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August 12, 2016

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Interview with Duo Behind New Brand Argent

An image from the Argent SS16 Campaign.
Events
Profiles

August 12, 2016

Argent launched in June '16 and believes a woman's work wardrobe should reflect the way she feels, and be appropriate for whatever she does. Co-founders Sali Christeson and Eleanor Turner are looking to make getting ready in the morning easier for all women with what they call "smarter work apparel"clothing that marries style and function.

"Since wearing the collection, I haven’t carried a handbag," Eleanor says.

Eleanor is the co-founder and designer behind this new brand. She's worked for other brands like Tory Burch, J.Crew and Tommy Hilfiger. Sali is the co-founder and CEO of Argent who brought Eleanor on to execute her vision for Argent.

Before Argent, Sali was in the Supply Chain and tech industry. She's a firm believer that women are judged based on what they wear and left her job at Cisco to pursue this passion of creating clothing for the new generation of working women.

Argent's line of blazers, tops, pants, dresses, and jumpsuits are primarily made in Manhattan. Blazers have pockets sized to hold things like phones, pens and lip balm. Key design elements include interior mesh pockets, so women can see their phone screens without having to actually pull the device. View the entire line, here

From now until September 6th, Argent is hosting a pop-up shop inside our San Francisco store to showcase their collection of functional work clothes. 

Read our interview with El and Sali below. 

From Left, At the Argent Launch Party with Prerna Gupta, Kaitlyn Krieger, Co-Founders Sali Christeson and Eleanor Turner, and Brynn Evans. All wearing SS16 Argent.

Why did you launch this brand?

Sali: My background is in business and for years my co-workers and I have been frustrated by the lack of options for workwear. To top it off, women are judged based on what they wear, and the fact that no one has defined what that means across different industries is a problem. I finally reached a point where I wanted to focus entirely on finding a solution, so I left Cisco early last year to do just that.

Eleanor: This was an incredible opportunity to reinvent the women’s work apparel category. I left my job at J.Crew to solve problems for women through clothes and build a brand that visually inspires our community to F the rules and take their seat at the table.

Argent's Coolmax Blazer.

What did you do before you launched Argent?

Sali: My most recent experience is in Supply Chain and tech, so people always laugh when I tell them that I chose my career path so that I could launch Argent. After getting an MBA, I participated in a leadership rotational program in Cisco’s Supply Chain because they are best in class and I felt the experience would allow me to apply a different perspective to the retail industry. From there, I joined the Cloud organization, which was a new initiative at Cisco. I had the opportunity to define, grow and manage our Customer Advocacy Team, which was great preparation for starting Argent. I finally got to a point, where it was now or never, so I put in my notice and Argent was born.

Eleanor: I knew I wanted to be in fashion since I was eight years old. After attending Savannah College of Art and Design for Fashion Design, I made the move to NYC and began working in Marketing, PR and Design for Tommy Hilfiger Collection. From there, I went to design women’s ready-to-wear at Tory Burch and J.Crew. After working and designing for such iconic American brands, it was time to take on an even bigger challenge and address the ever-apparent millennial-shaped hole in the women's work apparel market with Argent.

An image from the Argent SS16 Campaign.

What are some key pieces in your clothing brand? Can you describe them and why they are unique?

Eleanor: The design initiative behind Argent’s clothing is function without sacrificing style. I’ve introduced stealthy details like media pockets and ID loops, among other functional elements into the clothes. One of my personal favorites is the Crossover Blazer. Not only is it in a beautiful, structured, stretch fabric in a flattering cut, but this blazer features our well-known media pocket and stylus pocket for phone, pens, lip balm, and beyond. Since wearing the collection, I haven’t carried a handbag!

Discover the Argent pop-up shop in our San Francisco store.

You launched this year in May — what are you currently working on and who has gravitated to the brand so far?

Eleanor: We are getting ready to launch our Fall 2016 collection, and are wrapping up development on the Spring 2017 collection. We have some really exciting new pieces that I can’t wait to introduce. Through pop-ups, press, and word of mouth, we’ve met some amazing people. Everyone from young women getting their first promotion to senior execs wanting a wardrobe refresh have really responded to the clothes and the brand. We’ve even met men who want to spread the word and support us in various ways. Everyone we meet is really excited by what we are doing and why we are doing it. That’s great encouragement for us to keep going.

Sali: We are still very much a startup, so we are currently working on a long and competing list of priorities...it’s crazy...fun, but crazy. El definitely has some exciting things in the works. From a business perspective, we are also exploring new brand partnership opportunities. We are excited by the companies that we have partnered with to date and want to continue giving our audience the opportunity to experience the brand in unique ways. We also want to streamline our customers lives, so that is constantly top of mind for us. We have some very exciting partnerships lined up, which we look forward to announcing soon.

What is your ultimate goal for the company?

Sali: Our ultimate goal directly ties to our mission, to arm women with confidence so they can focus on their careers.

On August 18, we're hosting a shopping + speed negotiating event with Argent to help you land your dream career! Bay area executives Patricia Hatter and Sarah Mills-Krutilek, Eric Severson and more will lead expert speed negotiating.

Email: party@argentwork.com for more information on how to join.

Get directions to our San Francisco store, here

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