Forget about plastic junk and polyester clothes. These are 15 of the most luxurious vegan brands EVER
By Diane Small
Vegan fashion doesn’t usually inspire images of chic women walking their dogs in Paris, hitting the nightclubs of New York or click-clacking in stilettos across the malls of Dubai.
But the fact is, luxurious vegan brands have improved so much, that plush handbag you’re admiring or those chic shoes you covet could well be cruelty-free.
In fact, the vegan fashion market is booming today. But how can you sort the trash from the treasure?
What to look for in luxurious vegan clothing
Today, the best luxurious vegan brands are better designed than ever before. Not only that, they’re also using noble materials that are far more eco-friendly than previous ‘vegan leathers’, which were basically the worst forms of plastic.
So yes – when it comes to defining ‘luxury’ here, materials DO count.
Plant based textiles are always best. Think: organic cotton, cactus leather, Piñatex, or even ‘the’ most sustainable luxury vegan fabric of them all, lotus fibre.
But how these materials are put together will also tell you if an item is truly luxurious. There should be no loose threads on the garment, and seams and stitching should be barely noticeable (unless they’re intended to stand out). Zippers should move as though oiled, and buttons should consist of natural, quality materials, and should be sewn on firmly.
How to spot luxury vegan accessories
For luxury vegan bags, look for even, tight stitching – especially at pressure points. The lining should be made of a smooth material that perfectly follows the line of the bag, with no sagging. Heavy hardware and little details, like metallic stud ‘feet’ on the bag, are also a mark of quality.
As regard to shoes, each piece should look as though it’s seamlessly part of the whole. That means the sole should be stitched to the upper – or better yet, stitched to a welt as opposed to the upper directly. Shoes that are put together with glue will almost always fall apart quickly. Since they can’t be repaired, these cheaper shoes will have to be binned instead of resoled.
Here, we’ve found some of the most luxurious vegan brands from around the world, all of which are bound to change your view of vegan fashion forever.
From high end, cruelty-free shoes and bags, and even watches, you’ll find them in our list.
10+ Of The Most Luxurious Vegan Brands EVER
1. Jill Milan
A longstanding favourite of ours due to their commitment to classical styles and high quality Italian manufacturing, Jill Milan is one of the best luxurious vegan brands.
Their luxe vegan handbags have often been seen not only in top restaurants, clubs and hotels around Europe, but also on the red carpets of Cannes and LA.
Plenty of celebs are fans, including Anne Hathaway, who raves about these bags. She even wore one of her Jill Milan bags to the Oceans 8 premiere!
2. Matt And Nat
Though it sounds like a design duo, the name of this bag brand is actually an abbreviation of the two main values of the brand: ‘material’ and ‘nature’.
Launched almost 20 years ago in Montreal, Matt & Nat is not only inspired by the textures and different shades of nature, they are dedicated to protecting nature too.
They are constantly exploring new unconventional ways to maintain their eco-friendly and sustainable methods of vegan leather production, and thus far they have used different recycled materials such as recycled nylon, cardboard, rubber and even cork.
They’ve recently launched bags made from recycled bicycle tires to their chic collections, which are now available on ASOS, and line all of their creations with either organic cotton or a fabric made from recycled plastic bottles.
Of all the luxurious vegan fashion brands here, this is probably the best known, since Stella was one of the original designers to insist on animal-friendly ethics in her creations.
But the truth is: this is NOT a fully vegan label. McCartney uses recycled cashmere and ethically sourced wool (often from her own farms) in her creations. So – why is she even on this list, you may be asking? Well, that’s for one main reason: this designer put vegan friendly ‘it’ bags on the map! If it weren’t for McCartney, it would be unlikely that a vegan bag could ever convey status.
Yep, I’m referring to that iconic Falabella bag. But as you can see below, she offers plenty of different luxury vegan handbag styles, as well as shoes and clothing, of course.
And that’s not all: we love this designer because she strives to ensure that her entire production process for every item is as transparent and sustainable as can be. You can read more about her policies and approach to using animal based fabrics here.
From vegan leather trousers and skirts to luxury, cruelty free bags and shoes, Nanushka has it all.
The label was founded by London College of Fashion graduate Sandra Sandor in 2005, it bears her childhood nickname. She believes that if a garment is designed to function well, it will by definition be beautiful. And of course she holds that that no animals ever need to be killed to make gorgeous fashion!
Based in Budapest, this European brand creates wardrobe staples that are sophisticated and feminine. They feature unexpected details, like unusual cutouts or wood buttons. But what we love most is that this is one of the few luxurious vegan brands that specialises in imitating animal textures. From mock-croc bags, faux lizard skin belts and snakeskin printed blouses, you’ll find it here!
My editor and I have one of these bags, and we both get constantly stopped in the street! People love the somewhat retro look to La Flore Paris’s bags, and they want to know where they can get one – NOW!
I confess this is one of my favourite luxurious vegan brands. The design is so well thought out. For example? In the Bobobark model, there’s a padded pocket for your laptop, a zipped pocket for your money, an inner zipped compartment for other valuables, like car keys, sunglasses and your phone, and even a place for pens. All LaFlore bags are flexible, with removable straps that can make it into a backpack, tote or purse. And of course, these bags are simply beautiful!
From the washable, all-cork exterior to the tangerine hued cotton lined interiors of the Bobobark, Bebebark and other accessories, what’s not to love?
6. Marei 1998
There can be no doubt that leather, fur and feathers make for some stunning fashion. But if you love animals more than yourself, you’ll shun those fabrics, no matter how beautiful they make you look.
Luckily, Maya Reik, the designer behind the vegan brand Marie 1998, has come up with innovative ways to imitate those materials.
The result is one of the most incredibly luxurious vegan brands. You’ll find a chic range of vegan leather pants and jackets, faux fur coats and fake feather trimmed sweaters and coats. The best part? Not a single animal is harmed for these foxy looks!
JORD got its start as a watch brand – namely, they were well known for creating vegan friendly, luxurious wood watches for men and women. But after basically cornering that niche, they decided to expand into vegan accessories, and the results are stunning!
The brand makes wood framed, UV protective sunglasses, but we especially love their vegan bags. From cork based backpacks to delicate, gold-flecked clutches, there’s something to suit every outfit, and each bag is housed in a luxuriously soft dustbag, making them ideal gifts for special people in your life.
Image below: @frombeewithlove! on Instagram
This is a luxury footwear brand – but without a footprint! Aera makes all kinds of classic shoes and boots, from gold disco platforms and knee-high python print boots to elegant ballet flats and classic pumps. Each style is made by artisans in Veneto, Italy from certified vegan materials.
But not only is this brand animal friendly – they’re planet friendly, too. Aera scientifically measures and offsets their environmental impact by 110%.
From the Upper East Side in New York to Saint Germain in Paris and Primrose Hill in London, there’s one vegan bag brand all the uptown girls want: Ava Carrington.
Hers is one of the most luxurious vegan brands to ever come out of Los Angeles. Carrington provides high-end handbags that combine beautifully crafted designs with high-quality sustainable and vegan materials.
Swedish sisters Sofia and Helena Mattsson launched the brand in 2019 with the aim to bridge the gap between well-designed luxury and ethical practices. They also wanted to bring positive change to the luxury fashion industry and its devastating impact on animals.
Their signature Stockholm Collection is made with an extensively sought out high-quality vegan leather that is not only cruelty-free and eco-friendly, but also lightweight and highly resistant to stains, scratches and water. The inner linings are made from recycled plastic bottles and each handbag is decorated with brilliant 24k gold plated hardware.
10. Angela Roi
While we think it’s great that American based designer Angela Roi creates luxurious vegan handbags from what she calls EPUL (Excellent Polyurethane Leather), what makes this label stand out.
“In the long term, we would like to be recognized as the most innovative, ethical fashion brand. We’re constantly looking for new, advanced materials to apply to create our handbags. Whenever we find new materials, we test them to create sample handbags. Currently, we’re deeply interested in finding ‘more’ eco-friendly options in addition to being vegan. We will see if we can introduce even more earth-friendly collection in the future,” states the designer.
Apart from Angela Roi’s high quality materials and craftsmanship and her clean, chic designs, the brand is also outstanding due to the fact that they donate a portion of each sale to the ASPCA. Animals win all round!
11. Cult of Coquette
Sadly, it’s true that vegan shoes can look a bit cheap. But Bebe Mehr, founder of cruelty-free shoe brand Cult of Coquette, set out to change that once and for all.
In October 2014, Mehr (pictured below) created a stunning shoe brand that shuns typically toxic ‘vegan leather’ for the most eco-friendly materials available. The resulting handmade shoes are for bold, stylish women who aren’t afraid to rock a heel.
They come in two main styles: the ‘Azar’, a classic pump with a 4.75” heel which comes in 10 vibrant colours, and a limited edition line, the ‘Muse’, a slightly modified version of ‘Azar’ pump, reminiscent of Christian Louboutin’s style. Of all the luxurious vegan fashion brands, we’re perhaps the most grateful to this one: we can have chic vegan stilettos at last!
12. Denise Roobol
This PETA approved designer studied for four years at the prestigious Willem de Kooning design academy. And it shows! She used what she learned to apply her skills to a stunning, minimalist influenced range of luxury vegan bags.
Today, her eponymous brand uses sustainable, high tech materials to create accessories that are the perfect companion to any wardrobe. Available in a range of subtle, tasteful shades, her bags are as practical as they are gorgeous.
13. Benedetti Life
Imagine if Gucci got really ethical and nixed all animal products from its line. Imagine they used GOTS certified organic cotton and other easily biodegradable fabrics. The result, in our opinion, would look something like one of the best luxurious vegan brands ever: Benedetti! The company has PETA’s seal of approval – unlike Gucci, of course.
What we love about this brand is not only their kindness to animals and the fact that their garments are ethically made in Europe, but their incredibly artistic prints. Each one is digitally made with eco-friendly, water-based dyes. Digital printing reduces water use because the fabric doesn’t need as many wash/rinse cycles. Additionally, there are no screens or colourant baths that require cleaning.
And just look at the results! Each jacket, skirt, tee and dress is a unique piece of art. No wonder Benedetti Life is the proud holder of an Eluxe Award! This is not only one of the most luxurious vegan brands, but also one of the most luxurious sustainable fashion brands in general.
Cheap stainless steel watches were once the main offerings for vegans looking for a timepiece. But thanks to 100% vegan company Votch, our options have broadened significantly!
Straps come in a wide array of colours in mesh, Piñatex or vegan leather materials, and frame minimalistic, unisex, slightly oversized watch faces.
The British company donates 10% of all sales to a different charity each month. Founder Laura and her husband Rolo have stated that they want to reshape perceptions about using animal skins in fashion. Apparently, they became big on animal welfare after watching horrific documentaries on the leather industry. Which means this is one of the best luxurious vegan brands for true animal lovers. Who like to be on time!
15. Frida Rome
All you need is one. One perfect bag that matches everything in your wardrobe. And Frida Rome has it!
Their Week/End bag is not only 3 bags in 1! Just swap the straps of the crossbody to transform it into a purse or a shoulder bag – but it’s also collapsable. Yep, that’s right! This baby can fold flat into. your suitcase, making it the perfect travelling companion.
Of course, every part of the bag -including the adhesives – is animal free. And the bags are made ethically in the UK by skilled craftsmen. We also love that the brand incorporates eco-friendly cactus leather into their bag design. No wonder this is one of our favourite new luxurious vegan bag brands!
All images courtesy of the brands. Main and second image: Stella McCartney.