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Tictail Is Your Gateway to the World’s Most Under-the-Radar Brands

The social marketplace gives “shopping small” a whole new feel.

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Photos: Tictail

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Stuffing your carry-on with trinkets and wares from totally under-the-radar designers and local artisans is arguably one of the best parts of traveling. But what if you could replicate the same experience without leaving your couch?

Allow us to introduce Tictail, a Stockholm-founded, New York–based e-commerce platform and social marketplace, that basically lets you do just that. The retailer houses online shops for thousands of indie brands from more than 140 countries and sells everything from ready-to-wear and accessories for both men and women to original art, home goods, and beauty products. You can think of it as a more curated Etsy, but with a minimalist Scandinavian vibe and a much more modern look.

You don’t have to become a member to shop at Tictail, but because there’s a social aspect to the site, it only makes the experience better. Should you choose to join, you’ll be set up with your own shopper profile, which displays every brand you’ve ever “liked” on the site in a Pinterest-like mood board. You also get the ability to “follow” brands so you can keep tabs on new inventory. You can follow other shoppers as well if you like their selections and want to keep tabs on those, too.

For the brands sold on Tictail, the deal is just as sweet on the other side. The platform allows sellers the opportunity to set up shop in a space that already has a budding community actively looking to discover new things. Plus, opening a shop is totally free — there are no sign-up fees or commission taken. (If this sounds like a perfect situation for small brands, that’s because it is.)

To be honest, most things on the site seem too cool to be so under wraps, though some brands do graduate to mainstream (like the once under-the-radar, now everywhere shoe brand By Far, co-signed by everyone from your favorite blogger to Karlie Kloss and Emma Roberts). Everything feels fresh, exciting, and strongly representative of the style from where the brands hail from.

Take, for example, Hong-Kong based ZL by Zlism, a streetwear brand that organically implements the vibrant colors and unisex fits the city is known for, or Swedish brand Ida Klamborn, a womenswear brand all about bold construction and color-blocking. From Mexico City, you’ll find Pay’s, a colorful knitwear brand with a strong focus on artist collaboration and a selection of one-of-a-kind decorative ponchos and chunky knits. Parisian designer Laura Laval nods to that classic French style with more than one take on the LBD and no shortage of frills, lace, or sheer paneling. And that just barely scratches the surface — there are so many shops and designers from all over the world to discover.

If you happen to be in New York, you’ll be able to experience a bit of Tictail magic IRL, too. The company opened a permanent store in NYC’s Lower East Side in January 2016, and the space houses a rotating selection of the site’s strongest brands. (It’s the corner spot with the playful mural on the side, you can’t miss it.) The store frequently hosts events designed to bring shoppers and designers face to face, a nod to Tictail’s community values.

It’s rare, but the brand radiates authenticity to its core, from its thoughtful curation and social-first strategy to its glossy-like editorial content and contagiously enthusiastic team, both in-store and behind the scenes.

Ready to jump in right now? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite picks from a handful of Tictail shops below to get you started.