Tara St James is the owner and head designer for the New York-based clothing label Study, a high-concept brand primarily produced in New York City. St James was born and raised in Montreal, Canada but has lived and worked in New York since 2004, she now calls Brooklyn home. Formerly the creative director of Covet, a mainstream eco-friendly sportswear collection for men and women, Tara left to start Study in September 2009. Spring 2011 will be Study’s third collection; it is inspired by restrictions, using hand-dyed ikat silks and examines no-waste patternmaking. Tara is hoping to add more accessories, expand fabric development and hopefully add a men’s line in the near future. She also works with local artisans in India to create very limited edition runs of hand-woven textiles. She is looking to expand this specialized production to other artisans around the world.
Believing that open source material plays a strong role in the development of the sustainable design community, St James started Study Hall in the summer of 2010. Under her guidance, Study interns developed, produced and sold their own sustainable mini collections. Study Hall can now be found at several retailers in New York City and abroad. She is very open about her production and design process and documents these regularly here on her blog.
A strong and driving presence among young sustainable designers, St James lends her talent and skills to various organizations. She is the fashion director for The Uniform Project, a fundraising platform using sustainable design to raise money for underprivileged children. As a mentor at the Awamaki Lab, a program that fosters cross-cultural partnerships between young designers and Peru’s Awamaki indigenous weaver collective, she facilitates discussions about the intersection of sustainability, ethical sourcing and product innovation.
She is also good at math and loves organizing socks.
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