Growing up on the Philadelphia Main Line, Samantha Leibowitz was surrounded by architecture, museums, and gardens. The arts continue to influence her today, particularly when she’s creating her eponymous apparel line, which she launched a year ago in New York City. This September, Leibowitz made her New York Fashion Week debut as part of the Nolcha Shows Fashion Media Lounge at Bryant Park. We caught up with the designer to learn about her “dusk to dawn” philosophy to dressing, the benefits of producing her garments in New York City, and the challenges she faces as a sustainable brand.
Tell us more about your brand and what inspired you to start it?
This brand has been a long time in the making, starting from around the age of 14. At a young age, I developed a strong passion for art and design, especially in the form of fashion.
I am inspired by art and architecture that surrounds me in my daily life. Our brand is for the bold, adventurous and fashion innovators of the world.
What makes you a sustainable brand?
Samantha Leibowitz New York is proudly made in New York City. By basing both operations and production out of New York City, in addition to incorporating fabrications made in America, we are able to significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
“By basing both operations and production out of New York City, we are able to significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
Was sustainability always a factor from the start or something that you have veered toward?
Sustainability was not something I thought about when I was 14, but when the company launched, we launched immediately with sustainability because that was a huge factor in where we were being manufactured and where our fabrics and other resources are coming from.
What challenges have you encountered with your brand, in terms of keeping it green or otherwise?
The biggest challenge is always finding the exact fabrication you want. There are so many different options that you have to just do trial and error on prototypes to find the closest match to what we want.
I have had to switch where we get our fabrics and work with new people in order to find the exact product that we want especially if it is a manner of going green.
What inspired your latest collection in terms of cuts, fabrics, and colors?
Architecture and clean, geometric shapes and patterns played a major role in the inspiration for our latest collection. Our “Dawn” and “Dusk” prints, in their respective designs, actively reflect and support our Samantha girl who is keen on always being dressed for the occasion.
Describe the person you envision wearing—and embodying—your brand.
Samantha Leibowitz? is for the bold, the independent, the adventurous, and the fashion innovators. We design versatile apparel that is everlasting from dawn till dusk each day.
Ever since the company was established, the brand has appreciated our fashionable customers. Each and everyday we create pieces for our stylish customer who has an inspiring appreciation of beauty.
“Being able to walk into your factory everyday and watch your product from start to finish at any time is thrilling.”
The Samantha girl is known for her generous charm. She has a very eventful and exciting life. One adventure leads to yet another. She is highly generous and down to earth.
Where do you see your brand in five years?
We would like to be selling to large retailers and have more pieces in our men’s line.
What advice do you have for aspiring designers, particularly those who want to keep sustainability at the core of their business?
Being made in America is an amazing feeling. Being able to walk into your factory everyday and watch your product from start to finish at any time is thrilling. Work hard, stay bold and you will get to be the designer you always believed you could be.