First Pick profiles Street and Saddle

 

We’re talking with statement making designers this week, and I think part of what makes a statement is how a person carries them self, and an air of  graceful, beautiful strength when you walk into a room never fails to  command attention. We all need to channel our inner power animal from time to time, especially women in the career world, and what animal says “conquer” more than the noble horse? Granted, it’s not easy to incorporate the horse into your boardroom attire, but this is where Vancouver based, slow fashion label Street and Saddle Clothing comes in: equestrian styling, translated with a fashion edge. We chatted with Katelyn Woodburn of Street and Saddle to find out more about her line, and can’t wait to see what she brings to First Pick this Spring. Check it out!

Tell us about your brand….

Street & Saddle is a Vancouver based equestrian crossover brand. Our styles, which could be categorized as tailored athleisure, feature designs that transfer from street to saddle flawlessly. It’s classic clothing with modern ideals of comfort and performance – a new traditional. We manufacture everything out of our studio, making most pieces to order, using wools, linens, and silks mixed with high-tech athletic fabrics. 

Every single piece is made locally by fairly compensated craftspeople. Because we operate in our own “mini-factory,” we make-to-order most of our pieces, which in turn reduces waste. We also source deadstock fabric from other designers, mostly biodegradable fibers, and some certified organic and Blue Sign certified. 

What is your design point of view? Who is your customer? 

Equestrian design presents a really interesting point of view: Clothing that is structured and fitted but must move, breathe perform as athletic apparel – “tailored athleisure,” if you will. Our styles flow easily from the saddle, to work, to everyday life, taking inspiration from the influence of horses and riding on society. Our customers are an amazing variety of career women – lawyers and public speakers, scientists, and well as riders. 

What’s your favourite part about Spring fashion? What’s new for Spring 2018 for your line?

Equestrian style is all about the tailoring, which we have interpreted with modern ideas of comfort and performance in mind. This spring, we’re relaxing a bit and launching some airy, flowy styles with the same attention to detail and luxury fabrics from past collections. 

What is your “must have” item for Spring?

Our overalls, made from wools, cottons, velvets and linens, are perfect for our unpredictable spring weather – wear them with a sweater, button up shirt, tee, or {nothing}. 

How has business changed or evolved for you over time as a result of working in Vancouver? 

Since we do almost all of our own manufacturing, we essentially have a miniature factory in the corner of a shared studio in Strathcona. The dream is to have an open-concept factory and retail store combo, but for now we enjoy our studio-mates, and keep finding new corners to store things in. 

What challenges do you face manufacturing in Vancouver? 

Cost, cost, and cost. Sewers are highly skilled tradespeople and deserve to be paid as such. And when you make tailored clothing, which can take as much as ten times longer to sew than simpler styles, this is even more relevant. All I can say is that we are a very efficient and imaginative team! Street & Saddle relies heavily on the skill of our pattern drafters and sewers, and we are super grateful for them. 

Anything you would like to say about the current state of fashion?

I’m still waiting for the fashion industry to receive the same concern among consumers as they have for food and transport. The textile industry accounts for a huge percentage of the world’s pollution – second only to oil. Buy less, buy thoughtfully, and buy well-made items from companies who care. 

Why are you excited about the First Pick Handmade Spring 2018 show? 

Vancouver is full of really amazing brands who are caught in the awkward space of not fitting in at craft markets, not being able to afford retail space, and not being “big enough” to sell through stores. This seems like the perfect solution!

Thanks Katelyn! We can’t wait to see you there!

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