Tag Archives: fashion

Slow Fashion

More and more, as we talk about climate control and ways to ensure that the environment is protected, fashion becomes a part of that conversation. I discovered this video and was completely inspired by the pioneers that are featured in it. We all need to rethink how we mass consume everything, from our food to our fashion. There are some very interesting, innovative, and disruptive technologies in this video.

I hope they inspire you to think differently as they did for me.

Enjoy!

xo,

PB


Reinventing Menswear

Saint Harridan

Reinventing Menswear for Masculine Women and Trans Men

“We’re saying that masculinity is an equal opportunity aesthetic.”

Menswear-inspired fashion for women isn’t exactly new, but masculine-presenting women and trans men still have a hell of a time finding cool threads.

“It’s been part of my story my whole life,” says Mary Going, the owner of Saint Harridan, a clothing company that caters to butch women and trans men. “Standing in the closet when I’m supposed to be getting ready for my kid’s concert at school or somebody else’s wedding, and just hating what my options were.”

Saint Harridan founder and CEO Mary Going

Courtesy of Mary Going/Saint Harridan

“I’ve had a lot of experiences just feeling uncomfortable in my clothing,” she adds.

For Going, the tipping point came in 2008, when she had a suit custom-made for her wedding. It wasn’t just the experience of having garments tailored specifically for her, but the feeling of finally wearing a suit that not only fit her body, but looked the way she wanted it to.

So, in 2012, Going launched a crowdfunding campaign for her own label, one that would specialize in clothes for women like herself, as well as trans men looking for high-quality duds.

saint harridan

Saint Harridan

In a way, Saint Harridan is a reaction against how mainstream fashion has consciously feminized menswear pieces for cisgender women.

“What we’re doing is saying, ’I’m being masculine,’” Going explains. “We aren’t making a menswear-inspired suit for a woman; we’re making a suit for a woman’s body and it’s highly masculine. You could wear heels with it if you want to, but that’s not our intention. We’re very intentionally masculine. We’re saying that masculinity is an equal opportunity aesthetic.”

saint harridan

Saint Harridan

Conscious of the limits of gendered language, Going is quick to put air quotes around terms like “women” and “men,” “male” and “female.” The name Saint Harridan itself is a comment on those limits: “If we were to use words like ’stud’ or ’butch,’ we would inevitably represent some people, but leave others out,” Going explains on the company’s website.

“We looked for a word that could expand our options. A ’saint,’ among its many other definitions, is a founder, sponsor or patron of a movement.” As for “Harridan,” Going has reclaiming the word, which means a mannish old woman, and was used as a slur not long ago “to keep women from venturing too far from societal expectations.”

saint harridan 3

But to re-envision classic men’s garments for female bodies, Going and her team’s task was more complicated than they expected.

“The suit was definitely the hardest thing, because it’s so highly constructed,” Going says. “But all the garments we put through the same process of looking at what works and what doesn’t work, ways to improve the fit.”

Some of the changes were obvious—reducing the length of the jacket, lowering the rise on the pants—while others were less apparent. Differences in men’s and women’s posture, how they walk, the way they hold their arms when standing—all affected construction.

Saint Harridan

The result is a line of masculine clothing cut for bodies that traditional menswear companies have never considered.

All Saint Harridan’s suits are custom-made, starting at $1,200, and require an in-person fitting at the brand’s Oakland flagship store. But customers can order a number of ready-to-wear dress and casual shirts online, as well as pocket squares, bowties, tie clips and other accessories.

harridan USE

Going hopes to eventually offer more ready-to-wear pieces, including pants, jackets and full suits.

But Saint Harridan isn’t just the story of a particular niche company—it’s also the story of a way of doing business. “I actually kept hoping someone else would start this business!” Going admits with a laugh.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 1.28.54 PM

She was no fashion expert going in, although a six-month sartorial boot camp overseen by fashion blogger Sheree L. Ross helped Going get her bearings. Her real strength was in recognizing a need the market wasn’t meeting.

“That’s what I bring to the table—thinking, ’What about this could change to make it more efficient, more cost effective?’”

harridan

Saint Harridan

To that end, Saint Harridan is completely crowd-funded: Garments are preordered before going into production (to reduce waste) and are usually made in small batches. Essentially, Going has done for Saint Harridan’s business model what she did for its garments: deconstructed and reinvented it to work for people like her.

There’s an Audre Lorde quote on the front door of Saint Harridan’s flagship store in Oakland: “The master’s tools will not dismantle the master’s house.” As the costume of those in power, men’s suits and ties are in a sense “the master’s tools,” but Going is quite literally dismantling and reassembling them to empower people like her.

saint harridan X

Saint Harridan

“Blurring the line between the binary sexes is incredibly important,” she says, and can have an impact beyond just fashion.

“We have to work within the context of where we are. When I’m in South Carolina and I’m walking through the airport [in a Saint Harridan suit] I am making a very big statement.”

And a mighty stylish one, too.

You can shop Saint Harridan online or at their flagship store in Oakland, California

Article From NewNowNext

xo,

PB


Understanding the Shoe

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

image

 

Photo credit: roccoshoes.com

🙂

PB

 

 


Saint Harridan gets Silicon Valley Seed Money

I can’t tell you how proud I am of Mr. Mary Going and his incredible crew of “Saints” for this amazing accomplishment. A lot of hard work has been put into this visionary company to get it where it is today.  This opportunity will take this vision and style innovation for woman and trans who love masculine fashion to a whole new level.

Here’s the announcement:

u2.campaign

Saint Harridan has been accepted into Batch 14 of 500 Startups, the Silicon Valley seed fund & accelerator founded by alums of PayPal & Google.

When we applied to the program, we explained that masculine women and transmen have been largely dismissed by mainstream clothiers. They must think we’re on to something. Over 1,000 companies from around the world apply to each cohort, and only 30-35 are accepted, making 500 Startups statistically more difficult to get into than Harvard.

As you know, our team spent 2014 creating “Pop-Up​ ​Shops​.​” We traveled to 15 U​S​ cities, and have personally measured, ​chatted with, and listened to the stories of around 2,000 of you. You ​keep telling us you love our suits for special occasions, but what you really need​ is​ a pair of pants and a shirt to wear in your regular life. ​(​”I need a pair of​ ​pants​​ ​with pockets that ​aren’t skin tight or curvy​!​” -Cal Light, a regular at our​ ​shop in Oakland, California.​)​

Based on these​ ​conversations​ with you​,​ ​​​we ​are ready to ​add everyday wear t​o our line​​.​

That’s where 500 Startups comes in. 500 Startups is a four-month accelerator program that offers ​hot startups a leg-up in ​rapid ​grow​th.​ We started with 500 Startups on July 14 and will be working at their incubator space in San Francisco for the next four months​. (Our ​Oakland Flagship store ​is still open ​on Fridays and Saturdays.​)​

Long story short: 
Expect us to be announcing a lot of new, interesting, cool things over the next few months.

Thanks for rooting for us as we root for you!

Geeking out,
Saint Harridan Team

PS: If you want to bump along with us on our journey, you can follow Mary on twitter @mgogoing​.

CONGRATULATIONS!

PB


Carmina Shoemaker

I really love shoes.  I really do.  I think if I could only pick one thing in fashion to splurge on it would be shoes and Carmina Shoemaker has some of the most beautiful and finely crafted shoes on the planet.

Carmina 910

This brand was started by Matias Pujadas in a small workshop in Inca, Majorca in 1866.

Cordovan

Many generations later…

Rubi Cordavan

Rubi Cordavan

…and after a downturn in the market for luxury shoes in 1997 (what were they thinking?) Carmina Shoemaker was born.

Llubi

Llubi

Created by Matais great-great grandson Jose Albaldejo and family, they decided to…

Oscaria Last

Women’s Oscaria Last

…provide some of best hand-crafted shoes to the world.  And I must say, they have definitely succeeded in their mission.

80438

I mean, just look at how beautiful these shoes and boots are.

Rain Snuff Swede

Rain Snuff Swede

And the styles are also incredibly timeless. Not an easy “feat” to pull off, (yeah, I did!)

Simpson Last

And yet they are also very sexy.

Women's wingtips and tassels

Women’s wingtips and tassels

And what I really love about this company is the fact that they also do gorgeous women’s shoes…

Women's Carmina

…that are inspired by their masculine counterparts.

Women's Carmina 2

I have such a big foot I can wear men’s or women’s shoes, but for the Dandi’s out there with smaller feet (but a bigger budget because these shoes start in the $400 range) this is definitely an investment well made.

xo,

PB

Photo’s courtesy of:

Carmina Shoemaker tumblr

CarminaShoemaker.com


Happy New Year!

To all my readers and fans throughout the years, thank you!

And…

May your 2015 be Dapper and Bright!

Tux 1

Velet TuxTwin Tux

 

Blunt and Blanchett Tux

Cocktail Tux

Cool TuxTwin Tux 2

 

Tom Ford Tux

Isha Blaaker

Isha Blaaker

 

 

xoxo,

PB

Photos courtesy of Tumblr


Women’s Brands Now Designing Menswear

 

Well I guess we all saw this coming.  In a day and age where companies are all  trying to procure the consumer in every aspect of their lives it is not at all surprising that fashion brands, that previously were known exclusively as a women’s wear or menswear brand, are now branching out and trying to do it all.  We shall see how successful some of these will ultimately be.

Women’s Fashion Brands Are Rushing to Design for Men

For Adweek

menswear_1[1]

 

Men, it is clear, have outgrown the stereotype of the reluctant shopper. “There was always a fashion market—what they used to call a ‘metrosexual’ market—that could sustain designer brands in a healthy way in bigger cities in America, but in the last few years there’s been a much wider acceptance of fashion among regular guys that previously were shy about it,” says Esquire’s fashion director Nick Sullivan. “There isn’t the stigma attached to making an effort that there used to be.”

The shift in men’s perceptions about fashion can be attributed to a number of factors. Men’s style blogs like The Sartorialist and A Continuous Lean have become must-reads. Online shopping has made designer apparel more accessible, while helping guys avoid dreaded trips to the store. And as they’ve become more fitness conscious, men are now more invested in what they put on their backs.

Celebrities are helping, too. Actors, not just actresses, are now name-dropping designers on the red carpet. At this year’s Golden Globe Awards, all nine celebrities donning Prada were men, reported The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman. Even more importantly, many athletes—the ultimate guys’ guys—are becoming nearly as well known for their style savvy as their sports skills. “Every time we shoot an athlete, they want to talk fashion with me,” says GQ’s creative director Jim Moore.

It’s hardly any wonder, then, why brands that have exclusively or mainly catered to the fairer sex are ramping up their efforts to reach gents. Consider Tory Burch, the popular women’s designer, which recently hired Coach’s former svp of men’s design, Jeffrey Uhl, to oversee a new men’s accessories line, set to debut as early as spring 2015. Michael Stars, known for its women’s knitwear, is launching its first men’s collection this month, something co-founder Suzanne Lerner calls a “natural next step for our brand.” Clover Canyon, purveyor of women’s apparel and swimwear featuring bright, graphic prints, previewed menswear during New York’s Fashion Week.

Not just American designers are jumping on the trend. Moschino showed its first men’s collection in June, as did luxury lingerie line La Perla, which is readying a line of silk kimonos and other garments that the wives of its male customers may well find themselves coveting. Whistles, a high street chain in the U.K. that recently dipped its toe in the U.S. market, is launching a line of men’s apparel this fall. Even Spice Girl-turned-footballer’s wife-turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham was quoted in the British press last February as saying, “I’d love to do menswear at some point, absolutely.”

Some of the biggest investment in menswear is happening at companies that see potential in growing existing albeit limited men’s lines. Take Michael Kors, which has already found massive success in the accessible luxury space with its affordable yet aspirational women’s apparel and accessories. While the brand has included a smattering of men’s pieces among its expansive women’s offerings for more than a decade (menswear represents about 5 percent of its sales), the designer is now making a play for a bigger share of the men’s market.

Last month, Michael Kors CEO John Idol announced the company’s intention to grow its menswear into a $1 billion business by 2017 with the help of Mark Brashear, its new head of menswear and the former CEO of Hugo Boss. Idol detailed plans for Michael Kors’ first freestanding men’s store next year, noting that as many as 500 male-focused retail shops could be in its future. Meanwhile, the company’s forthcoming flagship store in New York’s SoHo will include a full floor dedicated to men.

While Michael Kors looks to menswear to bolster its already booming business, rival Coach hopes an expanded menswear offering will help turn around its sluggish sales. Last year, it hired former Mulberry and Loewe designer Stuart Vevers to lead its transition from a mall brand into one with more fashion credibility. After adding some much-needed refinement to its women’s accessories and showing its first women’s apparel collection during New York’s Fashion Week, Vevers is now turning his eye to the men’s category. This fall, male shoppers will find a much more stylish and luxurious selection of shoes and leather goods. By next year, one can expect to see a full line of men’s apparel.

The retailer’s focus on men is already helping the bottom line. In an August earnings call, the company reported that while overall sales slumped 7 percent to $1.14 billion in the fourth quarter, men’s sales showed significant growth, reaching $700 million for the year ending in June versus $100 million in 2010. By 2017, CEO Victor Luis projects that number will rise to $1 billion.

A similar tactic is being employed by brands like Prada, which plans to nearly double menswear sales to €1.5 billion (about $2 billion) in the next three to five years and open 50 men’s stores to make up for declining women’s sales. Luxury conglomerate LVMH has spent $135 million to expand its luxury footwear label Berluti into a broader apparel and accessories brand. Richemont, the owner of luxe brands like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Montblanc, decided last year against selling off smaller labels such as Dunhill and instead increased its investment.

The obvious question in all this: Will men be willing to wear a Tory Burch shirt or La Perla loafers or a Victoria Beckham suit? “I think it depends on the brand and how feminine it is in terms of people’s awareness,” says Sullivan. “I don’t know that men will buy Tory Burch because it’s a famous women’s brand, but I don’t know if they will automatically be put off of it, either.”

Marketing will be key, adds Moore. “I think you really have to be in it to win it if you start designing menswear,” he says. “In the past, when some of the womenswear designers did men’s, they would just sprinkle it into their women’s boutiques, hoping to entice women to buy a little something for their man. If someone like Tory is looking to build her own men’s business, she’ll have to figure out how to set it apart from the women’s business on a retail basis. I’m not so sure that guys are going to go deep into a women’s store to find something for themselves.”

Designers and retailers are taking note. Some, including Kors, are opening more men’s stores or creating men’s-only spaces in flagship stores. To lure even the most reluctant shopper, many are creating a club-like atmosphere and adding features like the cocktail bar inside the Tod’s Milan flagship or the barbershop at Dolce & Gabbana’s men’s store in London.

Even men who prefer to shop online (according to NPD, online purchases of men’s apparel last year grew 19 percent year over year and now represent 14 percent of all men’s apparel sales) are getting the guys-only treatment. Women’s e-tailers like Net-a-Porter and Shopbop have spun off Mr Porter and East Dane, respectively, men’s sites that combine a vast selection of designer goods with editorial content to help guide men in their shopping journey. “Some men are definitely still more comfortable with hiding behind their keyboards to make their choices, but it also requires them to know more,” as Sullivan puts it.

Those retailers who do it right may see a rich payoff. As Moore explains, “Men are completely different customers than women. If they find something that they love, they will keep going back to that designer. With men, it’s all about loyalty.”

 

xo,

PB

 

Article from Adweek

 

 


%d bloggers like this: