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If there’s anyone who should know about women’s fashion, that would and should be women. Yet the industry is dominated by men, even when it is a business that, more often than not, is directed to the opposite sex.

Cushnie et Ochs is trying to change that, with women designers right at the helm of the brand. Created by Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs—hence, Cushnie et Ochs—in 2008, the brand thinks that women’s clothing is best designed by those most familiar with the female form: females themselves. The two creative minds have brought apparel that shook the scene and are now staples in Hollywood red carpet events. Best known for its penchant for the minimalist with its use of clean lines and sensual, mindful of having the perfect fit, it has transformed and empowered many women fashion-wise.

Promising designers right from the beginning

Cushnie et Ochs

Cushnie and Ochs were students of the Parsons School of Design, where upon graduation, Ochs was awarded Designer of the Year and Cushnie was a runner-up. The two joined forces shortly after leaving the school to form the company which brought home the Ecco Domani Award in 2009 as well as the honor of being nominated at for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2011 and the CFDA Swarovski Award in 2012.

As with all brands receiving considerable recognition early on, the tag team of Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs also had the attention of already established designers. However, the two have refrained for the first few years from doing collaborations in order to push forward a stronger and more distinct brand. This undoubtedly paid off as the unique cuts and body-con dresses are identifiable from a mile away.

And now, Cushnie et Ochs is accessible more than ever, available at more than 150 points of sale internationally. Stores that hold the brand’s items include Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus in the US, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols in the UK, as well as online retailers Net-a-Porter and Shopbop. Purchasing through the company website is also possible, and they ship to US within 1-2 days.

Worn by the inspirational and the celebs

The duo is best known for wearing their creations during appearances, and while they may be the top wearers, it is also worth noting other accomplished women who have flaunted their best physical features while wearing the label.

When the brand was just a few years young, it garnered massive attention from former First Lady Michelle Obama wearing Cushnie et Ochs dresses during public events. The brand identifiable by its architecture-inspired cuts have also been seen on and off the red carpet by actresses such as Blake Lively as well as other celebrities such as Karlie Kloss, who was a big fan of the label and Khloe Kardashian. A peek into their website shows all the other times that their garments have been worn by the talented and the famous, and there are plenty to fill the page.

Models walk the runway at the Cushnie Et Ochs SS 2012 Collection.
Models walk the runway at the Cushnie Et Ochs SS 2012 Collection. Credit: Nata Sha

Celebrating ten years in the business

The years since the establishment of the company seem to have breezed by, with Cushnie et Ochs now celebrating a decade of success in the industry. At the brand’s Fall 2018 collection show in Manhattan, they paid homage to the creator who was always an inspiration in their designs and an established woman in her own field, late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid.

Models throughout all of the brand’s collections have paraded in minimalist garments that hug the body tightly as well as other accessories such as shoes and bags that the duo began producing in the past years. The outfits are in the usual colors that the brand came to be associated with, that is, neutrals, but every now and then prints or a bold choice for a color appear.

The 10th year came with an announcement though that Cushnie and Ochs decided to part ways as partners in the label they founded together. It will be business as usual for the brand which is here to stay even though it will now run without Ochs. While the company will be streamlined under Cushnie, the label will also focus on developing its marketing and digital strategies in the coming years.

While the brand is best known for its form-fitting outfits, it does not aim to alienate women in sizes that are larger than 0. Regardless of built, women are meant to feel confident and sexy as any grown woman should be, in a Cushnie et Ochs dress or suit. The focus on getting the fabric, the cuts, the lining and every other detail to make it perfect and the women who feel more poised and beautiful in them are proof that there are certain things about womenswear that only women designers know. Cushnie et Ochs is a brand made by women, for women. With their collections, any lady can embrace her femininity—be strong, beautiful and sensual all at the same time.

Models walk the runway for the Cushnie Et Ochs collection during, New York Fashion Week in February of 2017.
Models walk the runway for the Cushnie Et Ochs collection during, New York Fashion Week in February of 2017. Credit:

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