What’s your story?
I grew up in France, a country where having the right outfit for the right occasion is almost as important as pairing the proper wine with the proper cheese. There are rules, and you learn them from a very young age! And if you make a mistake, you can be sure that French people will notice and tell you about it!
With this French “requirement” in mind, I started looking for the perfect work-from-home outfit during the lockdowns of 2020. I still wanted to have an elegant look, some free time on my hands, I started wondering where my clothes were made and what went into making them. I was shocked to realize that most of my loungewear was made overseas with synthetic and plastic-based fabrics.
It was time to act and be part of the new world that was in the air during that period. The concept of ANTIGONE was born. Our pieces blend comfort and elegance while centering sustainability and local craftsmanship.
What is your “why”?
For many years, I have been thinking of creating my own concept/project fully aligned with my values of sustainability, local craftsmanship and social responsibility, within an industry of personal interest such as fashion, food, or furniture.The goal was not about making money, more about walking towards the change I wanted to see in the world and contribute to it at my own level. I strongly believe that there is a different way of doing business, which respects our planet and cares for our environment, while involving and properly compensating all teams associated with the company. We often forget that people are always the first assets and contributors to a brand’s success.
One day, right after I listened to a podcast about the impact of the fashion industry on our environment, I checked all the labels in my wardrobe and was shocked to see that almost all of them were made overseas with synthetic material, too often mixed with “poly” plastic-based fabrics, even if the associated brand was supposedly high-end and renowned. How could I say that I loved my favorite jogger when underpaid or exploited people were making it on the other side of the world with fabrics harming our environment? It is when I realized that I should be part of the change that needed to occur in the fashion industry and use my competence to start the fashion brand that I would be proud to wear and support.
After a few months of prospecting, contacting fabric vendors and local workshops in the New York City area, I realized that it was possible to match luxury with sustainability and local craftsmanship, while respecting the highest standards of quality. ANTIGONE was about to become a reality.
Who’s your ideal customer?
Our ideal client is someone who cares for the planet, cares about the makers of their clothes, as artisans and human beings, and wants to promote a world in which luxury is associated with sustainability and local craftsmanship. Our ideal client prioritizes both elegance and comfort in their loungewear, inside and outside the home, and is proud to align what they wear with their personal values.
Why does sustainability matter?
I believe that sustainability and ethical practices should be standard in all of our actions if we want to live in a happy and equal society. True happiness comes from caring for others and expressing empathy and respect for the people and environment around us. This is our nature as human beings, and it is time we center our nature in how we build, how we connect, and how we create what we need to live our lives. Respecting our planet and truly caring for the people who contribute to the success of an organization are the necessary and symbiotic conditions for sustainable development of our brand, permitting everyone who contributes their energy to our creations to thrive and grow.
Do you contribute to your local community?
As a proud member of the “1% for the planet” community, Antigone contributes 1% of its sales revenue to environmental nonprofits working to defend our air, land and water around the globe.
Advice to other entrepreneurs starting out?
As written on the parachute of the Mars Perseverance Rover, “dare mighty things” would be my main advice, believing in your values and vision and seeing challenges along the way as new opportunities to learn and grow.