STATE’s Secret Summer Catalog Goes Old School Retail

STATE’s Secret Summer Catalog is a tactile foray into what we want fashion to be: curated, handmade and so special we can’t help but want to buy and support. Goodlifer caught up with Adrienne Antonson, designer and founder of sustainable fashion label STATE to learn more about why an eclectic group of New York City designers would opt for a printed catalog to showcase their wares and why we should even be paying attention.

STATE’s Secret Summer Catalog Goes Old School Retail

Goodlifer: Why did you and all the other 12 designers want to put out a print catalog?
Adrienne Antonson: I had a tiny seed of the idea at the beginning of the year, and it slowly grew as I met more and more wonderful designers/photographers here in New York. Also, I have a hugely loyal and sweet following with STATE, and since I have an online store, I mail them packages a lot. In my youth, I had a lot of pen pals, and love the art of mail. So, I kept thinking of things that I could mail shoppers that would make them really happy. The catalog project seemed to be the perfect solution and also a great way to hang out and make great work with creative people I really admire. It was the perfect summer project.

STATE’s Secret Summer Catalog Goes Old School Retail

GL: Was it fun to collaborate with everyone and to cast your creative nets out further?
AA: We had an absolute blast putting this together. May was an insane month full of photo shoots, videos, web site building, and catalog layout. I was very lucky to have a ton of great people involved: assistants, designers, photographers, videographers. It brought so many people together. I find that there’s a level of bonding that happens when you collaborate that is hard to find in a lot of adult relationships. I love it, and have met my best friends through working together. There’s just nothing like making great work as a team. And of course the Mexican food and beers that follow.

I find that there’s a level of bonding that happens when you collaborate that is hard to find in a lot of adult relationships. I love it, and have met my best friends through working together. There’s just nothing like making great work as a team.

GL: What has the response been like? People are paying $10 a catalog!
AA: The response is beyond wonderful! Everyone loves the idea. People all over the world are posting photos of the catalogs on Instagram, and that’s been so fun to see. We love that everyone is as excited as we are and clearly loved checking their mailboxes! That was the point all along — to make something really awesome to mail. We have already sold out of the catalogs and plan on releasing the password to a wider audience soon. Pieces are selling so quickly!

GL: Will we be seeing more seasonal catalogs from the group and will you maybe branch out to the West Coast designers?
AA: I was on a recent trip to LA and met a handful of incredible designers out there who I were mentally noting. I have a running list of the next potential line-up in my notebook that’s filling up quickly. It’ll be a great opportunity to meet and work with new labels. For now we’re going to keep it a summer treat, which gives me lots of plotting time for next year.

STATE’s Secret Summer Catalog Goes Old School Retail

GL: Is it time for indie designers to think off of the fashion calendar and recreate new models like this that might work better?
AA: Absolutely! For me this project was a celebration of having the freedom to think outside of the box.  As a brand I want to constantly surprise our followers and make them happy. This year it’s a catalog, next year, who knows? But the fun of building your own company is that you can make it a place where you like to go to work. And I want to work somewhere where we take risks and have fun. And a secret print catalog was definitely both.

GL: One sentence on what collaboration means to you.
AA: Collaboration is how busy artists socialize.

About author
Amy DuFault is a sustainable fashion writer and editor whose work has been published in EcoSalon, Ecouterre, Huffington Post, Organic Spa, Coastal Living, Yahoo News, The Frisky and other online and print publications. In addition to being a former co-owner of an eco-boutique and repping for many designers, she also coaches and connects the sustainable fashion community.
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