“Sustainable” has become a buzz word in the fashion lexicon. But in terms of who’s doing the work, newly-launched label Saint Art is on the short-list of names that get it. From its use of dead-stock fabrics with a fast fashion-inspired design cycle, and unique approach to uniform dressing, the womenswear brand is tackling the industry’s $500 billion waste problem from a unique angle. The label offers a practical blend of sportswear and athleisure in each monthly “drop” or release, inspired entirely by New York street style.
Saint Art was launched by industry vet Caroline Gogolak, co-founder of activewear site Carbon 38 and the former head of retail for cult-favorite SoulCycle. While production is a key component to the label, it always comes back to creating pieces that women want to wear. “I’ve always been obsessed with so many of the streetwear brands that mainly dominate the menswear market and the idea of building a brand centered on street style seemed like a white space that I really wanted to own,” Gogolak explains to BAZAAR. “So we’re really looking at Saint Art as a new concept of American sportswear for women. The customer is really forward and trend-driven but will never sacrifice fashion for ease or comfort…”
Taking notes from fast fashion’s quick turnaround time, the brand has adopted a 30-day cycle. “There are so many inefficiencies when it comes to the industry so I’m very passionate about shining light on them and hope to lead the change,” she says. “When it comes to what people are going to gravitate towards and deciding how many units to put behind [an item] those decisions are made so far in advance and so these long wait times are really hurting the profits of brands, because they need to produce and customers move so quickly. With less profit and more discounting, it can be hard for businesses to invest in sustainable initiatives.”
Creative director and head of design, Donald Oliver (a Jason Wu alum) created tie-dye pajama sets, a patent-effect micro-mini skirt, a gray, smartly tailored blazer and softly tailored separates for the January drop. A selection of cozy but luxe outerwear (as seen on singer Justine Skye recently) is also in the mix.
“I personally love the juxtaposition of masculine versus feminine and romantic versus sporty,” Gogolak says of the new lineup. “When you look at this collection, specifically, it’s inspired by a play on uniforms so it’s focused on ‘Wall Street’ tailoring, soft suiting, coupled with the more preppy school girls. In essence, its a true exploration of tradition, mixed with that downtown street style and also a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll.” Until the next cycle, that is.
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