Reinventing American Fashion

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On a quest for American made fashion, Partisan seeks to revive American luxury and economy

By Chloe Karaskiewicz

Fashion has often been described as frivolous, a luxury in itself. But how often do you hear that fashion can revive the economy? Partisan, a new online store based here in Madison, believes that shipping production overseas compromises the quality of the clothes and of the economy of the country.

In pursuit of profit, many large companies outsource clothing production overseas, resulting in exploitative conditions for workers and compromised quality for consumers. But while these clothes may be cheaper in price, they are also cheaper in quality with their synthetic fabrics and poor craftsmanship.

Partisan seeks to remedy these problems by carrying brands exclusively made in the United States while re-defining luxury within socially and economically responsible parameters.

“We believe that ‘American made’ is the new name for luxury,” Partisan’s president, Tristan Gallagher, said. “And wearing it is the right thing to do.”

I recently sat down with Rachel Rand, a Marketing Associate for the company, to talk about Partisan’s past, present, and future.

Partisan, which made its debut in November 2011, is an online-only store that carries exclusively American made brands that may be otherwise difficult to track down. Some are too new to require the large overseas orders while others, like Schott NYC, are established brands with a longstanding commitment to American production.

While American made lines do exist, they have never before been gathered in one place. Now, through Partisan, consumers looking for American made clothes can find and purchase them more easily.

Partisan also works to ensure that its clothing doesn’t lose a stylish element. This is often a problem, Rand says, as many other stores carrying American made clothes tend to have an “America in your face” attitude, full of stars, stripes and tackiness. Partisan carries the latest trends for work and weekend, and even if the price is a bit steeper, the quality is such that pieces last forever.

Though they are not, as of yet, committed to carrying environmentally friendly brands, Rand says American made and eco-friendly often go hand in hand. Carrie Parry, whose collections are carried by Partisan, recently won an environmentally friendly award for her commitment to sustainable fashion.

The company is looking forward to sharing its spring look book and merchandise with customers, and is hoping to add accessories to its repertoire over time. With a target consumer group of post-graduate, well-educated and conscientious style-seekers, Partisan has picked the perfect city to digitally set up shop.

Find Partisan online at partisanstyle.com

Designers: Schott NYC, Taylor Stitch, Habitual, James Jeans, Carrie Parry, Three Dots, Rising Sun, Rich & Skinny, THVM, Tees by Tina, Madison Park Collective, Blue Claw Co., Monrow, Bailey 44, Michael Stars, American Optical, LNA, Sol Angels.

2 Replies to “Reinventing American Fashion”

  1. I feel the same way as you do. I found a site that have a similar vision like your and I just recently bought some high quality made in the usa clothing from American Love Affair Online.  I’m very surprise to find all their products is made in the USA on their online store.  They did a good jobs on finding many styles of women’s Top & dresses, designer handbags & body jewelry, and men’s tops and bottoms that are American made clothing.

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