When it comes to sustainable fashion, there’s nothing better for the planet than vintage clothing. Taking what’s already out there, and giving it new life is the future of fashion – and small brands like Isle of Monday are leading the way.
Model turned designer, Gabriella Carota launched Isle of Monday, a reworked vintage brand, in August, 2021. "Modeling made me very aware of what I was putting on my body,” she said of her entrance into the fashion industry. “I never wanted to dress like anyone else,” Gabriella said of the inspiration behind her brand, “I always wear what I love and what I’m comfortable in. I don’t care what others think, as long as I feel good.”
Gabriella sources one of a kind vintage pieces that she knows her customers will feel their best in. Her curated collection features the perfect combination of staples like leather jackets and statement pieces with a bit of flair. “My biggest style influence is Carrie Bradshaw,” Gabriella explains of her brand’s aesthetic. While many of her pieces play on current trends, they are all timeless in nature.
Her love for vintage, while deeply rooted in her childhood where she was surrounded by her grandmother’s curated antique collection, became an obsession as she began to model. “I started working with stylists who were mixing vintage pieces with modern brands,” Gabriella explained of the inspiration behind combining old with new.
To source her pieces, Gabriela works with a vintage dealer she found on Google. “She has a warehouse with inventory worth over 10 million dollars, full of vintage that she curates from estate sales.” After handpicking each item from her dealer’s collection, Gabriella will design and rework the pieces to adapt to current trends. She’ll slice up prom dresses and transform them into sets; add fur collars on denim jackets; crop skirt suits with matching blazers for her gen-z customer. And some of her pieces go untouched, perfect just as they are.
A small fish in an ever-growing pond, Gabriella is continuing to navigate the world of reworked vintage, an emerging subset of the sustainable fashion movement. The non-stop growth of the reselling and reworking market has proved to create some confusion for customers, leaving it up to brands to explain the vintage hierarchy. “When they go into a vintage store, many people assume it’s all thrifted — but not all vintage is thrifted,” Gabriella explained, “There are different tiers of resellers and rework designers, and the price point reflects that.”
Isle of Monday pieces will cost more than a thrifted Nike tee from the GoodWill bins, but will be more affordable than the Pucci tops you’ll find at high-end vintage boutiques. And that’s on purpose. “I never want to leave anyone out,” Gabriella explained. Her dedication to inclusivity isn’t just noted in her price point, it’s also clear in the range of sizes she carries. “I curate with so many different people in mind,” she added.
Often exclusive and unsustainable in nature, the fashion industry is quickly being disrupted by brands like Isle of Monday: affordable, planet-friendly, and designed with inclusivity in mind.