New York City. It’s the city of bright lights, the city that never sleeps and the city never disappoints. It is no surprise, then, that the talented designing duo behind the sleek and sophisticated line where Mountains Meet hail from NYC.
The minimalist silhouettes and handmade fabrics create classic wardrobe staples that can be worn for any occasion. Darling’s Fashion Editor, Natalie Hemmati, sat down with label Founder and Creative Director Genevieve Saylak and Co-Founder and Creative Director Corissa Santos to learn more about this eco-conscious line, minimal living and how their inspiration meets reality.
Darling Magazine: You both have such extensive backgrounds in fashion design. At what point and why did you decide to launch where Mountains Meet?
Genevieve & Corissa: It’s trite to say the stars aligned, but in a way that’s what happened. Neither of us grew up with visions of running our own company or having our own collection. Our respective experiences at different houses, while instrumental in shaping the designers we are today, made us aware of aspects of the industry we’re committed to reforming.
Those realizations led to conversations about how, if given the agency, we might do things differently. What would a brand simultaneously committed to great design and fashion’s best practices look like, and could we build it? Answering that question became our business plan and then, in September of 2015, our mission.
DM: Environmental consciousness is important to your brand. How does this play a part when designing?
G&C: It’s all about materials for us, the building blocks. We work with natural fiber and organic textiles whenever possible. We love eco-friendly yarns, like alpaca, and choose non-toxic, plant-based dyes for solid colors each season.
Environmental consciousness also comes into play in our development and production processes — the vast majority of our collection is produced in New York City. The balance is knitwear handmade by our artisan partners in South America. This allows us to lessen our environmental impact by eliminating an entire leg of shipping from our production cycle.
DM: When designing a collection, what are two things you always keep in mind?
G&C: Less is more and the question: “Is it a pant or does it go with pants?” We’re huge believers in bare-bones living and subtle but impactful design. Clothes don’t have to scream “fashion” at you to be eye-catching or emotionally compelling.
We also just love a good pant. [We] design a lot of them and want them worn with everything — under a top, tunic, dress, sweater, you name it. Our woman is going places and wears the literal, and metaphorical, pants in every situation.
Clothes don’t have to scream ‘fashion’ at you to be eye-catching or emotionally compelling.
DM: What elements inspired your Summer Collection? (IE: Architecture, Color, Nature etc…)
G&C: SS17 drew inspiration from the Peruvian highlands for both palette and silhouette. The tonalities of the Andean salt flats inspired our neutrals-focused color palette with accents of Chili red and Thistle, a dusty lavender.
We designed our best-selling Salina print from a fusion of aerial views of the salt flats and the work of American textile artist, Debra Smith. The traditional attire of Quechua women inspired silhouettes and details for the season, coming to life in a semi-full circle skirt, a wide-leg trouser, waist ties and wrapping elements.
DM: Besides online, where else might we check out your collection to purchase?
G&C: For FW17 the collection will be sold at specialty retailers in the US such as French + Italian, Vert & Vogue and Saint Cloud. We’re also excited to announce the launch of wMM’s new digital space and E-Commerce site in early September!
Shop where Mountains Meet at www.wheremountainsmeet.com and follow along on Instagram @wheremountainsmeet.
Images via where Mountains Meet