New York based womenswear line where Mountains Meet launched a fresh updated website, as well as their FW17 collection today. The Fall pieces are stunning, some of my favorites Renata, Mira and Kelby. The upgraded site now offers more transparency, giving consumers a wonderful insight into the brand, all presented on a beautiful new layout. I was introduced to the company through fellow Ethical Writers & Creatives member Kaméa Chayne and fell for their chic pieces immediately. The lines are crisp and clean, with a beautiful attention to detail. The construction was one of the first things I noticed about the pieces, delicate to the eye but so well made, not a stitch out of place. They utilize french seams which reinforce a garments strength, hide raw edges and help to create a beautiful drape (the item is stitched, then the fabric is folded over the raw edge and stitched again, this creates durability plus a clean finish). This beautiful construction all takes place in New York's historic garment district. The fabrics are a mix of sustainable (organic cotton) and artisan fabrics from their partners around the world. I love the blend of neutrals and bright vibrant colors in their collections, its a beautiful juxtaposition. Plus It means there is a little something for everyone.
I played dress up with a couple pieces from SS17 ( the Anita Dress and Issa Top) plus asked the designers Corissa Santos and Genevieve Saylak a few questions about wMM.
Would love to hear a little about your backgrounds and how you met.
We met in college, in our studio art program at Washington University in St. Louis, and have been friends ever since - almost 10 years! After graduating we both moved to NYC to pursue careers as designers. Neither of us ever wanted to run our own label, but after a few years of working in industry we started to casually discuss what our company would look like, if we started one. Those casual conversations turned into a business plan, and as they say, the rest is history! It's been two years as of Sept. 1st!
I have heard that finding manufacturers in New York City can be a little tough for smaller designers. What was your experience like looking for the perfect fit for your brand? Why was domestic production important to you?
We were actually very fortunate to find great manufacturing partners from the very beginning - which is not always the case! Both of us worked for various companies before launching wMM, so we had a great network of friends and ex-colleuges to draw from. Not to say we haven't had our hiccups, but we have been very fortunate for the most part.
When we launched wMM we established three pillars that we were committed to - one of those being stateside production. America, particularly NYC, has a long and rich tradition of garment manufacturing that we want to honor and support for three main reasons: we are supporting local trade, we are able to monitor the working conditions of our factories and we are able to lessen our environmental impact. By no means are we anti-overseas production (under the right conditions), but this is what we decided was important when creating wMM.
You utilize Eco friendly and artisan fabrics in your collections. Can you tell me a little about your sourcing?
Our sourcing practices directly relate to our second pillar, social and environmental responsibility. Meaning when sourcing our materials we are very conscious of how they are being made, where they are being made and what they are made out of. This can manifest itself in a variety of different ways! It could mean anything from creating handloomed textiles with one of our artisan partners in Guatamala or using natural dyes instead of chemical dyes with a partner in India. Not everything we do checks every box, but we are very conscious and intentional about how we source.
Thus far we haven't done a great job at communicating all of these practices, but with the launch of the new website our customer will have easy access to all this information!
Inspirations for your spring collection? For Fall Inspo click here.
The SS'17 collection was inspired by the color, texture and patterns of the Peruvian landscape. The largely neutral palette is accented by the 'pop' colors of the Salinas de Maras - a clay red, a dusty pink or a lavender-grey. Our prints and textiles derive inspiration from the local landscape and ancient architecture. Such as an aerial view of the salt flats or a window of ancient Incan ruins (see pictures). As is the wMM way, we resolved to champion classic, easy silhouettes, but reinterpreted them as the Quechua women might. With subtle twists while always thinking about wearability. What would we want to wear while exploring Cusco or walking around Salinas de Maras?
Look 1 Issa Top in Handloomed Tissue Ikat, Re/Done jeans + Creatures of comfort shoes, alternative here. Look 2 Anita Dress in Organic Cotton Micro Stripe, Catzorange bucket bag + Valia Gabriel sandals, USA made option here. Look 3 Anita Dress in Organic Cotton Micro Stripe, vintage Levis jacket, Doen Mary Jane Slipper + Everli Balance Necklace. Look 4 Issa Top in Handloomed Tissue Ikat, Lacausa Uniform Trouser in Maple, Moment Goods leather sandal, similar here. Look 5 Anita Dress in Organic Cotton Micro Stripe (waist tie comes with dress), would also look great with these shoes.