My favorite part about being involved in the eco-fashion world is watching new and truly beautiful labels committed to conscious consumption emerge. I had the pleasure of working with one such brand this past spring on a visit to New York. Averti is a women's loungewear line based in Los Angeles which carries a European influence (including the more openly sensual and body celebrating mentality). When creative director Domenica Peterson asked me to model their latest collection for their look book while in NYC, I was beyond excited! I had been watching Dom's line evolve from super sexy lingerie to this easy breezy wearable fashion line for a couple of years.
What I love most about Averti is the quality. Each piece is beautifully designed and made so that if falls just the right way or hits at just the right place. Perfection. For hot summer days, I can't think of a better line to lounge in while looking dead sexy.
I had the chance to ask Dominica some questions about Averti and share them, as well as some of the pics from our shoot and their look book, below. Enjoy!
1.) What does Averti stand for and what does the brand embody?
Averti, meaning “to have you” in Italian, is a sensual clothing line that combines timeless elegance and comfort. It really embodies the idea of slow fashion. Averti pieces are not mass manufactured. We source fabrics based on their quality and touch, not their price, and put time and care into sewing each individual piece here in LA. For us, the joy is in the making and the goal is to make beautiful, artfully crafted pieces that the wearer will love and keep for many years. Averti is designed for those who seek something special and rare, who recognize exquisite quality, and who are inspired by the story behind what they’re wearing. The Averti woman cares about people and the environment and has a confident, elegant sense of style.
2.) What has the process of starting a fashion label been like and what advice would you give to others who want to start their own line?
I've definitely taken an unconventional route. I grew up in a family of artists and made my own clothes starting at a young age, so creativity and craftsmanship have always been intrinsic to my life. After spending a year of high school abroad in Italy, I became interested in understanding complex differences in cultural perspectives and studied international development in college with a focus on social entrepreneurship. I knew I wanted to combine my studies with fashion and went on to work in fair trade and sustainable fashion doing PR and non-profit work before starting my own nonprofit (Global Action Through Fashion). When I finally settled in LA four years ago, I realized that I really missed working with my hands. I worked for a designer in Beverly Hills before heading out on my own making couture custom gowns. After spending hundreds of hours on each dress, I decided I wanted to make something less labor intensive and more accessible, thus Averti was born.
For those who want to start their own line, the biggest advice I can give is to just keep going! The process is slow and steady. Things I haven't done that would probably make it easier are getting solid startup capital and a good business partner. I started my company last year and until recently have sold exclusivvely through private trunk sales. I'm so grateful to have done things that way because I've been able to meet every customer and really understand who they are, what pieces they're drawn to, and why, which shapes my design sensibility moving forward.
3.) What influenced the current collection?
This current ready-to-wear collection draws inspiration from classical sensibilities and movement. I am exploring the way simple draping can accentuate the female figure or provide freedom for the female figure, exposing the back or hitting at just the right point on the natural waist. In motion, the pieces move beautifully. More than anything though, this collection is about touch and how it feels to wear the clothes. One woman told me "this shirt feels like water," which I loved. Feeling comfortable and beautiful in one's clothes, really, is the thing that inspires me most.
4.) Where do you see the label going next?
I've been playing with natural dyes lately and am very much looking forward to integrating that play into new designs (you can already see some hand draping in the current collection. I'm also excited to expand beyond just silk to use other beautiful and innovative sustainable fabrics that I've been sourcing!