Makers in the USA: Best Clothing & Accessories (2016)


Fashion is a natural outlet for expression and creativity. These 10 clothing and accessories makers in the USA, nominated by a panel of maker movement insiders and voted to the top by 10Best and USA TODAY readers, craft high-quality, design-forward items ranging from knitwear and t-shirts to leather bags and jewelry.

  • Bradley Mountain

    Bradley Mountain
    Bags & Accessories

    A self-taught designer, Tyler Axtell began creating products from his Ocean Beach garage in 2012. Today, the San Diego-based team of makers behind Bradley Mountain has grown to seven and the brand has expanded to include bags, rollups, blankets and other accessories for adventures and the home.
    Photo courtesy of Gregory Woodman

  • The Landmark Project

    The Landmark Project
    Outdoor Apparel

    The Landmark Project, a team of designers and printers in Greenville, South Carolina, create outdoor apparel inspired by America's most iconic outdoor landmarks and destinations, like the National Parks.
    Photo courtesy of The Landmark Project

  • Twenty Two West

    Twenty Two West
    Wearable Art

    From her studio in Chattanooga, Mary Hamby of Twenty Two West uses weaving, ceramics and woodworking techniques to create unique pieces of wearable art. She creates loom blocks from reclaimed wood, shapes clay by hand and layers on color and texture using responsibly sourced fibers. Necklaces are made from pure cotton woven on a miniature loom.
    Photo courtesy of Twenty Two West

  • Go Forth Goods

    Go Forth Goods
    Leather Goods

    Nathan Martin, founder of Go Forth Goods, began designing American made leather goods after a cheap bag broke on him. Simplicity and functionality are the cornerstones of each bag, wallet and belt coming out of the small shop in Marietta, Georgia.
    Photo courtesy of Go Forth Goods / Etsy

  • Aporta

    Knitwear & Accessories

    Noelle Sharp founded Aporta in 2012 on the principle of excellence in craftsmanship. Hand-picked fibers are transformed by Sharp and her team of knitters and weavers into design-forward textiles, knitwear and accessories, including hats, bandana scarves and sweaters.
    Photo courtesy of Aporta

  • Fire & Bone

    Fire & Bone
    True-to-Life Jewelry

    The trio behind Fire & Bone have harnessed new technologies, like 3D scanning and printing, to create true-to-life miniature skull replicas perfect to wear as pendants. Real animal skulls are scanned in 3D where it is digitally sized down and printed in wax. Replicas are cast in white bronze, yellow bronze or sterling silver.
    Photo courtesy of Fire & Bone

  • J. Stark

    J. Stark
    Bags & Accessories

    Erik Holmberg launched J. Stark, named after the James Dean character Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause in response to the ephemeral nature of his previous work in the digital worldHolmberg hand crafts useful, durable and timeless bags, luggage tags, wallets, iPhone sleeves, belts and pocketchiefs made from materials sourced within the U.S. whenever possible.
    Photo courtesy of J. Stark

  • Sharpe Suiting

    Sharpe Suiting
    Custom Ready-to-Wear

    Leon Wu and the team at Sharpe Suiting use their own trademarked Andropometrics formula to custom-construct high-quality suits and dresswear for all body types, no matter how you identify. Custom items are mailed within a few weeks, and a line of Ready-to-Wear is in the works.
    Photo courtesy of Gabriel Goldberg / Sharpe Suiting

  • Very Fine South

    Very Fine South

    Based in Atlanta, Very Fine South specializes in sustainable, handcrafted bags durable enough to be handed down from one generation to another. Laura Slate Shope, the woman behind Very Fine South, began making when she was a toddler and hasn’t stopped since.
    Photo courtesy of Very Fine South

  • Copper & Torch

    Copper & Torch
    Glass Jewelry

    Atlanta-based Lindsay Troutman, the woman with the soldering gear behind Copper & Torch, began working with glass over a decade ago. While Troutman also creates glass home decor, what we really love are her framed glass necklaces showcasing leaves, flowers, feathers or bits of delicate lace.
    Photo courtesy of Copper & Torch


The top 10 winners in the category Makers in the USA: Best Clothing & Accessories are as follows:

  1. Bradley Mountain - Bags & accessories
  2. The Landmark Project - Outdoor apparel
  3. Twenty Two West - Wearable art
  4. Go Forth Goods - Leather goods
  5. Aporta - Knitwear & accessories
  6. Fire & Bone - True-to-life jewelry
  7. J. Stark - Bags & accessories
  8. Sharpe Suiting - Custom ready-to-wear
  9. Very Fine South - Handbags
  10. Copper & Torch - Glass jewelry

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Suzy Ekman (Makers Market), Erin Godbey (Makers Collective), Dayna Isom Johnson (Etsy) and Sid Orlando (Kickstarter) were chosen based on their expertise of the makers movement.

Other makers nominated in this category included An Astrid Endeavor, Billiam, The Cordial Churchman, Joshu+Vela, Li Li's Creations, The Local Branch, purlBknit, Throne Watches, VOZ Collective and Wood Thumb.

Congratulations to all these talented makers!

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo



AlertThe Experts

Suzy Ekman

Suzy Ekman

Suzy Ekman

Erin Godbey

Erin Godbey

Erin Godbey

Dayna Isom Johnson

Dayna Isom Johnson

Dayna Isom Johnson

Sid Orlando

Sid Orlando

Sid Orlando