International Women’s Day 2022: brands founded by women to know


International Women’s Day, or IWD, takes place on March 8. Stemming from the socialist feminist movements of the early 20th century, the event was officially adopted by the UN in 1996 and now serves as a global day of recognition (and celebration) of the plight of women.

It not only notes how far we have come in terms of equality, but recognizes that women still face daily issues such as the gender pay gap, patriarchal structures, family planning, periodic poverty, violence domestic and many more.

This year, IWD encourages us to #BreakTheBias, acknowledging the discrimination and everyday stereotypes that endure and calling them out every time we see and hear them. And as always, some of the biggest brands, charities and businesses are getting involved.

In the UK, only one in three entrepreneurs is a woman. This is also reflected in size, as female-led businesses are on average about a quarter of the size of male-led businesses, according to Alison Rose’s review of female entrepreneurship. To mark International Women’s Day, we’ve rounded up a range of female-led fashion and beauty brands to have on your radar, to shine a light on the women breaking the mold in business.

Whether you’re looking to treat yourself to something new or just want to peek at the names behind the labels, our directory is a great place to start.

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Many of you have probably used, heard of, or at least recognized the Ciaté nail polish brand, but you might not know that the founder, Charlotte Knight, is something of a serial entrepreneur. Founder of not one, but three beauty brands – Ciaté, Lottie London and Skin Proud – she is definitely striving to increase those stats.

Founded in 2009, Ciaté is no longer just specialized in nail polish but has also developed a whole range of make-up. We’ve included Dew Foundation (£13, in our best foundation roundup, and Dew Blush (£19, blush also came second in our best cream blush review. And of course the brand’s sun switch nail polish (£7.80, also featured in our roundup of the best – which is what it’s best known for after all.

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It’s hard to go online without seeing Trinny Woodall popping up right now, and Trinny London is of course her namesake brand covering beauty and skincare. Known for her stackable makeup products and a newcomer to the skincare business, Trinny really seems to be taking the beauty world by storm. Take a look at our top Trinny London products and you’ll see why everyone loves them.

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Moving on to fashion, Kitri is definitely a brand to put on your radar if you haven’t already, and founder Haeni Kim has quite an inspiring story. After interning in her twenties for fashion brands including London Fashion Week staple Julien Macdonald and opening an antiques shop with a few friends, Kitri was born in 2017 from a combination of love for art and fashion.

Stocking everything from dresses and jumpsuits to jewelry and jackets, Kitri is a go-to for high-quality designs. You might recognize the brand from our wedding dresses, summer dresses and Christmas outfits. It’s safe to say we’re pretty smitten here at IndyBest.

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Perhaps one of the most well-known female-founded beauty brands, Kate Somerville has been around for quite some time and has gained a lot of success. After opening her first expert skin health clinic in Hollywood in 2004, it wasn’t long before one of Kate’s celebrity clients requested that her products be bottled, and that was the start of the brand journey.

With top products such as the EradiKate anti-blemish (£24, deliKate cleanser (£38, and the new ExfoliKate body scrub (£48, that’s quite the range. Read our review of the KateCeuticals anti-aging range to see what all the hype is about.

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Leaving school at 17 might not be what most parents want for their children, but Morgane Sézalory, founder of fashion brand Sèzane, is here to show that sometimes going a different route works really well. good. Or in this case, quite well indeed. First retoucher and seller of vintage clothes, Morgane quickly developed her own style, and Sèzane was born. Known for her feminine florals, timeless designs and French chic, you might have spotted Netflix’s favorite Emily in Paris clothes – we sure did.

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You may not have heard of Westman Atelier yet, but the luxury beauty brand has some very excited makeup fans right now. Founded by editorial makeup artist Gucci Westman, the brand focuses on clean beauty – nourishing ingredients with a sustainable purpose in every product. We recently loved the Spot Clean Lip Balm (£35, in our best liquid lipstick roundup, but the Vital Stick Foundation Stick (£62, and facial contour (£44, are next on our list.

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This brand needs no introduction, but its two founders could. Catching the entrepreneurship bug while still students in 2015, Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey founded Rixo from their living room (which is certainly more than we did back when we were students) . Fast forward seven years and the brand has held several shows at London Fashion Week and has even been spotted on some of the UK’s favorite celebrities including Holly Willoughby.

At IndyBest, we’re in love with fabulous floral dresses as much as anyone, and we’ve even spotlighted the exciting and affordable bridal collection.

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Vida Glow founder Anna Lahey knows a thing or two about quick beauty as a mother of three under the age of three. Working from the inside out, with a focus on collagen supplements, you’ve probably spotted these sachets and capsules on your Instagram feed. Specifically geared towards aging skin – remember, that’s anyone 23+, a scary thought we know – collagen supplements help reduce fine lines, wrinkles and sagging, all things fun!

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Discount Codes

For the latest deals on women’s fashion and accessories, try the links below:

Looking for brands that actually make that IWD? Take a look at our roundup of brands that donate to great causes


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