PARIS – When business school graduate and street-style darling Xenia Adonts decided to launch a transparent and sustainable brand, she thought it would be about finding the right production partners and the right materials. The first was quite easy. The latter turned out to be trickier. Certified sustainable fabrics were one thing, but the devil was, as always, in the details such as threads and trims.
Take the shoulder pad. Having decided to avoid all synthetics, Adonts reached out to suppliers for polyester-free options. “The problem with sustainability is that there is no definition, no official regulations. I was told that what I wanted was not yet available and that I had to be patient. But if I accepted that, I would be like all the other companies and there will never be a change,” she said. When the supplier’s composition proved unreliable, she and her team ended up testing the composition of the shoulder pads by setting fire to samples to determine what they were made of: natural fibers tend to burn to fine ashes, while synthetics give off a pungent chemical smell and melt. in hard pearls. Eventually, the Tencel and organic cotton version that is now used in the brand’s jackets and coats was found.
Launched last fall, Attire the Studio is self-funded and focuses on the kind of toothy apparel that can just as easily land you in They Are Wearing snaps as become personal staples. Leading the creative are Adonts and executive designer Carmela Osorio Lugo, a former SCAD who worked at Raf-era Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. The couple were featured on Instagram and connected on their desire to contribute to a more sustainable industry, without making their work unaffordable.
In terms of style, Attire the Studio offers clean shapes with eye-catching details. Its second season features 13 beautiful designs in Scandi-cool tones of browns, blues and odd pops of yellow. Knitwear falls between casual and elegant; tailored pieces are just oversized to give the silhouette a relaxed yet upscale vibe; a camisole shape has that cool Instagram-happy girl look. The large volumes of the coat bring out the discreet speckles created by the natural variations of the undyed wool.
Positioned as contemporary, the brand has chosen a direct sales model to remain competitive. An off-the-shoulder sweater costs 180 euros, trousers around 260 euros, while a jacket or a woolen coat with majestic shoulders would cost you 385 and 520 euros respectively. Costs are broken down and displayed on each item page – also accessible on garments via a QR code printed on the care label – to uphold the brand’s commitment to transparency.
Despite the challenges of the current global situation, Adonts remains confident in the slow and steady path. In the coming months, the brand is looking to get its GOTS certification and launch Iconic Attire, a selection of staple styles. For now, outside investors and the wholesale trade remain on the sidelines. Business is growing steadily, relying on the German entrepreneur’s community of 1.5 million people and word of mouth. The flagship models of the second drop, launched on the first day of Paris Fashion Week, are already sold out.
But this early success has already attracted unwanted attention. Over the summer, fast fashion copies of key styles have popped up. But the team is taking matters into their own hands. “If there’s anything anyone copies from us, it should be our sustainable approach,” Osorio Lugo said.