Allison Beal, the founder of StyleSaint, has created an online sanctuary for slow-fashion lovers and fashionistas alike. Through the StyleSaint marketplace women can inspire the StyleSaint team and the StyleSaint team can inspire their online followers. Allison’s passion for long-lasting luxury clothing and her goals of conscious commerce inspire the sustainable stylist in us all. Read on to hear her story and the vision behind her company.
Darling Magazine: What was your goal when you started StyleSaint?
Allison: My goal at StyleSaint, although lofty, is to revolutionize the fashion industry. I believe that by taking a “creator-to-closet” approach to fashion – prioritizing quality, sustainability and the humanity behind clothing – we can change the world for the better. If we do this while eliminating bloated retail costs for customers, we can create a win/win opportunity that will forever change the fashion industry.
Fashion is second only to oil as the most polluting industry in the world and the rise of fast-fashion has created a culture of disposability that’s depleting the earth’s resources at an unprecedented rate. This industry – built on constant consumption of disposable clothing – cannot sustain itself, yet, consumers don’t want to spend the high retail prices of good quality, ethically made clothing. That’s why we’re creating a new fashion movement. By leveraging technology to eliminate retail markups and middlemen, we’ve created a next generation designer label that delivers high quality, ethically produced, made-in-America apparel at a third of the cost of traditional brands. We’re creating luxury apparel that lasts at truly revolutionary prices, and we stand firm in our belief that fashion should be neither fast nor disposable.
DM: How are StyleSaint’s collections different than other fashion brands?
Allison: First and foremost, our collection is comprised of timeless and versatile silk and lace essentials that are meant to take you from day to night, season to season, and year to year. Our mantra is “do more with less,” and we work tirelessly to create products that matter and pieces that last.
Secondly, by selling to customers directly online, we’ve cut out retail middlemen and markups to deliver these collections to consumers at a third of the cost of traditional brands. Our pure silk camis, for example, are $42. They would cost at least three times that amount at retail, but because we’re doing things differently, consumers no longer have to choose between quality and price.
Finally, I founded StyleSaint on the principles of conscious commerce. By partnering with local factories, we are able to create domestic jobs, diminish overseas shipping and reduce the carbon footprint of our manufacturing process. We’re also committed to helping undo some of the environmental damage already done by the industry, and we’ll be launching a charity with the goal of doing just that in a few short weeks.
… we’ve created a next generation designer label that delivers high quality, ethically produced, made-in-America apparel at a third of the cost of traditional brands.
DM: Why did you develop the Saint Society and what is its purpose?
Allison: The Saint Society is our collaborative MoodBoard and global community, and it drives everything we do at StyleSaint. I truly believe all creation is co-creation, so it was always my intent to create a place where the fashion-obsessed could congregate and share style imagery and inspiration. I want to be able to build our apparel collaboratively, hand-in-hand with what inspires our customers, connecting directly with the real Saints on the street. This community of ambassadors and evangelists is the heartbeat of our revolution, growing our creator-to-closet movement one #StyleSaint at a time.
DM: How has the StyleSaint Magazine helped your brand and what kind of style musings are posted?
Allison: We wanted to open the line of communication between the brand and our community and keep them involved in what’s going on at StyleSaint HQ — from style advice and inspiration, “behind the seams” insight into our apparel design, DIYs (I’m a huge DIY fanatic!), and more. In essence, I created the Magazine as a way to communicate directly with our customers.
DM: Why should every woman have her own MoodBoards? What is the best way to go about creating one?
Allison: MoodBoards were created organically as the digital evolution of something I’ve been doing my whole life, which is using imagery to tell stories. This patent-pending, self-publishing tool allows likeminded girls to do in minutes, with just the click of a mouse, what it would otherwise take hours to do in Photoshop. They’re so easy to make! You can find a tutorial upon signup here, but they’re really just about personal expression – so anything goes.