Study NY Featuring Renee Peters (http://www.model4greenliving.com)

Study NY Featuring Renee Peters (http://www.model4greenliving.com)

Interview With Study NY

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Photographer: Kira Bucca, Fashion Stylist: Alison Hernon, Model: Renee Peters, Hair: Cindy Adams, Makeup: Sheri Terry, Stylist Assistant: Jocelyn Garrity

Brand: Study NY

Designer: Tara St James

What is Study NY? It is a fashion-forward brand in which every step in its garment process is socially and environmentally conscious. The brand supports sustainable techniques to make the fashion industry and the world better. For additional information see www.study-ny.com/faq and http://study-ny.com/about/ 

How did you start the collection? “I started my career working in the denim industry and then worked for larger fast fashion brands in Montreal and New York. In 2009, I left my last job designing a high-street brand called Covet and launched Study NY in September, 2009. The first collection appeared in stores in spring 2010.” 

"I started Study NY at a time in my career when I was frustrated with fast fashion and mass production. Study NY produces locally sourced sustainable materials.  A majority of my production is done in New York City's garment center. I use only organic or sustainable textiles (organic cotton, hemp, recycled poly, linen and peace silk). I also work with fair trade and co-op based factories in Peru and India … [that] pay fair wages and work to sustain traditional weaving and knitting techniques while providing income for indigenous populations.” 

Fashion as Art Tara considers fashion to be art and likes to maintain a current and beautiful collection. 

What are your price points? Please see www.study-ny.com/shop

Many people regard eco-friendly brands as a more “frump” design, but Study NY is current on what’s going on the forefront of fashion. How do you maintain design? “Good design is very important to me. I’m trained as a designer, not a sustainability expert. I only became an expert in the field over time and [from doing] a lot of research, but, ultimately, I think fashion … [must] be well designed and relevant. Sustainable fashion is not synonymous with being unfashionable. If nobody is buying the clothes, the business can’t be sustainable. I want the pieces we produce to be relevant for a long time to come – I am designing for longevity.” 

How is preserving the environment integrated into your business? “We integrate sustainability into every aspect of the business. Whether it’s the raw materials I’m sourcing or the packaging I’m using for shipments – everything is considered.” Study NY involves zero waste. “We challenge ourselves to find creative ways to repurpose scrap materials. This has led us to collaborations with other sustainable Brooklyn based businesses [such as] Zero Waste Daniel and Weaving Hand.” Tara sees zero waste as “a philosophy in patternmaking. Timo Rissanen would give a better definition than I could, but, basically, it is a combination of fashion design and puzzle making, creating a pattern that utilizes all the fabric when it is cut (rather than repurposing the leftover scraps for unnecessary ornamentation on a garment).” 

How would you describe the style of your current collection? “I would describe Study NY clothing as the uniform of the everyday woman. The menswear influence from my design background is evident. Simple, straight lines and easy to wear silhouettes define the collection. The pieces are easy to transition from season to season and (we hope) they will stay relevant for years to come.” 

Tell me about the facility in which Study NY is located? Does it host only sustainable brands? Study NY is housed in the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, which was launched by the Pratt Institute. This is an incubator for ethical fashion brands to help in their transition from an idea to a successful business. The venture fellows, members, and residents have a sustainable focus. One of the services the BF+DA offers coaching in operating a successful sustainable business. More information on the BF+DA can be found at http://bkaccelerator.com/about/ 

Are events hosted in this space to support the brand’s cause? If so, how can people find out about it? There are events hosted at the BF+DA that are meant to share knowledge. They offer tours, Textile Tuesday presentations, and social hours. The events can be found at http://bkaccelerator.com/engage-all/ 

Name some celebrities who wear your collection? “Does my mom count?” 

Our fashion feature model, Renee Peters, is a huge fan of your brand. What do you think of Renee’s http://www.model4greenliving.com blog? “I love her blog and her advocacy for a sustainable lifestyle. She speaks … about important issues in terms of both the environment and the fashion industry. She is definitely the kind of person I love to see in the world." 

Instagram: @studyny

Website: http://study-ny.com

For store information (in the US), see stockist list: www.study-ny.com/stockists

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By Alison Hernon, Fashion Director of Jejune Magazine

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