Some indie retailers have the Midas touch. Their stocks are highly-curated with a selection of practically perfect items that briefly appear online before being branded with every shopper's least favorite phrase: sold out. These tiny boutiques are islands in a sea of mass retailers, and Lisa Says Gah is our favorite oasis. Run by founder Lisa Bühler, a former Nasty Gal buyer who clearly knows a thing or two about finding holy grail items, the San Francisco-based boutique has been introducing notable lesser-known designers to our closets for over two years. Now, it's releasing a line of its own.
Lisa Says Gah has always focused on collecting cool-girl clothes with a distinct West Coast flair, shunning fast-fashion for smaller labels that prioritize ethical production and sustainable materials. Its new in-house line fits right in with shoes by LOQ and Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Paloma Wool dresses, and Rachel Comey jeans, working exclusively with local, woman-owned businesses to marry vintage aesthetics (and dead-stock fabric) with modern sensibilities.
"A big part of this project has been demonstrating how sustainable "fast-fashion" is totally doable when you tap into your local resources," Bühler told Refinery29. "Not only are you supporting local businesses, but you’re also cutting down on waste and transportation and have a real in-person relationship with everyone involved. It took about a year to research and align these partnerships, but now that they’re established we can readily design and consistently produce products in a way we feel good about."
In place of a formal release date, additional designs will be periodically sprinkled throughout the stock list — and that's a smart move. Stakes are higher when brands reach cult status, and a larger platform can make once-indie label suddenly feel mass — can you really call something a "cool-girl brand" when it's found splattered across your Instagram Explore page like a Jackson Pollack painting? Instead, Lisa Says Gah is balancing price point and aesthetic with apparent ease, and the seamless integration of its in-house line is just further proof that's found a retail formula that works. With a satin wrap skirt and ribbed wrap top being released in two weeks — and shoes on the docket for fall — well, Lisa Says Gah may have just cracked the code to e-commerce success.