Papaya Clothing was founded in 1984 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Cornerstone Apparel, Inc. The company is led by the same ownership and management team that was responsible for several of Cornerstone's past successes--including Career Image and Everblue Casuals. When they were coming up with the idea for Papaya Clothing, executives envisioned a label that would primarily cater to the 16 to 25 age bracket. They wanted to garner a reputation for upscale contemporary apparel that would enable young women to look and feel their best with an outfit for every occasion.
As a manufacturer-direct business, Papaya Clothing prides itself on cutting out any middlemen and offering high-end fashion at affordable prices. The brand is able to maintain low overhead costs all year round, and it passes those savings on to its customers (who don't have to wait for sales to get a good deal). Papaya Clothing has been expanding at a relatively steady pace for several years, and it currently operates more than 100 stores in almost 20 different states. Business is driven by the brand's petite and junior collections, but it also occasionally branches out into other niches.
Papaya Clothing offers plenty of clothing options in a very broad range of categories. In dresses, you can find styles like fit-and-flare, strapless, minis, maxis, midis, bodycon dresses, shirtdresses, sweater dresses, little black dresses, and more. Tops include basics like tees, tanks, camis, and croptops, as well as knit tops, graphic tees, blouses, button-down shirts, lace tops, sweatshirts, and hoodies. Sweaters and cardigans make up their own category, and they are available in different knits, weights, and styles. Jackets run the gamut from stylish blazers, leather jackets, and furs to more functional bomber jackets, puffer coats, anoraks, peacoats, and trenches.
In bottoms, the denim selection includes popular styles like skinny jeans, distressed jeans, jeggings, high-rise jeans, and more. Leggings, dress pants, skinny pants, khakis, and chinos are also available. Warm weather bottoms include a wide array of shorts and skirts, with an emphasis on options for practically any occasion. The brand's activewear collection features sports bras, workout tops, yoga pants, and joggers. You can also find plenty of loungewear, like robes, pajamas, and onesies, as well as a small selection of underwear. Shoes include boots, booties, wedges, heels, sandals, and ballet flats. Other accessories such as jewelry, handbags, wallets, sunglasses, belts, scarves, and hats are the perfect choices to round out any outfit.
Even though the team behind Papaya Clothing has been in the business for several decades, the brand has seemingly come out of nowhere in the last 10 years to become a major competitor among manufacturers of fashion-forward casualwear. Affordability is one of the main advantages of Papaya Clothing, and it thrives because of its manufacturer-direct business model. It's easy to stock up on enough pieces to put together several outfits without breaking the bank. While many of the clothing options will be a little too trendy for some shoppers, you'll also find plenty of basics that are a little more traditional. We give Papaya Clothing 4 stars out of 5.