We decided to change up our Web Wednesdays series this week and highlight a new local Seattle boutique worth knowing about – Sell your Sole Consignment.
Last weekend we stopped in to Sell Your Sole Consignment, a new consignment boutique on 1st Ave. downtown. We didn’t know what to expect, but we absolutely love second hand so thought it was worth checking out. Well, we were very impressed with everything: the decor was gorgeous and the items carefully selected. There was even a rack of vintage pieces, ranging from a Versace jacket to a YSL dress.
To give you a glimpse behind the curtain, we interviewed owner Natalia Biner to find out what this new consignment shop is all about. We got the inside scoop on her past and what the advantages are of selling your items through her boutique. Be sure to check out the grand opening on May 3rd and expect big things from this up-and-coming Seattle fashion destination.
1. You said you come from a business development background, can you tell us some more about how you got to opening Sell Your Sole Consignment?
My mom and dad are successful entrepreneurs and my role models. They came to America with me in 1979, from the Former Soviet Union, not speaking any English, having no money, and to make things more challenging, my dad could no longer practice dentistry because his degree was not recognized here in the US.
Despite all of these challenges, they got the American dream. Through hard work and perseverance, they bought, developed and sold five successful businesses, and are now running a $3 MILLION company that they started in their garage. I worked for their company for 10 years, developing the clientele, and creating the business’s brand. I always knew I wanted to follow in my parent’s footsteps and own my own business, so 6 months ago I did just that. I left my amazing job, my family, the city I grew up in (Phoenix, AZ) and moved to Seattle to start fresh and create Sell Your Sole.
2. What are some of your favorite brands and designers? Do you have any style icons?
That’s a great question! I love Alice + Olivia, Elizabeth and James, Current Elliott, Mother, Milly for everyday. I appreciate Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Burberry Prorsum, Alexander McQueen, Rag & Bone, Rick Owens and Roberto Cavalli. Style icon…very tough, but I love Michelle William’s and Angelina Jolie’s style.
3. How would you describe your style? Would you say it is reflected through your store’s items?
Yes, my store is somewhat reflective of things I can appreciate, but since I just opened a week ago and depend on consigners for my inventory, I can say that there are many other aspects of my style that my store doesn’t have yet. My style is fairly eclectic. I love everything from Current Elliot leather leggings, to Anthropologie’s gorgeous and unique dresses. I also love All Saints and Nordstom’s Savvy and Via C. dept. when I want to treat myself and pay retail prices, that is.
4. What type of designers do you accept for Sell Your Consignment?
I strive to curate unique and coveted pieces for my store. I look for designers that one can find at Nordstrom & Barney’s, specialty stores like Anthropologie , Madewell & All Saints, and things that come from stylish boutiques around town, like Les Amis, Burnt Sugar, and Baby & Co.
To be specific, I get very excited when I see things by Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, etc. come in. However, I am currently looking to build up my jeans, purses and shoe inventory. Jeans, from designers like J Brand, MOTHER, Seven FOR ALL MANKIND, AG, Citizens of Humanity, and purses from Marc Jacobs, Chanel, House of Harlow, etc. Also, I look for items that are in excellent condition, so my clients feel like they are getting something they can wear with pride and that looks almost new.
5. If someone wants to sell her items through your store, what should she keep in mind and what are the advantages?
She should keep in mind that by consigning with Sell Your Sole, she is consigning her items in the most unique consignment boutique in town. That her items will be beautifully displayed and enthusiastically presented to potential buyers – not only when they visit the store, but also through private shopping parties and special events. She should know that she has a real partner in Sell Your Sole when it comes to moving her merchandise and making her money!
She should also keep in mind that items that are submitted for consignment must be in the best possible condition. So clothing must be dry cleaned, on hangers and free from any visible flaws. The consigner will enjoy a generous 50/50 split of the final selling price and checks are cut every month for items sold the previous month. Finally, if the consigner wold like to reclaim any unsold items, they are given the chance to do so after their consignment period is over. There are many other stores in town that do not allow this, but we feel that it is very important to respect the consignors wishes in this regard.
6. Where would you like to see your store this time next year? In 5 years?
By this time next year, I would like to have cultivated a collection of 1500 beautiful, unique and diverse items in the store. I would like to see a community of close friends and clients sprout around my boutique, and I would love to contribute to the community in some way. In 5 years? I would like to open a men’s consignment store that is fashion-forward and affordable.
7. What is the best style advice you’ve ever received?
Trust Yourself. Also, I love this quote…
“Fashion is the pursuit of perfection, and style is the acceptance of one’s flaws.” – Francesco Clemente
8. If you weren’t owning your own consignment boutique, what would you be doing now?
Building on my photography career in Maui and spending time with my family – Brent my loving fiance and Moe, my white lab.
We’ve always been a fan of structured pieces, but we’ve been ramping up our appreciation for architectural looks even more recently.
While it is easy to add architectural inspiration through clothing, jewelry is another story. There is a fine line between architectural jewelry that is costume-y and architectural jewelry that is subtle.
Thus, we were ecstatic when we came across these designs by local Seattle brand Simbiotek Design Lab (SdL). SdL is a collaborative effort by Hayley and Hunter, two architectural designers.
Below, we showcase our favorite pieces from their collection alongside a architecturally-inspired ensemble. We even have an exclusive interview with Hayley, who gives us an inside look at her designs, personal style, and more.
Simbiotek Design Lab – $28 and under, Color Block Pumps – $775, Stretch Silk Pants – $350, Cotton Tank – $165
What is the design philosophy behind SdL?
We believe that coexistence with nature in design should be as balanced as the natural world around us. We believe in design as a process rooted in ecology, a creative interpretation of time, place and space as a manifestation of interacting relationships. Ecology is the study of the interactions between life and its physical environment; the relationship between two entities and how they affect one another. Simbiotek design lab will be a new branch of exploration with designs based on scale and elements of nature with the precision and methods of crafting with modern computer-aided devices.
How was the SdL brand born?
Hunter and I met in college while going to architecture school in Southern California. Young and starry-eyed, we dreamed of starting our own design business where we could work side-by-side to the tune of creative freedom, designing what inspired us most without the constraints of scale. Schematic design in architecture often yields many creative concepts that are never developed further. This sparked an idea for using these initial efforts as a springboard for designing new products. Prism Pendants, for example, came about after I worked on an architectural competition for re-imagining the modern classroom. During the process of design, I played with geometric patterns with the hope that a classroom could one day open up to create modular flexible, interactive spaces. After the competition was finished, I had dozens of intriguing sketches of these patterns and I thought why not turn these designs into something useful? Thus our jewelry line was born!
Take us through your design process.
Our process begins with architectural explorations that are rescaled into creative objects. The Prism Pendants are made by using a modern cutting machine called a laser cutter. Each is cut from a sheet of birch, a fast-growing renewable wood, sanded for perfection and hand-fitted onto a custom designed chain and fitting. They are simple, lightweight and easy to wear. As we are trained as environmental designers, our passion for preservation and environmental consciousness is a driving theme in our work. Every item is sustainable and packaged with 100% post consumed recycled materials.
Describe your personal style.
My personal style is a cross between my architectural self and that of my roots, an easy-going eclectic California native. I try to keep things simple. This may include wearing bold, retro patterns like those my mother wore in the 70′s with a hint of intriguing, well-designed accessories. I love to shop for things that are uniquely creative and that are a little odd. Architecture influences my style when it comes to patterns and especially accessories; this is where I make my mark. When I spot a well-designed piece, I have to have it! Maybe it’s because creativity is contagious!
Hunter is also very laid back about his style. He favors Volcom’s high end items because they are well-designed with more of a creative thought process than your typical “California surfer guy” t-shirt. The craftsmanship of the items inspires him with unique detailing and a juxtaposition of interesting, meaningful graphic prints often showcasing the environment.
We were absolutely blown away by Christophe Lemaire’s debut collection for Hermès fall line. It’s structural, functional, strong, and (our favorite) Earth toned. Plus, we’re currently reading George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones” (getting ready for the new HBO series premiere on April 17th), so we feel particularly inspired by this medieval interpretation. It even evokes the hunter/nomad trend we highlighted in our New York Fashion Week trends post.
Overall, it really highlights the impeccable craftsmanship Hermès is known for. In an interview with Christophe Lemaire, the previous Lacoste designer explains the Hermès brand well, and we think he’s captured this in his first collection for the luxury powerhouse:
“At Hermès, we don’t say we do luxury. We do useful objects of an extreme quality. You have to think about the comfort, the functionality, the pockets, the way the clothes will age. The inside is as important as the outside. The extreme quality that you feel, rather than show, is extremely important.”
Here are our favorite looks from the collection:
Images courtesy of NY Mag
Lauren Moffatt is a designer you should know about. Her vintage chic aesthetic has earned her accolades from various leaders in the fashion industry, included Women’s Wear Daily and Vogue. She started her own self-named collection with her partner, Rob Pepin, out of her sailboat while docked on the Hudson River outside of NYC in 2000. Now she runs a multi-million dollar company coveted by celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, Mandy Moore, Eva Mendes, Sophia Bush, and Ashley Olsen.
We first introduced you to Lauren Moffatt’s fall 2010 collection for one of our Covet Friday series back in September. We caught up with her a few weeks ago for an interview. Read below to hear about her start in the fashion world and advice she has for aspiring designers.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to get into fashion?
FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER I’VE BEEN A THRIFT SHOP JUNKIE. I’D ALWAYS HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF FINDING THINGS I LOVED THRIFTING THAN AT REGULAR STORES. I GUESS IT WAS THAT NOTION THAT MADE ME REALIZE THERE WAS A VOID IN THE MARKET.
2. Give us a time line of how you got to where you are today in your fashion career, highlighting any experiences or events that helped you get to where you are today as a designer.
SCHOOL FOR FINE ARTS HELPED ME DEVELOP A COLOR SENSE THAT I ATTRIBUTE TO MUCH OF OUR SUCCESS. WE’VE GOTTEN TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY BY WORKING CRAZY HARD.
3. What does fashion mean to you?
A PERSONALITY. ENHANCING WHO YOU ARE BY BEING INDIVIDUAL AND DRESSING TO SUIT YOURSELF. IT’S FAR MORE ABOUT STYLE THAN FASHION.
4. Who or what are some of your fashion inspirations? How have those inspirations changed through the years?
TOO MANY TO NAME. RATHER THAN DESIGNERS THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO CONSISTENTLY KNOW THE MOST PERFECT WAY TO STYLE THEMSELVES. LAUREN HUTTON’S ONE I ALWAYS COME BACK TO.
5. Describe your design aesthetic and how it has also changed throughout the years.
AGAIN, VERY CONSISTENT. I’M DRAWN TO INTERESTING COLOR COMBINATIONS DONE IN SIMPLE WAYS. NOTHING TOO OVERDONE, NOTHING TOO HARD ON THE EYE. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT A SORT OF IMPERFECT SIMPLICITY.
6. How would you describe your own style? Where are your favorite places to shop/favorite labels or designers to wear?
THE SALVATION ARMY WILL ALWAYS BE MY FAVE. I DON’T EVEN LIKE HIGHER END THRIFT SHOPS. I WANT THE TOTAL UNEDITED VERSION. MY OWN STYLE I WOULD CALL MESSED UP LADYLIKE. NOTHING CAN BE TOO PERFECT. IF I’M WEARING A DRESS, I MUST WEAR MY FAVORITE FALLING APART VINTAGE ANKLE BOOTS TO NOT FEEL TOO PRECIOUS. IF I’M NOT A LITTLE MESSED UP I DON’T FEEL LIKE MYSELF.
7. What trends/styles are you really feeling right now? Which ones do you dislike?
I LOVE THE ANTI SEXY VIBE. MIDI LENGTH, LAURA INGALLS ON CRACK LOOK.
8. What is the best fashion advice you’ve ever received? What advice would you give others?
PROBABLY THE BEST ADVISE I EVER RECEIVED WAS NOT TO OVER ACCESSORIZE. I’D PASS ON THE SAME. IT’S EASY TO LOOK LIKE A TOTAL FASHION VICTIM.
9. Where do you see fashion in 20 years?
PROBABLY EXACTLY WHERE IT IS NOW, IT’S JUST A REVOLVING CYCLE.
10. If you weren’t a fashion designer, what else would you want to be doing right now?
I’D BE A FURNITURE DESIGNER. IT’S IN MY BLOOD…
11. What advice would you give fashion designers looking to break into the industry. Any opportunities or experiences they should pursue?
GET INTERNSHIPS. IT’S A GREAT WAY TO GET YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR AND SEE IF YOUR REALLY CUT OUT FOR IT. IT’S TOTALLY CLICHÉ TO SAY, BUT TRULY IT’S NOT GLAMOROUS…
12. What was the first thing you ever designed?
A CREAM SHIFT DRESS WITH ONE PINK ZIPPER POCKET ON THE HIP. I’D STILL WEAR IT TODAY IF I HAD ONE.
13. What has been the most useful criticism someone has ever given you as a designer?
PEOPLE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT READS ON EVERYTHING. IT’S ALL ABOUT PICKING AND CHOOSING WHAT TO LISTEN TO THAT WAS THE MOST USEFUL.
14. Where do you see the Lauren Moffatt brand in 10 years?
WE ARE WORKING ON EVOLVING INTO A TOTAL LIFESTYLE BRAND WITH HOME, ETC…
15. What is the most difficult aspect of running your own label, rather than designing for another label?
PROBABLY THE WEIGHT ON YOUR SHOULDERS AND YOURS ALONE.
For more information on Lauren and her collections, visit http://www.laurenmoffatt.net. And don’t forget to check out her spring 2011 lookbook on her blog.