Ditto.

Ditto Maison DeChaleur, also known as Ditto.co, is a luxury streetwear brand that incorporates dueling characteristics of vintage and streetwear fashion with precision. Founded in October of 2019 by William Cho and based in New York, Ditto.co creates and sells various clothing pieces made from anything, including luxury cut and bespoke pieces to classic vintage t-shirts. As these two emerging markets began to expand into new territory, Cho set out to create a solution that addressed the lingering spaces between the two styles. With a distinct emphasis on quality and inspiring the next generation of creatives, Ditto.co is a lifestyle brand that upholds their standard of excellence, never compromising quality. As a smarter alternative to traditional luxury streetwear, Ditto.co takes advantage of steep competitor prices by supplying the masses with quality that stands strong over time. The brand honors traditional streetwear staples by refining them under a new light for future generations to enjoy, rather than bending to fast fashion that loses value by next season. Customers can depend on Ditto.co for top-tier garments that fit the body correctly by using the highest quality materials. What began as a college epiphany and some experimentation with clothing design has evolved into a contemporary take on fashion that builds a bridge between two classic styles. As the company continues to grow and expand on its syndication of streetwear and vintage clothing styles, quality and unique design creation remain the critical ingredient of success for the NY-based Ditto.co Maison DeChaleur.

7. Blend Bunny Cosmetics

There are many key factors that distinguish Blend Bunny Cosmetics from the rest of the makeup industry, among them being a commitment to clean, cruelty-free beauty standards and a panache of artistry that bleeds from one creative vision to another with bombastic authority. Introduced at the top of 2021 by Maggie Jones, Blend Bunny Cosmetics is no hat trick, for the real magic rests with their stellar selection of palettes and the artists who wield them. The company is Leaping Bunny Certified, which, to the ill-informed, is the prom queen of cruelty-free certifications. Becoming certified through Leaping Bunny means that small businesses like Blend Bunny Cosmetics are committed to annual evaluations and consistency in conduct, separating them from competing brands who simply want the soundbytes. In addition to a steel-plated code of ethics, Blend Bunny Cosmetics is the consumer’s choice for professional utility in the makeup space, finding a home with Emmy Award-winning MUA, Jeremy Austin (known as 6), and Mikayla Nogueira, a MUA and social media star. The company’s demographic appeals to those in entertainment and the arts, but Blend Bunny’s sterling color palettes are built for everyone. Jones began her Blend Bunny journey on herself, painting unique and striking patterns on her face to critical acclaim. Since its founding, the company has enjoyed explosive success and is poised to become the envy of the makeup space in record time.

8. LovesicK

LovesicK is a Denver, Colorado-based high-end clothing brand that offers sharp products and garments, including leather jackets and pants, high-end denim, perfectly fitting t-shirts, and trucker hats. LovesicK wants to create unique pieces that bring out the best in us by making quality threads that inspire bombastic self-expression and unapologetic pride in personal creativity. Founded in October of 2019 by Uzbekistan Muslim-born artist, Shohruhhon, (better known as Sho) Ganiev, LovesicK was born from the blood, sweat, and tears of manifesting a dream career of working in the fashion industry. Ganiev began working as a barber full-time at 14 years old and would become one the most prolific hairdressers in his city. The ambitious teenager would go on to save his earnings to invest in what would become the early iterations of LovesicK. Ganiev set fire to his ideas at 17 while balancing hairdressing and a new fashion business simultaneously. LovesicK directly reflects Ganviev’s inspirations, tenacity, and creative vision as a designer in many capacities. His streetwear company wants to provide cutting-edge clothing at the highest level for people to enjoy the same way he does. As LovesicK continues experimenting with innovative designs to push the envelope in streetwear, Ganiev remains headstrong on elevating his fashion under his sharp-as-shears work ethic. Ganiev wants to ensure LovesicK threads last a lifetime and continue to evolve in the same way that he does.

9. Mela Water

Summer never ends with Mela Water in hand. Launched in 2021 and based out of San Diego, Mela Water made a splash in the hydration space when they introduced their new line of all-natural, plant-based watermelon water that packs a punch of flavor with every sip no matter the season or scenario. “As a fruit, watermelon is bursting with vitamins, minerals, and hydrating electrolytes that shower the body with juicy essentials. In fact, watermelon juice is one of the most nourishing sources of hydration available on the planet, and Mela Water is showing us that curbing those pesky sugar cravings is made possible through the familiar taste of ruby red watermelons, easily concealed in a can. Available in four dynamic flavors, Mela is the ideal co-pilot for post-workout recovery, busy afternoons, or girl’s night hanging poolside. And, yes, it’s the perfect mixer for watermelon cocktails. Along with the original watermelon drink (nothing more, nothing less), Mela also comes in Watermelon Passion Fruit, Watermelon Pineapple, and Watermelon Ginger, pairing the nostalgic splendor of watermelon without any added sugars. This fruit-forward canopy is redefining hydration with fun alternatives, so find your spot in paradise and crack open a slice…your body will thank you later.

10. Fat Buddha Glass

Long gone are the days of scrambled searches for the perfect smoking co-pilot, thanks in large part to Fat Buddha Glass, the Washington D.C.-based glass company. Officially launched in 2017, the brand has expertly shaped the future of glass accessory within the cannabis community, supplying top-shelf, artisanal utility that whisks together creative design and optimal functionality. Founded by two best friends of 35 years, the birthing of Fat Buddha arrived after years of rummaging through overpriced selections on the market that didn’t hit the sweet spot. Through a shared love of glass art, the duo embarked on a mission to provide premium smoking accessories that didn’t break the bank while still prioritizing a unique flare of opulence in their inventory. Fat Buddha is routinely regarded as the brand with the best customer experience, mostly because they hold esteemed regard for their fellow shoppers who just want the best of the business. Their risk-free shopping experience guarantees the best prices, best selections, and best service from start to finish, introducing an elevated sense of trust between consumer and brand. Inspired by the translucence of well-designed glass, Fat Buddha works to help others find peace with their perfect piece.

11. ANOVÉ

Anové is a Los Angeles-based luxury skincare company founded in 2019 by CEO, Evonna Kuehner. They specialize in consciously crafting inclusive, clean, plant-based products designed to impact all skin tones. Anové wants to empower customers to “live in your best skin” by paying close attention to all steps of the production process to ensure ingredients get crafted responsibly. All product vessels undergo a unique, three-step cleansing process to expand on product integrity and customer quality. This progressive skincare company also holds Leaping Bunny certification, meaning its products are cruelty-free and adhere to a strict code of conduct that’s subjected to review each year. Anové currently has five main product offerings, specifically for the face. These include a gentle facial cleanser that features alpha-hydroxy acids and aloe vera, ​a hydrating toner made from impactful floral essences and hyaluronic acid, an eye serum made to firm and reduce the appearance of fine lines in the area around and underneath the eyes, a moisturizing and blemish reducing facial oil balanced to drive results without clogging pores, and a refreshing and uplifting cooling mist to soothe and calm the skin while on the go. Anove’s distinctly inclusive approach to skincare seeks to change the narrative within the clean beauty space so that founders of color are seen as universal creators who make products for everyone to enjoy. A commitment to responsible production and sustainable skincare is the driving factor that will help Anové succeed in a hypercompetitive skincare market, and those interested in conscious facial care should check out how Anove’s products can support them.