Hello Friends and Customers,
Fall 1 Collection arrives this week. Here is a little summary along with a conversation with E.
Sat down with E to talk about some of the key concepts of the season and a look at the bigger picture for the company. This conversation covers a lot of territory so if it's the images you're after, feel free to scroll down…
Ryan: What’s driving you these days?
E: There are many things but two in particular...
Thinking about the modern woman, which is in my perspective a true story of women that hasn’t been told. This person is really powerful and beyond limits. People ask me who is our customer or ‘type’ of woman. That is a question I don’t answer because I don’t like that concept. I don’t believe a person is a ‘type’. I believe in nuance and in the details – two elements that make a person entirely unique. I also believe in evolution and having some freedom. So you could say one of the defining factors of this woman is that she’s indefinable. She’s not a particular age group and she’s not going to play antiquated roles. She is going to have a full experience, define herself as she goes, and continue to evolve. Now If I were to say what our customers have in common is that they are a really inspiring people to work for.
Second thing is we think a lot about balance in life reflected in wardrobe. She needs to work she needs to play. She needs to focus and she needs to not give an F every once in a while. She needs to say what she needs to say and she needs to have some peace. Clothing is one of our great forms of self-expression and art. Look at the history of clothing and you see the evolution of thought, social structure and human progress. And in terms of enjoyment, look at the way you can change how your entire body reads by the change of proportions. You can make yourself really big, imposing. You can be light as air. You can make everything sleek and simple. You can make yourself the canvas of everything you think about and love in life. It's as light or as heavy as you want it to be. It has deep significance or it can be just for fun. The Clothing we collect represents a freedom, and the continuous opportunity to experience life, and ourselves, in a new way.
Ryan: What are some important concepts and themes this season?
E: When we’re editing the line we look at how many ways she can wear the pieces, and building really strong functional foundations. This is true for color palette and for silhouettes. For Fall Winter we looked at two really strong wool coat silhouettes – a clean mid century style and a mens style tailored coat. These are timeless but have a perspective. Both are cut long and with room for layering.
One area we're most excited about for our customers is our wool this season. We get our wool from Imperial Ranch in Oregon, a family ranch with exceptional practices and care for the animals and for the pristine natural land that they manage. This all makes a difference in the wool you can feel – and these are sweaters you can wear for life. They’re cut to layer or wear alone with footwear, super warm, super soft, really versatile investment. When the fall shipment came in this was the first item everyone in the office made a bee-line for.
As a rule we’re sourcing the best materials that are in alignment with our longterm goals. For instance you’ll see us work with more and more organics – we have an exceptional organic cotton this fall and continue to work with linen (flax fiber) and silks in place of the cheaper synthetic blends you see in a lot of peer lines. When we use synthetics it's for a specific purpose and function of the fabric, for instance an extraordinary ponte that has great stretch and structure. But the majority of the line is focused around natural fibers, so you are buying a line that feels very natural and good on the body, and materials that are long wearing and texturally dynamic/beautiful.
We have some really versatile and beautiful silk pieces this season, two notable pieces are a tunic/dress and silk fold pant - being one of the most popular pieces that women tried prior to the line release. Silk fold pant is something you can wear as part of really comfortable daily work uniform and great for really easy, understated but lux feeling go-out option.
Looking at particular pieces – layering is a continuous focus when we’re editing down the line. we look at how many ways things can be worn together and layered up. Part of this is just the practicality of dressing for the street in cold weather on the way to work or class, but also its thinking about how interesting a piece is from an aesthetic and investment standpoint. We did a lot of longer top-layers this season – notably an organic long tank and a super long sleeveless hoodie that you can layer up or wear alone - this is sleeveless so you don’t have the bulk under coats and can layer a little slim sleeve under the hoodie like the linen long sleeve crewneck.
Looking more at color palette – I mentioned we focus in strong foundational colors and spike that with carefully chosen abstract prints and heightened color. This applies to the entire line including accessories. We’re really thinking about a tight edit, things that you aren’t going to find elsewhere and details that are going to feel really special and personal in wear.
If I had to talk about an accessory I’m looking forward to the most – I’m looking forward to seeing our customers wear the Cross Boots this season. These harmonize well with so many pieces from dresses to pants and have a British dude thing going on that’s great.
And yes our Big Scarf is back this season with slightly different proportions and color options, in Imperial Wool so one of the softest, most substantial scarves - great for gift and great for longterm winter investment.
Ryan: more focused on the business side – what are some exciting opportunities you see?
E: A continuous focus for us is job creation, predominantly in the United States and working with USA companies. US was known for its excellence in manufacturing and thousands of people in the trades had healthy livelihoods because of that. When corporations gutted the American workforce and moved manufacturing overseas to take advantage of cheap labor and no environmental laws - the irony and outcome is that a person in the usa can find a 4 dollar t-shirt but cant find a job. Now why are we supposed to be happy about a cheaply made product and lack of job opportunity you tell me. People need a livelihood not a 4 dollar t shirt that’s going in the landfill in a month. What’s been exciting to see is that just in the short time we have been in business, what people said was impossible (that the garment industry would revive), the garment industry in our country is growing because there is a customer who wants quality and a connection to her belongings.
We also focus on working with artisans around the world who are using heritage techniques (block printing, traditional hand textiles) because these skills are part of the human story and an artistic inheritance. A machine cannot replace the nuance and creative expression of the human hand. We’re also working with Los Angeles dye houses who are doing some really amazing modern hand dye techniques.
The bottom line is, when there is art in the product, when there is care and quality in the product – it benefits the customer and it enhances life on a deeper level.
Ryan : Where do you think the industry is going? What don’t you like about what’s happening in the industry?
E: I think the industry is going in a very positive direction, and in a wider view I think we are living in a time of positive innovation and increased awareness and care across all industries. When you turn off the media and tune into all the good happening in communities and new businesses around the world we are living in a very exciting time. People are focused on creating better ways to do things, the birth of what I would call Ethical Business on a large scale. This is the future of business. People are looking for solutions and customers are looking to take part in a better way. It's an exciting time to be alive, to be a customer, and to develop business. Our company has the philosophy that every positive step is worthwhile, and that is the truth. It takes patience to perfect things and take them to the next level. But that next level is made up of small steps, small efforts everyday. All of it is worthwhile and everyone matters! We all do this together.
Everyone in our company and the businesses we work with thank you for shopping with us!
-Ryan (and E)