The fashion industry in Chicago, although smaller than its coastal counterparts, is a thriving and innovative scene. The rising maker-entrepreneur movement has provided a home for emerging designers and apparel creatives to work on their wares. We sat down with one of those designers, Austin, of Saint Studios. Here’s what he had to say.
What prompted you to create Saint Studios?
I needed a way to express my thoughts into tangible objects.
What does Saint Studios mean to you?
What is second chances? What is trying to get better everyday? What is effort? What is growth? Those are the points that drive home to me when I think of the meaning.
Where do you draw inspiration for your designs from?
Real life. I get inspired easily, luckily. Beautiful things, beautiful people. My childhood, the environment I grew up in. It all shapes my imagination and my desire to create.
What do you hope to accomplish with Saint Studios that you haven’t seen from other brands?
Connection with consumer. Meditation groups, workshops. Different ways to build and connect with my peers who find synergy in the brand.
What has been the most difficult part of creating your own label?
Bringing an idea to life without diminishing the actual idea before it comes to form. Nobody wants to create a amusement park and settle for slides and swings.
How do you overcome these challenges?
By making growth and prosperity one of the main targets during this process. Read and study more and more until it all clicks. Listen to interviews of anyone in the field you’re pursuing, or audio in general of stories of other successful people. Be addicted to gaining new knowledge so you don’t make the same mistakes twice.
If you could collaborate with any other designer/brand, who would it be and why?
It would be my own Jordan. That shoe meant way too much to me growing up as a kid in Chicago. Hopefully I can speak that into existence.
Any advice for other designers hoping to start their own business?
Start. Be organic as possible to the things you believe in, and with the people around you. It’ll all start unfolding. But first things first, you have to start.
What are three hidden clothing gems in Chicago?
Not to say that people don’t know them because they do, but who deserves more spotlight. I like Brwn by Nikko, I like UGLY by Ugly Brandon, and Sheila The Designer has some fire.
In an effort to boost the local Chicago fashion scene, The Underground is excited to host a Fashion Show with Saint Studios Thursday, October 10th as a part of our For The Culture nights. Party starts at 10pm!