Erin Beatty, Formerly of Suno, Is Lending Her Feminine, Artful Vision to a Brand-New Label

Erin Beatty, Formerly of Suno, Is Lending Her Feminine, Artful Vision to a Brand-New Label

For those of us who’ve missed Erin Beatty’s arty, painterly dresses at Suno, the label she designed with Max Osterweis until 2016, there’s a new line to shop. Nina Sarin Arias launched Arias nearly a year ago with a small line of “highly detailed, yet approachable” separates—and as her line quietly grew, she brought Beatty on to lend her eye to the design process earlier this summer. You can feel Beatty’s presence here and there in the Resort 2019 collection, particularly in the styling and larger volumes, but Spring 2019 marks the duo’s first complete effort. “I think ‘essentials’ are very key to where we are [in fashion] right now, but making them exciting is critical,” Beatty told Vogue. “This struck me as an interesting challenge, especially after being in a place that was so print-heavy.”

She and Arias gave Vogue a first look at their Spring 2019 collection, above. A few Arias signatures are there—the raw-edge shirting, the two-tone suits, the pleated denim trousers—plus new, more romantic touches like puffed sleeves, draped necklines, and black grosgrain ribbons. “Erin has been injecting more fashion into the line,” Arias said, pointing out a dove gray blouse with a bow looped in the back. The mashed-up, hand-drawn florals feel more “fashion”—and very “Erin”—too. “We designed into the idea of mixing them all together,” Arias explained. Even the striped blue poplin tops and day dresses actually featured two different kinds of stripes, a detail that upgrades the pieces from “basics” to easy, nuanced wardrobe staples. “Right now, to create something new, it has to be something people want to wear and can easily incorporate into their lives, but it also has to stand out,” Beatty said. “We’re in this moment of extremes—there’s the super-maximalist brands, and then there’s the minimalists. There has to be [a way of] meeting in the middle, so you still feel [stylish], but you can also wear it anywhere.”

Flipping through the collection in Arias’s Tribeca apartment, the experience was quite different from Beatty’s days of producing two runway shows per year for Suno (and doing interviews in the backstage crush). For now, she and Arias are happily operating “off” the fashion calendar, and will instead host appointments with buyers and editors next week. Once the season wraps, Arias will be on the road for trunk shows, where she meets with clients all over the country to gather feedback. The brand has an e-commerce site, but Arias’s strategy is very much centered around those client interactions. It’s an intimate, vaguely old-school approach to running a fashion business, and reflects a bigger shift in the industry, as designers begin to rethink the wholesale model and traditional runway shows. “It’s so critical for a designer [or brand] to be a part of a person’s life these days,” Beatty said. “I think we’re sort of at a tipping point in the industry. There’s something really beautiful about being a bit more subtle, but that doesn’t mean fashion has to lose its special, artistic beauty.” source vogue

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