Home > Cool, Unique Brands Worth Checking Out

Cool, Unique Brands Worth Checking Out

I’ll admit that lately, my shopping adventures have left me feeling a little uninspired. While there are a lot of great trends out there for this spring/summer season, I’m finding a lot of the major brands you’ll find in your local mall are offering options that are really watered down versions of what you’d see in magazines. Also, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect crossbody bag and my visits to the top accessories stores you find everywhere have been pretty boring, generic…and well, EVERYWHERE. So, I hit the internet and grabbed a stack of my favourite magazines and started researching cool and upcoming brands. 

I was thrilled to find that there is a wealth of options out there, you just have to look. Each of the brands I’m featuring are high-quality and offer unique designs that you won’t see at stores with names that rhyme with “Mate Stade” or “Poach” – lol.  Let’s get started!

Cool, Unique Brands Worth Checking Out | www.styledomination.com


While leafing through an issue of Instyle, I came across the perfect, neutral-coloured crossbody bag. The little gem was by Cuyana (meaning “to love” in Quechua) and I grabbed my phone and quickly googled this brand I had never heard of. I’m so glad I did! Cuyana’s large offering pretty much caused me to have a fashion-induced heart attack while reviewing the site’s wealth of gorgeous, leather goods.

Cuyana is all about “style over trends, quality over quantity” and falling in love with your closet. I love that this company is a huge advocate of buying better quality pieces to keep forever, therefore reducing consumption and waste. Best of all, the products are completely affordable.

  1. Large Leather Zipper Pouch in Clay, $110
  2. Accessory alert! Clockwise: Classic Zip Around Wallet in Mint ($125), Leather Bag Tassel in Stone ($35), Small Leather Zip Around Wallet in Mint ($110)Leather Tassel Keychain in Mint ($55), Leather Cardholders in Clay and Mint ($65), Small Leather Zip Around Wallet in Clay ($110).
  3. Large Oversized Carryall Tote in Black ($265)

Primary New York

I found out about Primary New York by watching one of my fave YouTubers, Melissa Soldera. A style maven in her own right, Melissa would always be rocking amazing trends and classics alike in her videos. She let us in on her style secret by sharing one of her favourite online shopping sites with us, Primary New York.

This gorgeous site features a carefully curated selection of “cool girl brands” such as Luana, The Stowe and Vere Verto, Sen along with cult favourites like For Love and Lemons.

Cool, Unique Brands Worth Checking Out | www.styledomination.com
Luana Anais Shoulder Bag in black leather, $298. Gorgeous, simple and perfect. Reminds me of the lovely and incredibly expensive Céline Box Bag
Cool, Unique Brands Worth Checking Out | www.styledomination.com
Looking for the perfect bucket bag? Here you go! The Stowe Brady Leather Bucket Bag, $335
Cool, Unique Brands Worth Checking Out | www.styledomination.com
Beautiful Vero Verte Mini Mox Crossbody in Tan, $278. Totally reminds me of all the beautiful, handmade bags I saw in leather markets in Italy

Daniel Wellington

I’m a sucker for a great watch, but most of them cost a lot of money…which is ok, because a fine timepiece will last you a lifetime. Those of us with Patek Philippe tastes but significantly smaller budgets should check out Daniel Wellington, an amazing company offering top quality, minimalist designs that will look great forever. All Daniel Wellington watches are under $220, making them one of the most affordable, high quality options out there.

I have a Dapper Reading watch which I wear on a daily basis and pretty much pair with anything. LOVE! If you’d like to treat yourself, use code “STYLEDOMI” and save 15% off any purchase on the Daniel Wellington website (www.danielwellington.com)!

Cool, Unique Brands Worth Checking Out | www.styledomination.com
My Dapper Reading beauty of a watch!
Cool, Unique Brands Worth Checking Out | www.styledomination.com

Jenny Bird

I have an Elizabeth Taylor-type obsession with jewelry. If I were to win the lottery tomorrow, I’d proudly adorn myself in gorgeous jewels. Along with classic sparklers and pearls, I love edgy pieces too that can be worn on a daily basis.

When my pal Katie introduced me to Jenny Bird last year, I was hooked. Jenny Bird’s unique designs incorporate antiqued metals, leather and beads resulting in modern, free-spirited pieces that anyone would be hard-pressed not to fall in love with. “Birdgirls” of all types flock to this talented Toronto designer’s site  to snap up her awesome designs.

Cool, Unique Brands Worth Checking Out | www.styledomination.com
Jenny Bird Moonrise Collar
Cool, Unique Brands Worth Checking Out | www.styledomination.com
Jenny Bird St. Tropez Long Chain Link Necklace
Cool, Unique Brands Worth Checking Out | www.styledomination.com
Jenny Bird errr-thang!

What are some of your favourite brands that don’t scream “I got this at the mall!!!” Let me know in the comments!

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Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

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Leave a comment

  1. May 18, 2016 / 2:31 pm

    Love that Vero Verte Mini Mox Crossbody!
    You’re right, I see so much of the sameness everywhere I turn. I’m not saying I’m all that unique but it’d be BEYOND the pale to be caught with the same exact item as someone else, gosh! 😉

    • May 18, 2016 / 2:49 pm

      Haha! I feel you! I’m actively trying to find different stuff that stands out!! I love that little Vero Verte bag. So cute!

  2. May 18, 2016 / 5:12 pm

    All beautiful choices but I think I love your Dapper Reading watch the best. Beautiful!

  3. May 19, 2016 / 12:24 am

    Great write up with amazing pictures!

  4. May 19, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    You’ve 100% summed up how I feel about trends and shopping right now. So all of these brands are really refreshing! It’s great to see new brands and see what they’re working on. And I love supporting smaller brands, too. Keeps things interesting and unexpected. Definitely going to check these guys out!


    • May 19, 2016 / 10:44 pm

      Awesome, Dannie! Glad you like the post! While I love the big designers and popular stores, these just are a breath of fresh air!

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