Style412 and Adda Coffee and Tea share a passion for conversation, in fact, Style412 found it's beginnings with a year-long conversation held at Adda Coffee. In 2017, Style412 hosted a monthly discussion series, inviting a range of voices from the fashion community to connect and share ideas over coffee on the perceived challenges and future desires of industry. The takeaways from these meetings were pivotal in Style412's growth and an annual report was created to provide further insight to the inaugural counsel, formed upon the conclusion of the series.
As Pittsburgh's first and only non-profit dedicated to fashion, Style412's mission is "to inspire a conscious and inclusive industry, through the connection and education of fashion industry professionals throughout the region."
It serves as a resource for existing and emerging fashion professionals, providing mentorship to youth, offering technical skill workshops, and featuring ongoing highlights of local designers and makers, particularly those who integrate sustainability into their practices.
If you are interested in learning more about sustainable fashion, tune in to Style412 Lab, a new podcast series about ethical and sustainable fashion within the Pittsburgh community and beyond.
Here’s a short interview with the founder and executive director of Style412, Elysia Newman.
Why did you start Style412?
EN: As I looked around the city, I saw a great deal of talent, enthusiasm and independent initiatives for fashion, yet no outstanding resource or solidified community for professionals within the industry. We were working in silos - and everyone seemed to share the same challenges, needs and desires. As a self-described fashionpreneur, I yearned for connection and unity with others. I was interested in cultivating a community that would evolve the conversation around fashion within the city and beyond.
How would you describe your personal style?
EN: Right now, what inspires me most are small brands with a commitment to sustainability. This means craftsmanship and quality - creating pieces that withstand the test of time. This means sourcing responsibly, paying your workers fair wages, manufacturing in safe conditions and looking for ways to avoid waste in your packaging and leftover materials. We’re at a critical point in time where our choices and buying decisions actually matter. As consumers, we are shaping the larger conversation around industry and I’m all about that. Fashion and style are my world, but it’s not justified if we continue to have such a negative impact on our surroundings. Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast or not, I encourage all to learn more about the Fashion Revolution.
What trends in self care/wellness excite you most right now?
EN: I’m excited that wellness overall seems to be a trend! More people are conscious of self-care and how to take better care of themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Although like most trends, there’s a capitalist spirit around it, I think it’s a beautiful thing to have a growing selection of wellness products and for brands to feel the demand for cleaner and safer solutions. I want to know what ingredients are being used, especially for products that I put on my face and body and absorb through my skin. I want more holistic treatments, which seem to be popping up more and more.
Photography by Rose Colored Creative.