Be Conscious: Collina Strada
In the second episode of our “Be Conscious” documentary series, we meet Hillary Taymour, founder of one of New York’s most exciting young labels, Collina Strada. Taking us behind the scenes at the brand’s SS20 show, we get to know the designer defining a new era of conscious cool...
“I’ve always considered myself a troublemaker,” says Hillary Taymour, the Los Angeles-born, New York-based founder of the label Collina Strada. If the definition of a troublemaker is someone subverting traditional norms and making their own rules, then Taymour fits the bill. Her clothes are reflective of this rebellious edge, mixing the codes of luxury fashion with the designer’s signature irreverence. What’s more, her conscious business practices are fast revolutionizing the way that sustainability and luxury fashion coexist.
Growing up on the East Coast, Hillary came to New York a decade ago to start her label. A fusion of Downtown cool and the laid back, environmentally-friendly California mindset, it’s this unique synergy that’s turned Collina Strada into a household name. With a growing demand amongst consumers for sustainable practices within the industry, Taymour’s label is rewriting the rulebook on the way we approach our clothes.
“Sustainability isn’t always considered luxury whereas Collina Strada really tries to elevate it,” she explains. “It doesn’t feel like granola conscious, like beige hemp dresses.” Herein lies the key to Collina Strada’s success - not only is the designer employing sustainable practices in her work, but she’s also making it desirable. What’s more, she knows how to have fun.
Staying true to her mischievous ways, Strada avoids the earnestness often associated with do-goodery. “I like the idea of using upcycled fabrics and making it really fun; having a whole runway show that’s very fashion progressive. Really creating a world to make it wearable and easy to take in, but also cool.” Her runway shows are a case in point, mixing a cast of all ages and genders in a who’s who of Downtown NYC creatives, and often implicating her audience in proceedings. True to form, her SS20 show took place outside in lower Manhattan, at a Collina Strada farmer's market no less.
“For the production we rented all the chairs, the tables, the linens, the umbrellas, everything. Some of the fruit was leftovers from other shows that they were going to throw away.” Providing each attendee with their own bag meant that guests were invited to take the produce home with them - “we had a tonne of people instagramming all the dinners they made with the produce after the show!” Taymour recalls.
Watch the documentary and shop the Collina Strada collection to learn more, and visit the Browns Conscious edit to discover more labels driving positive change.