Fresh N Fierce: Study NY S/S10

Study NY is a new sustainable line created by designer Tara St. James in Brooklyn NY!

NN- You’ve been in the “game”(fashion industry) for a while now, can you give us a brief timeline of your career from beginning to present?

TS- I started in the industry about 12 years ago after graduating from college.  I spent the first six years of my career working in the denim industry (Parasuco, Dex, Azzure).  Then I moved to NY and started Covet.  After 5 years of building that brand, I split from the backer and started Study on my own.  I wanted it to be a focused, sustainable sportswear brand that wasn’t cluttered with extra styles or unnecessary items.

NN-  Study NY is a creative collective that you recently launched. What prompted you to embark on this journey and can you explain what the collective encompasses?

TS- I have been working with very creative and imaginative people in NY since I first moved here, photographers, graphic designers, filmmakers, illustrators.  I wanted to bring everyone together (hypothetically at first, if not physically) to create a forum where we could work together on projects, and independently on our own work

NN- You formerly worked at Covet as the Creative Director. What are some of the most evident differences working for someone and now being your own boss in regards to creating sustainable fashion?

TS- While it’s nice to have someone supervising and directing the focus of a brand, it’s liberating to work for myself and create only the pieces I really want to put out.  I can focus all my attention on a more edited collection now that I don’t feel I’m trying to satisfy many different people.  I can just make the clothes I want to make.

NN- I was very intrigued to learn more about the unique concept behind your debut collection The Square Project. What exactly did the idea stem from?

TS- I crave constraint and love the idea of self-imposed limits.  I was working with the square shape prior to launching the Spring collection and wanted to see how far I could push the idea.

NN- From the beginning was it always imperative for you to show during NYFW and how did your relationship with the The Green Shows come about?

TS- I had worked with Bahar Shahpar on several projects prior to the Green Shows, so when she was brought on board to be the style director for the shows, she brought me along with her.

NN- Eco-fashion is becoming extremely popular at a faster rate more and more everyday. Aside from the current economic climate,what do you think holds designers back from creating sustainable lines or at least entertaining the idea?

TS- I think a lot of mainstream designers think it is difficult or expensive to source sustainable textiles and production methods.  While that may have been the case 5 years ago, it certainly is no longer relevant.  Factories and textile mills are tripping over each other trying to produce new sustainable products in order to keep up with the trend.  I hope more designers will start to re-examine their products and make an attempt to add at least one new sustainable item to their collections for next season.

NN- I see that you will be showing again this February at The Green Shows, can you divulge anything about your upcoming collection?

TS- Actually I won’t be showing at the Fall 2010 Green Shows.  The first Green Shows were a very positive experience, but they made me realize that if I do show my collection again, it will not be with a traditional runway show and I’d like to use many more outlets than are currently available to me.  So I’ve withdrawn from the Fall shows in order to put together a presentation that more accurately represents the identity of the brand I’m trying to build.

NN- Why are you so passionate about sustainable fashion?

TS- I don’t think it should even be an option any more.  I think all design should be sustainable.  From textile design to architecture, I think we all need to look at the everyday choices we make and products we create and question whether they are necessary.  If we deem them so, then they absolutely should be sustainable

Be sure to check back next week for a really special giveaway sponsored by Study NY!

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