In Conversation With Kowtow Founder Gosia Piatek

Ask any devotee of New Zealand’s Kowtow, a contemporary line of sustainable and ethical womenswear, the secret sauce is the fabric. Descriptions like “buttery” or “so soft” almost do it justice. Weather it’s a basic t-shirt from their line of closet staples, Building Block, or a pair of crisp culottes with a directional cut, as soon as you get your hands on one thing from their collection we swear you’ll be able to recognize the rest just by touching it. “She was like wow, that’s such lovely fabric,” founder and designer Gosia Piatek recalls of one fan’s reaction. “It’s so nice when you hear that because it is. You don’t realize that when you go into chain stores, their fabric doesn’t feel like our fabric. It’s cotton, and ours is cotton, but it has this lovely feel to it.” How you treat fabric, she says, breaking it down in pesticides or formaldehyde dyes or keeping things au natural, makes a difference. “It’s just a softer material.”

The kicker? They only use one type of fabric: 100% fair trade, ethical organic cotton. So not only is Kowtow committed to using sustainable fabrics and creating them ethically through their own production chain, but the line’s foundation and identity is literally defined by their values. Using one type of fabric puts certain limitations on the type of clothes you can design. But that hasn’t stopped them from building a thriving, global business. Creating apparel from seed to garment, while paying fair wages and increasing visibility on the imbalance of living standards around the world, means working at least a season ahead of other labels and going without traditional trend forecasting. But their original POV has only helped them build a mass cult following. (If you haven’t watched their video that details that process, we highly recommend it. Find it here.) They now have over two hundred retailers worldwide in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, a number of which include our own community of boutiques. So of course you don’t need another reason to fall in love with this New Zealand line, but we’re excited to give you one: their founder.

Gosia Piatek working in the studio.

It’s a gray, windy day in Wellington when we wave at each other on either side of a Google hangout, but Gosia is immediately light and bright with her warm eyes and off-white linen blazer from Copenhagen and Kowtow separates. “I never find time to go shopping, apart from when I travel for work,” she says of her every day uniform. “Pants and t-shirts, quite boyish, relaxed, easy, a pair of sneakers. I don’t really dress up.” Today she reflects on a milestone: Kowtow’s 10 year anniversary.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR DESIGN PERSPECTIVE. DOES NEW ZEALAND HAVE AN INFLUENCE? We do play around with traditional design a bit like America. We take traditional fashion from Europe and give it our own take on it. We make loose, minimal, kind of a Japanese vibe to it. I think Wellington, well, we’re kind of at the edge of the world here. It’s not like every person on the street is super fashionable. I think here it’s a little bit more underground and people have less money so you do see some cool street style. We don’t have the big designer stores like Gucci, Prada, all of the big designers, so people do put their own take on how to put outfits together which is quite inspiring. A little bit fresher, maybe like some of the smaller periphery towns in America. I feel like there’s a parallel. Maybe because we’ve both been settled by the English in the last century.


HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR DISTINCT VOICE IN MINIMALIST FASHION? We only work with cotton so we have quite a limited palette of textures. So we won’t have some of the things that other designers have with synthetic fabrics. Like a specific lace or a pleat in a fabric, but we can’t do that so straight away you can’t play with textures so much so you play with proportions and paneling.

It’s nice to sell a product that you know is going to last. And that it’s made with love and that we put so much care into every single garment our design and we do it from an original point of view we have our own thing a story we think about the girl that’s going to wear it. We don’t copy other people. I think that’s what has led to the success of the brand.

The other thing is that natural fabrics aren’t the norm any more so organic cotton is already makes for a unique product. So there really is something quite special about it. And with cotton we’re quite trans-seasonal. We have a store in Iceland that just loves it, can’t get enough of it. And we’re the opposite season from them. We don’t need to offer a boiled wool coat, we don’t need to offer everything to everyone that’s what I’ve realized. We do our own thing and it’s working.


TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR SEED TO GARMENT PRODUCTION. We work quite far in advance because we have an ethical production chain. We can’t push our employees to do crazy hours, which is another reason why we continually stay original because we can’t forecast what’s going to happen that far ahead, we just do what we love. Sometimes we’re like, oh, wow that’s actually on trend. (laughs)

We have to work so far in advance. We work a season ahead of most other designers. Because we have to source the cotton from the crops, from the farmers. The farms grow it and we secure the yarn from them and then we get the fabric made, so we don’t work with fabric merchants, so they’re all exclusive to us. So we design the weave, the color, the texture, the feeling, it’s all unique to our brand.

SEEMS LIKE A PRETTY WELL OILED MACHINE. We’re quite planned out. We’re quite methodical people as well as design driven. I feel like you can do both and that’s why I started the brand. You have these places where it’s acceptable to do 12 hours or you’re not working hard enough and it’s just like, there’s always going to be work to do. Sometimes it’s hard, but I just think people feel like if they’re falling behind they’ll work on a Saturday every three months and it isn’t that big of a deal. I think if people love their job they’ll do it and we don’t micromanage them to do it or make it feel like a chore. We have a really cool team, a really cool team. They’re so engaged. I feel like I’ve got an easy job, that’s my feeling anyways.


DID YOU HAVE A DRIVE TO DO THIS AT AN EARLY AGE? In terms of sustainability I think that began in my childhood. My parents weren’t eco warriors but they lived quite simple. Growing up with that mentality, that inspired something. My parents used to take me out every weekend. New Zealand is really, really beautiful so it was really exciting. We’d go on bush walks or by the sea. I think I just fell in love with nature. I knew I would just love to do something that means something one day in my life, that has an effect, I think, on the right foot forward. We need to look after the planet. It’s not going to survive unless we do something, that’s how I felt. Maybe that’s a bit naive, I don’t know. But I still think that.

Fashion wasn’t the original way I wanted to go down this path. I just found it as an outlet for all the things that meant something to me, that stood for something. Ten years ago it was pretty new to the market, pretty heavy. It wasn’t fresh or cosmopolitan but I think we made it look like that. People just loved it, they didn’t even know about all of that stuff. They would be intrigued with what ethical means, but I think people are more educated now. I think with younger people now it’s cool to know about all that stuff. Where, you know, I wasn’t cool, that’s for sure. (laughs) You wouldn’t talk about sustainability, you would go and get drunk. Now it’s a different mindset. And we’re quite a young crew, they’re pretty awesome, but they’re young and they’re so interested in the details. This is the next generation. It’s great.

Shop Kowtow right here on Garmentory.

Keep the Kiwi vibes going and get to know our community of NZ designers and boutique owners here.

This interview has been edited and condensed.


The Insider’s Guide to Nashville

Long revered for its music scene, Nashville has a new creative industry to boast: Fashion. We’re lucky to work with a few amazing people from the city’s tight knit creative community and we’ve discovered that constant good vibes and a true collaborative spirit are always in the air. On top of this positive energy is a beautiful city that offers a vibrant downtown and easy escape routes to gorgeous parks, lakes and vineyards. What more could you ask for? To narrow things down, we asked the experts to give us the lowdown on the best places to eat, drink, take in the outdoors and people watch.

Bonus: We also got the deets on the rad city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is only a two-hour drive away. It’s home to a couple of our favorite boutiques and are closely involved in the Nashville fashion community.

Above from left to right: Elise Joseph, Ivy and Josh Elrod, Brittney and Jessica Wooten, Patrick Woodyard, Ceri Hoover and Han Starnes. Photo by Zachary Gray.



Photo courtesy of Rolf and Daughters

In a city like Nashville there is no shortage of amazing eats and one-of-a-kind restaurants, so deciding where to go can be, well, difficult. But don’t bother with Yelp or Trip Advisor because we’ve got something even better: local experts.

“Rolf and Daughters (above)… for both. They have a special drink called the Absinthe Father with bourbon, ginger, lemon and a rinse of smoky absinthe, and it’s delectable. Order the sourdough with seaweed butter, a few small plates and finish with a big bowl of the garganelli verde,” says Elise Joseph, owner of Goodwin boutique. 

Han Starnes designer behind beautiful label Han Starnes and Ivy and Josh Elrod, owners of boutique Wilder, all noted this cool restaurant as the place to hit up.

Rolf and Daughters, 700 Taylor St

little octopus
Photo via @lttleoctopus

Ivy and Josh also recommended the Little Octopus (above) –a bright and airy spot that serves tapas-style bites and creative cocktails – as a great place to grab a bite. Matt and Carrie Eddmenson, owners of imogene + willie confirm: “We had an amazing sit down dinner at Little Octopus that was next level!”

Little Octopus, 505 12th Ave S

Lindsay Clark, who heads up sales and customer service, crowd-sourced a top five from the whole Ceri Hoover team: “The Grilled Cheeserie, Five Daughters Bakery (below), Steadfast Coffee, The Treehouse, and Salt & Vine.” 

The Grilled Cheeserie, 2003 Belcourt Ave

Five Daughters Bakery, 1110 Caruthers Ave

Steadfast Coffee, 603 Taylor St

The Treehouse, 1011 Clearview Ave

Salt & Vine, 4001 Charlotte Ave

Five Daughters Bakery
Photo via @five_daughters_bakery

Patrick Woodyard, designer and founder of Nisolo, has been hitting up the “rooftop of the Thompson hotel” but he also notes that the City House will always be at the top of his list.

Thompson Hotel, 401 11th Ave S

City House, 1222 4th Ave N


With such a massive and influential music community, it’s no surprise that there are a ton of beautiful venues to see live music in Nashville. The Ryman Auditorium (below) is a favorite of many: “It’s our ‘Mother Church’ here in Nashville – it’s truly magical,” says Elise. She also adds that her “most intimate music experiences have been at The Basement. Two very different vibes, but both equally cool and special.”

Photo by Ryman Auditorium

Two words: THE RYMAN,” say Matt and Carrie.

Han reveals, “The Ryman will always have a special place in my heart.” Lindsay and the Ceri Hoover team also listed The Ryman and The Basement as their top places to go and noted 3rd and Linsley as well. 

Ryman Auditorium, 116 5th Ave N

The Basement, 1604 8th Ave S #330

3rd and Linsley, 818 3rd Ave S

Ivy and Josh love the American Legion in Inglewood – a hidden gem that has great music and drinks. 

American Legion, 3204 Gallatin Pike


Looking for a long, hot summer? Nashville is your place. When the sun is shining it’s easy to spend your whole day outside soaking up the rays. “I love going to Beaman Park, just north of Nashville. It really feels out of the city, but isn’t too far of a drive,” says Han. “Also, Shelby Bottoms Park in East Nashville is pretty great on a sunny day.”

Beaman Park, 5911 Old Hickory Blvd

Shelby Bottoms Park, 1900 Davidson St

The perfect outdoor day for Patrick is “rollerblading along one of Nashville’s many greenways or taking a bike ride with friends to Mas Tacos’ patio for a bite and cocktail.” 

arrington vineyards
Photo via @arringtonvineyards

The Ceri Hoover team lists their favorite ways to spend Nashville’s beautiful days: “Percy Priest and Radnor Lake (below), Live on the Green music festival, and Arrington Vineyards (above). Live on the Green is a free, environmentally-friendly outdoor music festival that showcases Nashville’s emerging artists and many well-known national acts. That’s right, free. Then there is Arrington Vineyards, which also has live music every weekend from April through November. Wine, music and the outdoors… we’re in.”

Elise reveals that she, too, loves “the Ganier Ridge Trail at Radnor Lake (below). It’s near the center of town but feels a million miles away from everything. I go here to hike with my husband and always see beautiful wildlife. It’s so peaceful and impossible to leave without feeling refreshed.” 

Percy Priest Lake

Radnor Lake, 1160 Otter Creek Rd

Live on the Green, 350 Deaderick St

Arrington Vineyards, 6211 Patton Rd

Radnor Lake
Photo via @radnorlake

“We used to live on the east side of town and we really enjoyed spending time in Shelby Park,”says Matt and Carrie. “It has a great dog park with plenty of room for the dogs to run around and the walkway there is something to marvel. We also enjoy hanging outside at Cheekwood Botanical Garden, but then again, Shelby Park is free!” 

Shelby Park, East of Downtown

Cheekwood Botanical Garden, 1200 Forrest Park Dr

Ivy and Josh are on a mission to keep cool in the comfort of their own home. “We’re trying to build a pool in our backyard. Until then: windows down.” Simple yet effective. 


Honky Tonk
Photo via @honky_tonk_central

It’s almost like the elephant in the room. The Honky Tonk Central has a reputation, so we got the real down low.

“I don’t really have much to do with honky tonk – it’s not really my scene, but if I do go down to Broadway I love popping in to Robert’s Western World,” says Han. Elise has similar feelings, “Tourist trap! Locals tend to avoid the swarms of bachelorette parties and hang in neighborhoods like East Nashville or Germantown instead. If you’re really wanting the Broadway experience, head to Robert’s Western World for dancing, beer, live music and a really fun time.”

Musicians on every corner and in every bar, neon lights, The Bachelorette/Bachelor Capital of America! Anything and everything. The energy is crazy on Broadway – there is something for everyone, from music, to shopping, drinks, museums, etc.,” explains Lindsay. She does note that her favorite part is “Acme Feed & Seed.”

Acme Feed & Seed, 101 Broadway

Patrick echoed Elise and Han’s pick. “Robert’s is consistently at the top of the list for Broadway bar hopping.” Matt and Carrie add that their favorite part of Robert’s Western World is the “Recession Special. It’s a bologna sandwich with chips and a PBR for like a dollar or something!”

Robert’s Western World, 416 Broadway B


Han Starnes
Photo via @hanstarnes

Comfortable,”says Elise. “There’s a slowness to the south that really can’t be replicated anywhere else. Nashville is my hometown, so it’s great to see people from all over the world moving here and broadening the style horizons.”  

Han agrees. “I think it used to be really motorcycle/denim/boots — but I think in general it’s progressing to be a bit more experimental as the town grows.” 

Ivy and Josh explain that “Nashville has the third highest concentration of fashion designers per capita in America after NYC and LA. There stands to be a 9.5 billion dollar fashion industry in middle TN by 2025 (currently at 5.9 billion and swiftly growing). But it’s weirdly true that everyone still wears cowboy boots.” 

“We have everything from the stereotypical (rhinestone cowboy boots) to the innovative (budding fashion brands) that influences the city’s style,” adds Patrick. 

I’m not sure ‘Nashville Style’ can be described, but if I had to take a stab at it I would say that it’s a mix of blue jeans and sports coats, dresses and cowboy boots. We can just settle for good ol’ jeans and tees,” Matt and Carrie chime in. Lindsay sums it up: “Fresh, new-Southern. A total mix of fashion.”


Photo by Barista Parlor

I always enjoy people watching at coffee shops like Barista Parlor (above) – so many people coming and going. The Gulch is also a bustling area, where you can probably spot a photo shoot happening around the corner,” says Elise. 

Barista Parlor, 519 Gallatin Ave

The Gulch, South-West Fringe of Downtown

Han goes for Centennial Park, one of the city’s greatest treasures. It can be spotted by the iconic Parthenon which also serves as Nashville’s art museum. Patrick also loves this spot: “Centennial Park, hands down. On any given day you can catch folks taking iconic landmarks, live outdoor music, and even the occasional Nisolo team bubble ball soccer match.”

Centennial Park, 2500 West End Ave

Photo via @wildershop

“Well Wilder (above) of course! And Opry Mills Mall,” say Ivy and Josh. We couldn’t agree more. Boutique shopping often doubles as people watching and is such a rad way to meet new people, discover style and get inspired. 

Wilder, 1212 4th Ave N

Oprys Mills Mall, 433 Opry Mills Dr

We just stayed at the amazing Thompson Hotel in the Gulch a few weeks ago. We had the best time sitting on the couch, eating homemade ice cream people watching in the lobby! That might to be the best place to people watch (this week anyway),” admit Matt and Carrie.

Thompson Hotel, 401 11th Ave S


Just over two hours south east of Nashville and home to Uncommon Deux – a rad concept shop run by sisters Brittney and Jessica Wooten – Chattanooga is not to be missed. They describe their hometown: “An up and coming city for young entrepreneurs, creatives and tech innovators. It’s a small city snuggled between mountain sides and rivers.”

Photo via @localjuice

“There are a ton of great locally owned coffee shops and juice bars, The Local (above) and Wildflower Tea Room are favorites of ours,” reveal Jessica and Brittney. The Local seems like that perfect spot to kickstart your Monday morning or cure those hungover Saturdays.

The Local, 48 E Main St

Wildflower Tea Shop, 1423 Market St

Photo by Lauren Coakley

Nashville isn’t the only place to see great live music. Jessica and Brittney tell us that “big name acts travel to Chattanooga” and that the best places to go are “Track 29 (above) and Revelry Room.” Both venues are small and intimate which makes seeing your favorite bands all the more special.

Track 29, 1400 Market St

Revelry Room, 41 Station St

Uncommon Deux
Photo by Zachary Gray

These sisters clearly know what’s up when it comes to fashion. So what about Chattanooga style? “Electric and a bit outdoorsy.” 

Coolidge Park
Photo via @nsumsion

Jessica and Brittney’s fave spots are “downtown on the river walk or hanging out in Coolidge Park (above).” A beautiful area along the river, basically perfect for that sunny day stroll.

Coolidge Park, 150 River St

When it comes to people watching, “the Southside (up and coming neighborhood with shops, art galleries, music venues, local eateries)” is the place to go.


So, ready to book your plane ticket? While you’re waiting for that trip shop the Nashville boutiques and designers at home right here. Don’t miss our unreal flash sale, February 15 – 28. Two weeks, up to 60% off. Ready, set, go >

Spread The Love: Eight Inspiring Super Couples

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so today we’re celebrating real love. The world needs this powerful emotion more than ever right now so don’t be afraid to express every bit of gushy and cheesy love that’s inside you, no matter how big or small the gesture. Here, we share eight seriously cool couples that inspire us. They’re creative, smart and hilarious. They know what it means to love and support one another. So read on, get inspired, and spread the love out there, won’t you?


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Hannah and JD are the cool couple behind one of our favorite Brooklyn boutiques, Concrete + Water. Before opening the space together, Hannah worked as a stylist while JD was a veteran of the nightlife industry as a DJ. They always felt that Williamsburg retail was missing something fun and accessible so they went ahead and created it. With JD’s business-mind and Hannah’s creativity and slight perfectionist ways, they are each other’s ultimate partner in crime.

WHAT IS THE MOST ROMANTIC THING YOU’VE DONE FOR EACH OTHER? We know this sounds kind of cliche, but I think the most romantic thing we’ve ever done for each other is to write our own vows when we got married in June. We were able to reflect on our eleven years together and say things to one another that you rarely get to in a beautiful setting surrounded by all of our favorite people. Couldn’t have been any better. There wasn’t a dry eye in sight.



You might recognize Manu (right) from scrolling shopping our site, as he is one of Stand Up Comedy’s regular models. Originally from Mexico, Manu runs a cafe in downtown Portland but his real passion lies is in flower arrangements and decorations for events. Gary (left) is an artist and designer originally from New Jersey. He founded Container Corps, an arts press and publication design/build studio. These two creatives are happily married and in the words of Stand Up Comedy’s owner Diana Kim, simply put, “They are incredible people.” 

WHAT IS THE MOST ROMANTIC THING YOU’VE DONE FOR EACH OTHER? We probably aren’t the most outwardly romantic people in the world. But we think the most romantic day we’ve spent together was the day we got married. We both decided that we didn’t really wanted a big ceremony or a huge party. We didn’t even say it was a wedding.

The day of, we drove around town getting everything we needed. We stopped at Manu’s favorite florist who had made us these beautiful rose neckpieces. We stopped at Lowell to grab the rings. We grabbed a two tiered tres leches cake (special request!) from Santa Cruz in St. Johns. The ceremony was on the rooftop of Yale Union just as the sun was setting. It was just the two of us, our friend Stephen officiating, and our sister and brother-in-law as witnesses. After the ceremony we went downstairs where a group of about 30 of our closest friends and family had gathered to celebrate. There was a lot of tears and a lot of love. – Gary



Michelle and Trevor are another insanely busy couple that somehow keep it together with ease and style. Michelle owns  One Of A Few a boutique in Vancouver’s Gastown that we are diehard fans of. Trevor’s side of the fashion industry includes founding the label Lifetime Collective, then moving on to People Footwear and is now a freelance art director. Together, they are parents of two adorable kids, true pioneers in Vancouver’s growing fashion scene and seriously rad humans.

WHAT IS THE MOST ROMANTIC THING YOU’VE DONE FOR EACH OTHER? Trevor is a very romantic guy. Not the kind of romantic where he puts rose petals on my bed, but a different kind of romantic. He is very creative, definitely more than he knows. From the first day we met I would find cards that were hand sewn and made for me with the cutest little love notes or words of encouragement. One of these notes still stands out as one of the most thoughtful and romantic notes he has given me. It was the night of my bachelorette party. The whole night was a surprise and when we got to the hotel room to start the night I opened the bag Trevor had packed for me. On top of my clothes was a note. A little too personal to share, but it still brings a smile to my face now.

It truly is the little things, the handmade things and the thoughtful things, that have kept us together. Life isn’t always perfect and these notes are amazing reminders and boosts of love. – Michelle

When Michelle and I started talking about the romance in our loves we kind of laughed. Two kids, two entrepreneurs, is there romance? But there is, and the first thing that came to my mind was of a trip we took to Croatia. Michelle was six months pregnant with our daughter Rilo and our son, Hunter, was three years old. The four of us, set off in a small sail boat. The sun was shining and we spent the entire day on the boat, floating in the salty water, island hopping and truly sharing the time all together void of electronics, emails, work, Instagram and other people. It slowed us down, and gave us a time to connect. – Trevor

(Photo by Ian Lanterman)



Lauren and Mickey met when they were teenagers through mutual friends and were drawn to each other right away. Lauren has all the attributes and cred of an “It Girl”. Her style is on point and as an avid shopper of one of our favorite brands Lykke Wullf, she now models for the designer as well. Mickey plays bass in the Los Angeles-based band The Neighbourhood. As two creatives they mesh well together but Lauren admits she is “a lot more hyper and dorky than he is so we definitely balance each other out.” Sounds like the perfect combo.

WHAT IS THE MOST ROMANTIC THING YOU’VE DONE FOR EACH OTHER? Something I love about our relationship is that we do a lot of little things for each other and I find that really romantic. It’s not about the big gesture but the small ways we make each other’s lives sweeter. Like if one of us sees something while we are shopping that we love but pass it up the other will go back and get it. Mikey always does the cutest thing when I have a big day he will wake up early and make me breakfast. It’s those kinds of moments I hold on to and cherish! – Lauren



Saager and Karyna run two of Vancouver’s coolest boutiques Neighbour and Neighbour/Woman. With Saager’s focus directed on the menswear boutique and Karyna’s on the womenswear shop, they are an unstoppable force. They both have such an aesthetic point of view which comes in handy when curating their beautiful shops. Happily married, these two entrepreneurs/BFFS/romancers are a total inspiration.

WHAT IS THE MOST ROMANTIC THING YOU’VE DONE FOR EACH OTHER? We normally don’t go in for too much romance; maybe working all the time gets in the way!? But we made our own Valentine’s tradition of having a nice dinner on the 13th and spending the 14th at home together, which is always the best. However, we did indulge in some pretty epic romance at our wedding in September, which was in a grand old ballroom in Ottawa, and given an old world Indian vibe. It was pretty much like being in a fairytale! – Karyna 



Kristiina and Ally are the kind of couple that know how to make each other smile by doing the simplest things. Kristiina is a fashion and art photographer in New York and is also the Editor in Chief of You Do You, a non profit, inclusive fashion platform for people of all sizes, abilities, colors, ages and genders. Amazing, we know. Ally is a yoga loving, tattooed, meticulous sales rep in the health industry who doesn’t own any clothes that aren’t black, and she has really good hair. Together, they are one of the raddest couples we know.

WHAT IS THE MOST ROMANTIC THING YOU’VE DONE FOR EACH OTHER? Ally does lots of great stuff for me – bringing me coffee in bed every morning and modeling in my obnoxious photoshoots (like wearing my mom’s ’80s clothes or letting me put glitter on her teeth), but this Christmas she topped it all with a rose gold necklace that says DUMMY in tiny engraved letters. Because we are nice and kind people who call each other “dummy” and “stupid.” 🙂 – Kristiina

At the end of our first date we shared an extended embrace in the cold next to Thompkin’s Square Park. They were mulching Christmas trees in the park and the air smelled like pine. I mentioned that the smell of pine was one of my most favorite things. She went back to the park the next day to assemble a box of pine tree clippings to give to me. “I made you a box of tree trash!” I was done for. – Ally



Diamond + Andy run Tacoma’s rad boutique Satori. They met in Tacoma as neighbors and have been inseparable ever since (bring on the tissue box). After working many years at a 9-5 job in the aerospace industry doing clerical/buying business, Diamond began looking for a job in the fashion industry and that’s when one of Andy’s friends suggested the two open a shop together. Just a year or so after they opened up their boutique. Now, with two businesses, two dogs, one cat and two houses they are set to get married this year. A big congrats to these two!

WHAT IS THE MOST ROMANTIC THING YOU’VE DONE FOR EACH OTHER? Our romantic time is always at home when we just get to unwind and spend time with our dogs. Some of our most romantic times are when we order takeout and watch our favorite TV show! We love to spend time at home together after a long day at work. – Diamond 

We love to go to Cannon Beach and get away from the city. There’s a nice bed and breakfast by the beach that we like to stay at and we spend a lot of time walking the beach and going to little mom and pop shops. – Andy



Ivy and Josh are artists, performers, parents and dreamers. Ivy as a playwright, dancer and actress and Josh as an actor, painter and longtime member of the Blue Man Group. After spending two decades in New York city they decided to move to Nashville, settle down and open up Wilder, a stunning design shop and art space. As parents of two, a daughter Rev and a son Chance, they have their hands full but you wouldn’t know it with their perfectly curated boutique that brings beauty to light. They’re basically superheros. (P.S. how amazing if that family gif?)

WHAT IS THE MOST ROMANTIC THING YOU’VE DONE FOR EACH OTHER? Ivy was pregnant when we moved to Nashville from NYC, and one night she got the email of some test results which included the sex of the baby. Strangely, it came through at like four in the morning. She told our son Chance (who was two at the time) at the crack of dawn and he climbed into bed waking me up saying “Papa, girl… Papa, girl,” and that’s how I found out we were having a girl. – Josh

Sometimes we take hot yoga next to each other. And occasionally in savasana, I’ll feel a sweaty man hand creep over and hold mine for a few seconds while we’re staring at the ceiling. Sounds gross but it makes me super happy. – Ivy  

Meet New Wave Blogger Reese Blustein aka Double3xposure

Reese Blustein aka Double3xposure has resurrected style blogging from the dead, and brought it back to life with a whole new purpose. Starting her account might have been just a fun sister venture at first, but it quickly took a turn to the Hollywood Boulevard of Instagram. Now with 83k followers and counting, she has thousands of girls living vicariously through her styling, and so they should be. Reese does things differently and that’s why we love her. She educates her followers on emerging designers and lesser-known labels (Holla), she wears whatever the f**k she wants because that’s what makes her feel good, and she rocks that effortlessly cool, natural beauty making us want to replicate every look she conquers. We were lucky enough to catch up with Reese and chat about her Instagram, style and how to take that perfect fashion photo. Spoiler: it’s easier than you think.

Shop Reese’s Picks >


TELL US ABOUT YOU. My Name is Reese Blutstein. I am 20 years old. I am from Atlanta Georgia and have lived here my whole life. I am a student at Georgia State University and I am also a style blogger.

HOW DID DOUBLE3XPOSURE START? It started in 2015. My twin sister and I were talking about how we wanted to start a fashion blog together. Soon after my sister Molly went away to college so I just decided to start an Instagram account on my own where I posted pictures of my outfit in the mirror in my room everyday. We came up with the name Double3xposure because we are twins and a double exposure is two photographs on top of each other that turn out to be one photograph and we thought it kind of resembled being a twin.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE MOMENT YOU REALIZED YOUR LOVE FOR FASHION? My mom told me this story of when I was in elementary school and my friends and I each got $30 for something we did and the other girls wanted to buy toys like normal kids and I went to Neiman’s and bought gold Chanel nail polish. My mom said she asked me if I was sure that I wanted to spend all my money on one small bottle of nail polish and I sure did! haha


YOU’RE SUCH A BIG SUPPORTER OF INDIE BOUTIQUES AND EMERGING DESIGNERS (JUST LIKE US!). WHEN DID THAT START FOR YOU AND HOW? I would say it started once small brands created Instagram’s. I would find small brands on Instagram and start following them and from their page it would lead me to more small brands that I liked and then I ended up finding so many small brands that I loved. I also love supporting small brands because it’s so much more personal. It is usually a small team and they know everything about the pieces they are selling. I like knowing where the things I buy come from. And personally I usually like the clothes, shoes, and bags better that are designed by smaller brands because not as many people will have them and they’re not trying to design on a huge scale like say Topshop so they can incorporate more detail.

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU LOVE ABOUT THOSE DESIGNERS/LABELS? I love their attention to detail and the uniqueness of their designs. I love getting things in the mail from small companies/designers because their packaging is always so thought out and beautifully put together. I also love knowing that I am supporting a few people directly instead of a huge company.


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Hmm, I feel like I always say this but it is so true I can’t pin point my style. My personal style is forever evolving. Some days I dress more masculine and some days I dress more feminine. Some weeks I am obsessed with wearing green and some weeks I love wearing red. It really just depends on how I am feeling that day, week, month, or year. So I would say my personal style is never constant and I don’t feel like their is anything that I always wear that people would think of as “my style” because it is always changing.

YOUR GO-TO OUTFITS? High waisted jeans, a black turtle neck, and my black byFAR boots or some knit pants, a plain white t-shirt, some nude slides, and a coat or jacket. Pants are usually my go to. I also love adding in colorful pants. 

FAVORITE DESIGNERS RIGHT NOW? Thats tough.. Rachel Comey is wonderful. LOQ has been one of my favorites for a long time. Sandy Liang, Simon Miller, Collina Strada, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Mari Giudicelli. I have a lot so it’s hard to pick just a few!



DO YOU HAVE ANY STYLE MUSES? Yes! Marta Cygna from lifeofboheme, Courtney Trop from alwaysjudging, Maria Bernad, Alyssa Coscarelli from alyssainthecity, and Lucitisima.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TRICKS OR RULES YOU LIVE BY WHEN SHOPPING? Eat before you go (so you don’t get hangry), buy what you know you will wear in months from now not just what is “trending” unless of course whatever is trending is adorable haha, and if you don’t absolutely love it when you try it on I bet you will barely wear it. I also always make sure that if I am buying something that I can style it at least five different ways because I don’t have all the money in the world so re-wearing and re-creating items is key for me when I am shopping.


WHERE ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO SHOP? ANY HIDDEN GEMS IN ATLANTA YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH US? I mostly love vintage shopping. Highland row antiques is amazing, Antique Factory in Chamblee is super cool, and this shop isn’t vintage but Little Barn Apothecary in west provision is so cute and has the best skin products and candles.

ANY WORDS OF WISDOM AKA SECRETS TO TAKING A GOOD FASHION PHOTO? Yes! Constantly move. Don’t hold one pose because it will look unnatural but if you just keep moving then your natural movements will be picked up on the camera and then bam! you have a perfectly posed photo!

Reese picked out her fave things on the site right now. You’re going to want to check them out here.

Photographer: Jennifer Grimm

On Repeat: Meet Montreal’s Ryan Playound

Full confession: we’re kind of obsessing over Ryan Playground. She’s a musician who is doing things differently, taking complete control of her creative output and vision, and is straight-up one of the coolest women we love right now. Not only is she a singer, songwriter and producer (aka the holy trinity) but this rad woman also has strong ties to the fashion industry. She has modeled for Vera Wang, ELLE and Rudsak and created her own capsule collection. Featuring two t-shirts that read “Jeune Pour Toujours”, which translates to “Young Forever”, the collection is simple but perfectly reflects Ryan’s easy going approach. As such, living and working in Montreal as an artist seems like the way to go. The city’s arts community works closely together and they always have each other’s backs. By surrounding herself with like minds, Ryan is constantly inspired and pushed to new creative levels. Her signature sound of crisp drum sounds, loud bass and soft airy vocals, will get you moving to the tempo in a matter of seconds. Here, we chat with her about music, inspiration, Montreal and of course style.

Listen To Ryan Playground While You Read Along >

Photo by Scott Pilgrim

HOW DID YOU GET INTO MUSIC? I was into music at a really young age. Both of my parents are classical musicians so I’ve always been surrounded by music. Everything started for me when I got my first guitar and mini drum kit when I was five!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST? I feel I’m free to do whatever. Like there’s no real convention or way to do music, every musician has the freedom to reinterpret music and find his own way of doing it. It’s super relieving somehow but it also can be kind of weird because it’s limitless and having no boundaries can bring a feeling of insecurity.

WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? It really depends. It depends on the place and the time I start to create something. I usually start by messing around with my guitar or my bass then I add drums and finally vocals. But then if I’m on the bus for example, the process will be different. I will maybe start with drums or maybe I’ll try to create a specific texture or whatever or simply write lyrics or ideas that will bring me to the next step.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCES? My biggest influences are the bands I used to listen to when I was a kid. I’m talking about Blink 182, Sum 41, Billy Talent and Hawthorne Heights, for example. I also have a soft spot for A$AP ROCKY.

ANY ARTISTS IN PARTICULAR YOU LOVE WORKING WITH? I definitely enjoy working with my friends Robert Robert, Thomas White and Ryan Hemsworth. I mostly work alone, but I easily connect musically with these people and it’s a lot of fun to share music with them as well.    

Photo by Scott Pilgrim

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN MONTREAL? I love the peaceful vibe in Montreal, although it can be a little too slow sometimes. When I come back from cities like New York I realize how cool and chill Montreal is, but at the same time I have the urge to be more productive. Montreal will always be my favorite city though mainly because I feel free and inspired and it’s a very easy going city.

Psst… Ryan reveals some insider scoop on Montreal. Find it here>

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? I live near the Jean-Talon Market and Parc Jarry. It’s a very fun and quiet neighborhood, there’s everything you need around here really and it’s beautiful. It’s fun to just walk around and I actually quite like doing groceries and Marché Jean-Talon makes it easy and fun. There’s also this Italian grocery store called Milano that I love.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE TO PERFORM IN MONTREAL? I think École Privée because the sound system is amazing and it’s something really important for me to enjoy a performance. Both times I’ve played there the crowd was super into it too.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Quite simple, too big for me and a little bit colorful.

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT? Black loose straight pants, t-shirt (it really can be anything, one of my favorite one is a vacuum company t-shirt), white socks and a color baseball cap.

TELL US SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU? I’m really good with numbers and math in general.

Bonus: Ryan put together a Soundcloud playlist for us with some of her fave songs.


“Changes” – Antonio Williams & Kerry Mccoy
“Ohio is for Lovers” – Hawthorne Heights
“Your Best American Girl” – Mitski
“What’s My Age Again” – Blink 182
“Don’t Give Me Grapes” – Happy Doghouse
“I Hear You Calling” – Gob
“Handle This” – Sum 41
“Responsibility” – MxPx
“Delete Me” – Posture & The Grizzly
“Hear You Me” – Jimmy Eat World

GRL PWR: Women We Love

On Saturday, January 21st in Washington, DC, and across North America, an incredible event of solidarity is set to take place. In honor and admiration of the Women’s March, we’ve rounded up some seriously amazing women and organizations that we want you to know about (if you don’t already). From activists to designers to artists, women all over the world are affecting change, big and small. Every single effort and voice counts and we are lucky to be working with so many rad ladies in our community. We’re proud of the word community too, and of the mutual admiration and support for one another we witness and take part in every single day. Below are three designers, four organizations and two influential women we should all be following this year. Get to know them now.

Take a peek at our selection of products that support the causes we love >




UNIFORME Magazine-Image---Vertical-PP

Brooklyn brand UNIFORME makes simple, beautiful garments that are seasonless and easy to wear. They do amazing things on the regular such as this limited edition Anderson Tee embroidered with a tonal PP monogram. Now, of course this is not your ordinary t-shirt. When you buy this tee the net proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood. Plus, UNIFORME has designed the piece as a structured, feminine interpretation of your closet staple so you can feel good while doing good.

Buy the tee here.


Gittit Szwarc is the designer behind Knobbly, a multidisciplinary studio focusing on jewelry and artists collaborations. Her recent collaboration is with photographer and handpoke tattoo artist Laurie Franck. In all of Laurie’s work, across mediums, the naked body is at the center of her art: alone, in love, sexual, or abstract. Her use of fragile lines deconstructs the human shape; reminding us that it’s this body that connects us to ourselves, and above all, connects us to each other. This rad collaboration tee depicts the female body in an abstract form and is made in Tel Aviv and printed in the Knobbly studio by their team.

Buy the tee here.



Designer Beth Richards is known for her functional yet luxurious swimwear. Doing something a little different (and amazing), she has designed this simple white tee with a black censor bar across the chest. Beth states, “The censor graphic was created for my debut collection in 2012 for the Girl with a Rebel Heart. Hard to believe today it still resonates almost moreso iconic”. In conjunction with the Gloria Steinem Foundation this tee aims to bring together women in solidarity. All proceeds of the sale will go towards the betterment of women’s lives and progressing women’s rights around the world on the quest for equality.

Buy the tee here.




The Wing
Photo by The Wing

New York’s The Wing is a home base for women: a work and social space designed for convenience and connection. Generated by the fact that taking up space can be a profound act in a society where men have the power and prestige, The Wing’s rules are all written by women. It’s a place for women to work, communicate and relax in a non-threatening atmosphere. An offline destination for women to build essential relationships, hatch plans and really… run the world together.

Learn more about The Wing here.


planned parenthood
Photo by Planned Parenthood

October 2016 marked Planned Parenthood’s 100 year strong. Today, it is a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. They deliver vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men and youth worldwide. With the heart of Planned Parenthood in the local community, they currently have 57 unique, locally governed affiliates nationwide that operate approximately 650 health centers. Let’s keep this number growing.

Get involved here.


Girls Of New York
Photo by @gonymovement

Girls of New York was created by Nicole Zivkovic and Miki Nakano (above) in August 2014. They started their movement as a social media initiative to raise awareness of girl’s issues, combat stereotypes and micro-aggressions, and ultimately inspire and empower other girls to share their stories. They interview, photograph, and post pictures of women and their allies in an effort to portray the diverse array of people they meet in New York. Through this they spark conversations about the pertinent issues that affect the lives of each and every person they met, and spread awareness of what goes on in our world especially what impacts girls and women. We couldn’t think of a better way to use the power of social media.

Get to know Girls of New York and follow the GONY Movement here.


Photo by Ms. Foundation

Ms. Foundation works to bring attention to the real challenges facing women, especially women of color and low-income women who are living in poverty, working paycheck to paycheck or both. They work day in and day out to advocate for national and statewide policy change that will address these challenges while supporting over 100 organizations throughout the United States that are working for change on a grassroots level. They fight with fuel coming from that fact that for every woman who has reached the “top” there are millions of women struggling to earn a living wage, gain access to basic health care, secure affordable child care and participate in the opportunities that should be available to every person.

Support the collective here.






Gretchen Jones currently lives Portland and is a Executive MBA (Fashion) candidate at the University of the Arts London – London College of Fashion, seeking to extend her creative influence beyond collection design. She is a visual artist whose passion has always been rooted in being an advocate for sustainable business practices, especially within the fashion industry. She uses her voice and her Instagram as a platform to speak out about women’s issues, express her experiences and feelings and really start a conversation.

I believe we can utilize social media for its potential to bring us together, not tear us apart. This is a critical time in our history, for ourselves and our families and our friends AND the next generation. Being responsible, activated/engaged and enjoying the ride of life (and our social platforms) doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. But that’s up to each of us individually. Are we ready to challenge ourselves to think beyond each post and back into reality? I sure hope so. We certainly need to be.” 

Follow Gretchen Jones here.



Jody Rogac was in born in England, and raised in Vancouver, BC. She currently lives and works in New York as a photographer. Whether it’s a portrait or a fashion shoot, she loves to photograph people. Jody works closely with her subjects in order to capture them as simply as possible, in their most natural moment. Her work often includes photographing the beautiful faces of powerful women such as Jemima Kirke, Liv Tyler, Petra Collins and Erykah Badu. With uncomplicated styling, choice of subject and ever-perfect composition, Jody brings to light the intelligence and strong-willed natural beauty within every woman she photographs. Her work is thoughtful, raw and truly stunning.

“Photographing women in particular wasn’t something I set out to do, it just happened naturally. I also love to photograph men, and subjects of all kinds. I do however love to photograph women in a thoughtful manner, and show off the strength in them.”

Follow Jody Rogac here.

Shop our selection of products that support the causes we love >

The Insiders’ Guide To Montreal

Montreal is renowned for its energy, creativity and eccentricity. As the longstanding home of a tight-knit community of talented artists and designers, the city is cultured, diverse and boasts travel-friendly regulations, like enjoying wine in the park as long as you have a food pairing. Plus, as one of the only French speaking cities in North America, it offers up something truly special. It’s easy to feel like you’ve jumped the ocean over to Europe when strolling Old Montreal on the winding cobblestone streets. Whether you decide to visit during a blistering-hot summer or below-freezing winter, this city will not leave you hanging with things to do. But before you pack your bags, we asked some of our local fashion friends for the lowdown on where to find the best eats, drinks and live music, plus their personal seasonal survival tactics. 



Photo by @labanquise_resto

There is no shortage of amazing restaurants in Montreal, but what we really do right is diners, greasy spoons and lunch counters,” says Davis Guay designer of Cartel Footwear. “Nothing feels more Montreal than having a poutine and Pepsi sitting at the counter of a greasy joint.”

Boutique Unicorn‘s Zola Martin-Lim also swears by the city’s poutine. She recommends La Banquise (above) which is open 24/7, bonus! 

La Banquise, 994 Rue Rachel E

Montreal musician Ryan Playground hits up Rotisserie St-Hubert for hands-down the best chicken. With locations in almost every part of the city, it’s a Montreal classic.

Rotisserie St-Hubert, 6355 rue St-Hubert, Montréal, QC

The Stowe’s designer Molly Spittal feels most at home with casual-fine-dining. “I like to be able to show up in jeans and a t-shirt but be able to expect a meal you’ll talk about later. I highly recommend Agrikol, which is a Haitian restaurant with an unbelievable menu and cocktails.”

Agrikol, 1844 Rue Amherst

Photo by Satay Brothers

It’s easy to find food from a variety of cultures in Montreal. Caroline Pham, designer of Ora-C, swears by one of her favorite restaurants Satay Brothers (above). “It serves South East Asian cuisine, owned by two brothers from Singapore. Beautiful, cheap food, always packed.”

Satay Brothers, 3721 Notre Dame Ouest

“I love Dinette Triple Crown (southern style food like fried chicken, ribs etc., comfort food) for dinners and Chez Buvette for the best Greek salad,” reveals designer Eliza Faulkner. She is also really into Dépanneur Le Pick-Up (below) for lunch. “Their Halloumi sandwich is the best.” 

Chez Buvette, 4869 Av du Parc

Dépanneaur Le Pick-Up, 7032 Rue Waverly

Photo by Dépanneur Le Pick Up

“I don’t eat meat so my choices in Montreal are a little limiting,”explains Mérida Anderson the multidisciplinary artist behind jewelry line YYY. “But there are some standbys like Jardin du Cari on St. Laurent run by a couple that makes the best roti I have EVER eaten.”  

Jardin du Cari, 5554, boul Saint-Laurent

The ladies at The Sleep Shirt gave us their go-to brunch spots. “As sleepwear enthusiasts, we love a good brunch. Le Vieux Vélo and Sparrow serve some of our favorites.” Find delicious buckwheat pancakes and any kind of fresh pressed juice imaginable at Sparrow.

Le Vieux Vélo, 59 Rue Beaubien E

Sparrow, 5322 Boul St-Laurent

“We see so many tourists doing foodie trips to Montreal and just spend the whole time eating. Montreal has the second most restaurants per capita after New York.” Well said, Alex Danio, owner of the rad shop Rooney.


Photo by Mariel Rosenbluth

“For fun drinks I’d recommend this speakeasy Tiki bar in Chinatown called Le Mal Nécessaire (above),” Caroline says. You can spot the place by its famous neon pineapple sign and once you’re inside you’ll be sipping on delicious drinks served in a pineapple. Need more? Caroline continues: “Kazu, Loic, Tacos Frida, Junior, Big in Japan, and Harricana.”

Le Mal Nécessaire, 1106 B Boulevard Saint-Laurent

Kazu, 1862 Rue Sainte-Catherine O

Loïc, 5001 Rue Notre-Dame O

Tacos Frida, 4412 Rue Notre-Dame O

Junior, 1964 Rue Notre-Dame O

Big in Japan, 4175 Boul St-Laurent

Brasserie Harricana, 95 Rue Jean-Talon Ouest

Eliza has faith in two bars: “Best drinks are at No Name bar on Avenue du Parc, or Bar Henrietta on Laurier.” Known for amazing cocktails and delicious eats, Bar Henrietta (below) is the perfect spot for post work relaxation on the lovely terrace. 

Bar Henrietta, 115 Avenue Laurier O

bar henrietta
Photo by @barhenriettamtl

Molly doesn’t have to go far when happy hour hits. “I’m a sucker for a dive bar. My favorite neighborhood pub is Idee Fixe, a local hangout in the Mile End. I guess it doesn’t hurt that it’s right around the corner from my apartment.”

Le Petite Idée Fixe, 4857 Av du Parc

Ryan gives us insight on where to go for both the best alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks: “For non-alcoholic I love L2 Lounge and for alcoholic Suwu is the place to go.”

L2 Lounge, 71 Rue de la Gauchetière O

Suwu, 3581 Boul St-Laurent


Photo by Yanick Grandmont

“On any given day, you can pop into Casa Del Popolo, check out their monthly calendar and see a handful of bands you’d likely recognize,” Molly recommends. “They’re a great little venue that’s always got a show going on. There’s also these tiny little venues that feel more like someone’s living room. These venues fill up their calendar with local talent and it’s always really fun and really intimate.” Caroline also loves Casa Del Popolo and adds Vitrola and La Sala Rossa to her list of classics. 

Casa Del Popolo, 4873 Boul St-Laurent

La Vitrola, 4602 Boul St-Laurent

La Sala Rossa, 4848 Boul St-Laurent

Photo by Yanick Grandmont

Intimate venue Divan Orange (above) is Alex’s go-to when in need for some live music. The small space is a great way to discover under-the-radar bands and experimental DJs. It is one of those places that turns from a chill hangout pub to a hardcore dance party in a matter of minutes.

Divan Orange, 4234 Boul St-Laurent

Davis loves the venue Turbo Haüs in Saint Henri which hosts all kinds of events, from spoken seminars for alternative businesses to punk rock shows. “Coupled with a great bar downstairs and perfect decor, this is an easy win.”

Turbo Haüs, 5011 Rue Notre-Dame O


Photo by Lauren B

“Summer in Montreal is a special thing, tons of street festivals, lots of music, comedy, and excuses to get out of the house. To experience a real Montreal summer day just walk out your door without expectations and you’ll find what you’re looking for,” says Davis.

The summer can bring seriously hot temperatures… like stick to your seat hot, but according to Molly there is a simple solution: “Head to one of the local pools (my favorite is Piscine Laurier (above) at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park) to cool off from the extreme heat we get here in the summer months.” Afterwards hitting up any local park for a BBQ is ideal. FYI: “Drinking in public is allowed here as long as you have something to eat. It’s called the picnic law,” explains Caroline. 

Piscine Laurier, 5200 Rue de Brébeuf

Photo by Benoit Rousseau, Montreal International Jazz Festival

The summer is really the best time to visit because Montreal has so many of the best festivals like the International Jazz Festival or Just for Laughs to name a few,” says Alex. Osheaga, the Mural festival and the Beer Festival are Zola’s musts. 

International Jazz Festival, Quartier des spectacles

Osheaga, Parc Jean-Drapeau

Mural FestivalBoul St-Laurent

Beer Festival, 2236 Rue Beaubien E

Photo by @inayali

In winter, Montreal has many exterior skating rinks with great views like Lac aux Castors on Mont Royal (above), Parc Lafontaine and in the Old Montreal where they all rent ice skates,” says Zola. However, others prefer using the cold winters to stay inside. Caroline loves to “catch up on old movies at various movie nights hosted by small local venues.”

Lac aux Castors, Mont Royal

Photo by Marie-Reine Mattera

A spa day is another way to spend a cold winter day. “I like driving to the eastern townships and visiting one the many nordic spas,” Eliza recommends. “There’s also Bota Bota (above) in Montreal which is an old boat converted into a spa.” Hot tubs, massages, manicures and pedicures? Sign us up.

Bota Bota, Entrée McGill Coin De la Commune et McGill, Promenade du Vieux-Port

Ryan has one simply advice in order to survive winter, “Get to know Kanuk”:  a Quebec clothing brand that is known for their signature winter coats that are guaranteed to keep you warm in the crazy cold weather.

Kanuk, 485 Rue Rachel E


Photo by @boutiqueunicorn

Montrealers do it right. Layers, accessories and footwear are always very well considered,” says Davis. The ladies at The Sleep Shirt admit that Montreal “is a city that values comfort, ease, and classic vintage inspiration.”

“There is also a lot of support of local brands here, which has benefitted us in so many ways. Quebecois like to support their designers,” they continue. Merida adds, “It’s a mix of old and new, and this city loves to support its local designers.” 


st ambroise
Photo by @loriechater

“Perfect days in Montreal are definitely during summer! A little sunbathing on a terrace drinking a glass of tequila on ice and lime with good friends, sounds pretty dreamy right now,” Caroline says. These sunny vibes continue with Molly’s dream day: “Definitely summertime! Riding my bike with a group of friends along the canal up to Atwater Market and then carrying on to the St Ambroise Brewery (above) for some afternoon pints on their giant dog-friendly terrasse”. 

St Ambroise Brewery, 5080 Rue Saint-Ambroise

Alex agrees. “Walking around the city in the spring or summer then having an amazing dinner and good wine with friends at a restaurant with a terrasse to just soak up as much outdoor time as possible!”

Ryan explains to us that the “top of Mont-Royal when the sun comes up.” is the must see visitor spot and going up there right at that time can make any day in Montreal perfect.

Photo by @cafeolimpico

Eliza has her perfect day down to a tee. “I’d start with coffee at Olimpico (above) in Mile End, then a walk down St. Laurent to check out the shops and stop by Eva B (amazing three-story vintage shop), lunch would be at Le Pick Up in Mile Ex where I’d have a Halloumi sandwich and then find a park to walk through. In the evening, I’d grab a picnic box from Triple Crown and have drinks and food with friends in the park… a lot revolves around food as you can see!”

Olimpico, 124 Rue Saint Viateur O

Eva B, 2015 Boul St-Laurent

Dépanneaur Le Pick-Up, 7032 Rue Waverly

Triple Crown, 6704 Rue Clark

And where to shop? We’ve got you on that front. Click here to find out.

In Conversation with Emily Sugihara, founder and CEO of Baggu

In 2007 Emily Sugihara, a recent Parsons grad, started a business with her mom, Joan. They began with a simple Ripstop nylon tote based on the constuction of a plastic grocery bag. Ten years later, Emily and her team have moved BAGGU from Brooklyn to San Francisco, grown the company to 40 people across two coasts, collaborated with heavyweights such as Outdoor Voices and J. Crew, and expanded the line to include canvas and leather totes, purses, travel bags and accessories. Known for their clean designs, pop colors and cheeky prints, the bags have garnered a cult following and we’ve been obsessed since day one. We recently caught up with Emily over the phone to talk about all things BAGGU, style and being a new mom.

Shop our exclusive BAGGU sale >

BAGGU founder Emily Sugihara with her son, Ko.
BAGGU founder Emily Sugihara with her son, Ko.


GARMENTORY: So I wanted to start off just by finding out a little bit more about your day to day. Can you tell me where you are right now and what you’re doing?

EMILY: Yeah, I am in our office in San Francisco in the Dog Patch. I’m working on our target sales for the second half of 2017.

G: Oh cool, spreadsheets?

E: Yeah, I spend a lot of time doing spreadsheets. I really enjoy them. Not sarcastic, this is like one of my favorite parts of my job.

G: Do you mind if I ask you what you’re wearing?

E: Yeah, it’s like absolutely freezing in San Francisco today. Let me look up what the temperature actually is. I lived in New York for almost 10 years and then moved here a few years ago so my ideas about weather are very confused.

G: I bet. It doesn’t take long to kind of acclimatize back to the west coast, though.

E: Oh yeah, totally. Yeah I grew up in San Diego so after leaving San Diego, pretty much everywhere is like a step down in weather…. That’s funny. It’s a low of 41 today and everyone here is losing their shit about how cold it is.

G: Isn’t it usually pretty much the same all year there?

E: Yeah, it’s usually like 60s in the winter so 40s is like…

G: Nobody has clothes for that.

E: We have a high of 54 today. Yeah, well I do because I lived in New York before this, but a lot of people don’t. So, I have shearling clog boots and vintage Levi’s. A size large baggy sweater from Steven Alan and a Lauren Manoogian crazy coat thing.

G: That sounds cozy. Are those boots No. 6 by any chance?

E: They are.

G: The best. So warm.

E: Yeah. I could probably also wear this outfit in much colder weather and still be comfortable, haha.


G: Is that a daily kind of outfit for you or do you switch it up?

E: I actually think I have more variety in my wardrobe this year than before. Sometimes I go through real uniform phases but I’ve been switching it up a little bit more. I wear Kamm pants a lot. I’m very into the Ilana Kohn denim wide-leg jumpsuits. I have a really good pair of vintage white overalls from The General Store that I’ve been wearing a lot. This summer I was very into culottes but now my ankles are too cold.

G: I hope it gets a little bit warmer. That’s supposed to be a benefit of living in California.

E: Yeah, you’re going to print something about someone in California complaining about it being in the 50s and having to wear shearling boots and the rest of the country’s going to laugh, haha.

G: So I’ve seen pictures of your offices over there and they look so rad. Must be a nice space to work in. (Editor’s note – Click over here to see said space.)

E: Yeah, it’s really pleasant. We have a really great view of downtown. We can see just the tip of both bridges.

G: Oh cool. How many people do you have in that office with you now?

E: I’m counting…. 12.

G: And still in Brooklyn, too?

E: Yeah, in Brooklyn, there’s also three retail stores. I think there are about, with everybody, it’s about 40 people.

G: So tell me about being a CEO. To go from a small startup to a much larger operation, what are you loving about that?

E: The cool thing about getting bigger everyone can kind of specialize more. When we started, it was just my mom and I and then my friend Ellen [van der Laan] who’s our Creative Director, was doing freelance work basically. I was doing kind of the whole business operations side of things. It was like I had everybody’s job. Then, as we grew it was like, oh okay, one other person can help. They can take the half of my job that I feel like I’m worst at and I can hire someone for a skill set that will be good at that.

Then everybody’s job kind of splits and splits and then you end up with a bigger team and these really specialized jobs where you can have production people that are just amazing at doing production. Sales people that are really good at sales. Product designers who are just doing product design, that’s their thing. It’s been cool because you get a higher quality of work out of more focused expertise. I mean, it was a much simpler machine in the early days, haha.

G: It was just one tote, right?

E: Yeah, it was just the standard Baggu in eight colors. Eight skus, one style.


G: What was it about that first tote that made you guys stand out?

E: We were the only people… there weren’t very many reusable bags at all at that time. This was like 2007 so everyone’s interest and pop culture was just picking up environmental awareness. We were the only company doing something that was both aesthetic and functional and affordable. You could either get not cool reusable bags that were cheap but kind of junky or you could get, like Hermés had a reusable bag, or there were some cool foreign companies making them. But even those were like $30 or $40, which if you need to buy five of them that’s kind of a big investment. I really wanted to do something that was great looking and really affordable.

G: You kind of hit a sweet spot.

E: Yeah. That’s always been part of what we try to bring to our customer. We’re not trying to be the least expensive, but we’re trying to provide you with the best value for your dollar.

G: It sounds like you’ve had that ethos with every product that you launch as well, getting into all the different types of bags, and even leather now.

E: Our leather’s nice. Every year it gets nicer as we get even better at doing it. With leather, it’s just like you pick up both more materials and more expertise. Also, you learn from mistakes.

G: Any stories to share about that?

E: In the beginning we were using these really nude leathers, which are so beautiful but they get dirty really easily. It’s not a bag that will last very long or look good for very long with a normal person carrying it, unless you’re like crazy fussy. They just stain too easily, so we found what we think is a good compromise between hand feel and durability. Now when we do light colored leather, it has a coating on it. You can get it wet and it won’t stain.

G: Tell me about your design process.

E: In the early years it was just like you have and idea and make it and there was no schedule, which was lovely. I felt really strongly that our product line grew in tandem with our customer base. We weren’t in a hurry to release a million products. It’s kind of like you’re doing something and you have an idea of oh, I think I could make this better. Or oh, I want to make this version of this thing we’re making. Once we had a design that we felt really good about, we put it into production. I think now everything’s much more organized. We work in season, sort of. We’re a bigger design team and we’re doing more newness in the line every season. Refreshing prints more often, introducing new body styles.

G: Who do you think about when you think about your customer?

E: That’s something that we talk about a lot. Overall, I think we’re always designing for ourselves. I think you can design the best stuff for yourself because you really deeply understand what it is that you want. We’ve always been a team that is within 34 to 20-something. We’re all on the younger side but not nearly as young as we were when we started. We want to design for ourselves and then we also felt like, how would our moms interpret this product? I think that’s a good check on: is this some weird trend thing that we think is cool and we’re going to be over really fast or is this a good, simple basic thing that’s going to feel relevant for a long time? That’s the kind of thing we’re actually trying to make.


G: You started the company originally with your mom. Do you get her feedback still?

E: She stepped out of any active involvement about five years ago. She still definitely emails me with ideas. I still love making things with her. I’m not sure she ever expected this to turn into the kind of level of business that it did. In the beginning, when everything was kind of crazy and all hands on deck and whatever, it was the two of us packing boxes late at night. As things got more like there are offices and business hours and you check your email every day, I think that was just like not what she wanted.

G: Was it something that you hoped that it was going to turn into?

E: I think I hoped it was going to turn into that. I don’t know, I was embarrassed to say that out loud because it seemed so outlandish. The idea of actually having a team and an office just seemed like bat crazy.

G: Was there a moment where that clicked for you?

E: No, in a way it’s happened quickly, but it’s also happened really slowly. We’re about to have our 10 year anniversary next year. We’ve been incrementally growing for many, many years. I think the company grows in tandem with me and the core leadership team here, learning how to manage a bigger project. If someone was like – “Here’s a bunch of money. Double the size of the company” – next year, we wouldn’t do it. You have to figure out how all of these pieces fit together in a way that’s efficient and works for everybody. That just takes time.

G: You’ve done some really amazing collaborations.

E: I think collaborations are a fun way for us to try out different design aesthetics and introduce ourselves to a new customer base. The first one we did was No. 6, way back in the day. They actually cold emailed us and I didn’t know who they were. I was like, “What is this?” Ellen was like, “Oh my god. That’s really cool. I can’t believe you don’t know what that is. Make this happen.” They’ve become really good friends. They wanted to do shopping bags in some of their prints. We worked with them to pick a good lineup of prints, which Ellen, she does all of our prints, kind jujjed for them.

G: Do you have any more coming down the pipe?

E: We did a collaboration with lululemon lab that just launched, that are reflective BAGGUs. They wanted us to do the standard BAGGU out of a reflective material. We’ve been working on it for a long time. It took us a while to source the right material. They’re so cool. It looks like just a regular grey bag from up close and then from far away it’s reflective. They photograph amazing.

G: Are you doing anything for your 10-year anniversary?

E: We have all kinds of special stuff going on throughout the year. We did a really crazy 10-year edition of our standard BAGGU. There will be some parties, there will be some events.

G: That’s exciting. That’s such a milestone.

E: Makes me feel old.


G: I feel like it’s just that time of life, too, where a lot happens.

E: Yeah, no it’s crazy. I have a 16-month old baby, Ko. He’s very much the organizing principal of my life right now.

G: That’s so fun. Lots of change! And with the recent move back to the west coast, truly bi-coastal.

E: I mean, we’re definitely all over. I think our strongest holds are definitely in urban, coastal areas. The blue states buy more reusable bags than the red states, we find. We have a pretty good international business, too. Japan is a really big market for us. Korea, Australia, Hong Kong. That has been a component for us since really early on.

G: Which market is your favorite to visit?

E: I’m very partial to Japan. We lived there when I was a little kid and I have some family there. (Editor’s note – Fun fact: BAGGU is Japanese for bag.) My husband also loves Japan. Although, we haven’t been since the baby was born, but we used to go every year. I feel like we missed our window of non-opinionated baby who’s easy to travel with. Now he has a lot of thoughts about a lot of things he would like to be doing. He’s a busy guy.

G: The toddler tyrant. That’s fun.

E: Yeah, he’s a benevolent dictator. He’s good to us.

Shop BAGGU >

Ask Sissy: Our New Fashion Editor-at-Large

Looking for a way to break the rules with a few new ones to live by, we teamed up with Sissy Sainte-Marie last year for a series that broke us free of skin-tight jeans and body con, and made us appreciate coat season a whole lot more. If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably already met Sissy and taken a few notes. So we are beyond excited to announce this rad lady is now our Fashion Editor-at-Large. She will be penning a column every month and sharing her sage style advice, and signature deadpan. Man, we love her.

To kick things off, we compiled a few of your frequently asked questions and outfit woes for her to answer.


A. I am a person who dreams night and day of the ease of a daily uniform and a capsule wardrobe. But, I love clothing and tend to lack impulse control in acquiring more and more of it. In my line of work I get offered a lot of gifts, store credits and trade. Sometimes I end up impulsively choosing things I never end up wearing more than once. Or I pounce feverishly on one item that goes with nothing I own and end up buying four more things to build an outfit around that thing I didn’t need in the first place. An overflowing closet paired with a depleted bank account is never a good look.

I know I’m not the only one going through this cycle of absurdity. I think the renewed focus on a capsule wardrobe is a reaction to the relentless flow of trends we are bombarded with ad nauseam. It can get to a point where we feel suffocated by our stuff and begin to radically reject the constant pressures of consumerism in order to protect our mental health, our savings and our planet. It is only natural to see an interest in buying less, choosing versatility and practicality over ephemera.

When you find that perfect black turtleneck sweater. Isla Sweater by Shaina Mote
When you find that perfect black turtleneck sweater. Isla Sweater by Shaina Mote


The particular items for your capsule wardrobe should be determined by your individual lifestyle, tastes, and day-to-day needs, but I can give you some guidelines for investing. I have actually been devising a point system for smarter shopping because I’m a geek like that.

The questions:

Scoring: 1 point for each yes answer. Prioritize purchases accordingly.

TIER 1: 4-5 points (Example: a black turtleneck, canvas sailor pants, black ankle boots, a trench coat)

TIER 2: 3-4 points (Example: a warm coat, a white cotton shirt or blouse, vintage jeans)

TIER 3: 1-2 points (Example: low heel pump, suede sandals, a black dress)

White shirt, black pants, never goes wrong. Lemaire Two-Pleat Pants.


Fine tuning:

Buy now or later? Determine what to buy now and what to save for later. I know I will need some new sandals soon, but today I’ll buy black ankle boots to replace the ones I wore to oblivion over the last two years.

Buy this one or that one? Determine what’s the most practical and durable. I had my eye on four white prairie-style blouses. I opted for the one with the least embellished neckline and I chose cotton over silk. Avoid items that require dry cleaning and feel fussy on your body or too fancy to wear in your daily life.

Is it too similar to something I already have?
Unless it’s a second black turtleneck that you need for rotation due to frequency of wear, avoid buying redundant items. Instead, purchase something that fills a gap in your wardrobe rather than say, a fourth leather bucket bag. Maybe a camel sweater, but not a forest green one, or Kamm pants in a new neutral color, if that’s what will round out your capsule wardrobe.

Is it a safeguard? Sometimes we must make precautionary purchases that will provide peace of mind when the inevitable day comes. Rain boots, sure, but more importantly heels. You’ll no doubt need a pair of heels for more formal events and occasions. Invest in a simple closed-toe pump in black. Whether or not you end up wearing them as often as loafers or boots, they will be essential in a pinch and you’ll be glad you have them handy when you get that last minute invitation. Same goes for a party-ready black dress or jumpsuit.

Is this right for my lifestyle? Can you wear beautiful flowing wide leg trousers on the daily or is a fine cotton twill more your bag? What’s the dress code at your place of employment? Do you attend a lot of meetings and events for which you need to look spiffy? Or do you need to get down and dirty at work? Be careful to not buy clothing that doesn’t suit your needs. It will end up unworn and wasting space. Buy what you’ll get the most use out of.

But…but… Do I just like it and want it despite it being completely impractical and something I’ll only wear fewer times than I can count on one hand? Sometimes a “yes” answer to this question trumps the point system, moving an item to the top of the cart. You gotta have a little fun! But these purchases are only advisable once you have your capsule wardrobe firmly in place. Without starting the cycle of suffocating consumption all over again, strive for 90% practical and 10% trophy items–or whatever ratio brings you the most peace of mind. So, if you really want that tassel choker, honey, you go and get it!

Try it now. Go fill up your Garmentory cart with anything that strikes your fancy and follow the steps outlined above. I can’t wait to see what you choose!

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A. Well, I think it simply comes down to how you feel in it. I never thought I’d be a jeans person until I tried on the right pair. I wish I could be a sneaker person, but I’m just not feeling it, or any sportswear for that matter. But I sure love seeing it on other people who wear it well. Somewhere between being in a style rut and being a try-hard, there’s a world where comfort meets courage at the heavenly axis of our own truth. I do advise looking to runways, street style photos, print magazines and Instagram influencers for inspiration and fresh ideas. You may want to try a small fraction of them. But when you’re in front of the mirror, search for an honest feeling inside. You should always feel at ease, and unapologetically fabulous in what you’re wearing. Weather you are walking on Bic lighter heels or cushy Air Max soles, you should feel like you are walking your in your own lane. Always keep in mind this quote from Iris Apfel: “The worst fashion faux pas is to look in the mirror and not see yourself.”

Have you given off-the-shoulder tops a go? Signature Annie Top by Sincerely, Tommy.
Have you given off-the-shoulder tops a go? Signature Annie Top by Sincerely, Tommy.


Knowing who you are style-wise may take years to master through trial and error. That is why I advise trying things on just for the hell of it. How else are you supposed to know? Avoid trips to anxiety-inducing, big brick and mortar stores with their overly crammed racks, tiny dressing rooms, bad lighting, and pushy salespeople. Impulse buys under these circumstances will be a set-back on your journey. Take advantage of the sweet return policies of online retailers and order up a storm of trends so you can try whatever you want in the privacy of your own home at your leisure. Do this alone. Don’t go taking polls from your friends, family, roommates or social media followers. It needs to look and feel right to you and you alone.

What you find may surprise you. A beige linen suit that you imagined would be so conservative and mumsy on you, might feel radically fresh and unexpectedly rebellious in it’s smart simplicity once you give it a whirl. A modest, oversized dress may make you feel more dignified than dowdy. You may feel more tough and empowered in a waist cinching sundress than a borrowed-from-the-boys ensemble. That Issey Miyake that looks all crazy on the hanger might touch you in all the right ways and be your magic portal into a new style dimension. Or, you might try a bra top over a button down shirt and say, “I look like a frumpy dumb dumb.” Ah-ha moments abound with an adventurous spirit and free returns.

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A. Funny you should ask because I was on a similar journey in 2016. My go-to palette mostly runs the gamut from cream to beige, but like you I’ve been thinking a lot about trying to get outside the box, even dedicating a Pinterest board to colors and combos.

When I was a kid, all the moms and grandmas went to these Color Me Beautiful parties to determine their “season” which would act as a guide to which colors looked best on them. (Peach and turquoise if you were lucky in 1985.) Since you’ve already admitted to being color-phobic, taking Carole Jackson’s season analysis quiz may only serve to induce a panic attack if periwinkle and magenta show up on your swatch of advisable colors.

To start, ease into color by opting for garments and accessories in muted tones like sage green, mustard, plum, garnet and amber. These tones can act as new neutrals, pairing well with black, brown, beige and ecru currently in your closet. Evolve into brighter colors starting with accessories such as lime green sandals or an egg-yolk-yellow bag. These colors will also pair well with more traditional colors like charcoal, navy or olive, likely already in your wardrobe.

Pairing a bold skirt with neutrals softens the blow. Maryam Nassir Zadeh Renata Pleated Skirt in Acid.


Once you’re ready to take a further plunge into bright colors, don’t start mixing it up right away. First opt for a dress or jumpsuit in a bright color that looks good on you. Remember all the chic ladies who were photographed wearing the tangerine-colored Rejina Pyo dress during fashion week? You can do it, too. Get yourself a brightly colored dress or jumpsuit to wear to an event or occasion this spring. Feel good? Feel powerful? If so, start wearing dresses and jumpsuits in similar colors for everyday. Then try pairing it with with statement footwear.

After you feel a sense of mastery with dress/shoe combinations, you’re ready to move onto separates. Try pumpkin-orange pants with a sky blue top and fire engine red shoes. (But please don’t wear khaki pants with a red top unless you work at Target.) If you’ve found your calling, you’ll soon be playing sartorial-jazz like you’re on Alessandro Michele’s Gucci catwalk, piling on prints, textiles and accessories of every hue. If, on the other hand, you felt like a Teletubby in that chartreuse pant suit you wore to your cousin’s wedding, let yourself off the hook and run back to those ride-or-die neutrals. Bright colors aren’t for everyone and that’s okay. We can’t all be as fly as Miss Frizzle. True style is about knowing what works best for you. But, at least you can say you tried.

Shop Sissy’s Picks >

Have a burning style question you want answered? Comment below! Our Ask Sissy column will be back in the Spring.

These Are The Best Things On Sale Right Now

If you’re anything like us, you currently have multiple items in your cart that have been sitting there for months taunting you to buy them. You almost get to the checkout then every time your stupid conscience reminds you of all those bills you have to pay. Don’t worry, we get it. It’s hard to justify buying things you want like new leather glove shoes or a bag so small it barely fits your phone over things you need like winter snow boots or an office tote big enough to fit your laptop. Well, guess what? All of those amazing wants (and needs, actually) are on sale right now. We’re talking all your favorite gals – Rachel Comey, Caron Callahan, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Lauren Manoogian, and more. So let your shopping guard down because trust us, these items will be sold out by the time you’re done reading this. Just kidding, but hurry!