Fashion for ALL

As you all know, I am a MAJOR fan of rockstar women. I wanted to share what my good friend Alysia Reiner has been working on recently. Between being a mom and starring on Orange is the New Black, Alysia has been co-founding a fashion line called Livari. Check out the website here. Along with her partners, Claudine DeSola and Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs, Alysia debued Livari at New York Fashion Week last night! The line is an eco-friendly, ethical label. Each piece is unique to the person buying it– everything is customizable to each individuals shape and comfort. I was so excited to ask Alysia what made Livari different from other fashion on the market…

BIANCA: Alysia congrats on this new venture! LIVARI is all about being eco-friendly. I was really surprised by how much waste there is with clothing. What is the biggest difference in the way your clothes are produced compared to other brands?

Alysia: On average, 15% of the fabric used to make clothing is thrown out and ends up in landfills. We say no to landfills and yes to saving the environment! The Council for Textile Recycling estimates the average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and textiles annually, waste that also ends up clogging our landfills. We’re zero waste: we use excess fabric scraps that would have been thrown away and we weave them into new fabric! Our goal is to create clothing that people will want to live in for decades to come and that will actually last in their closets. Our designs are timeless, seasonless and, most importantly, comfortable.

B: Tell me about the way your customer can customize her pieces?

A: Our shopping experience will allow women to come in and order clothing made for their bodies. There will be no stock in the store. Women can come in, order pieces, pick from a menu of alterations and have it made in a few weeks exactly the way they want it. We’re making clothing for women, not for body types. We decided to do this based on focus groups we had with women who let us know that every woman has parts of her body that she loves and parts that she doesn’t. Our goal is to cater to those specific desires and make clothing that can live forever in a woman’s wardrobe, and we’re so excited about this! When you get fitted – old school bespoke style – you will have this incredible custom piece made just for YOU. And by the way another cool thing you’ll see on the runway are our pieces with adjustability – like you can make a jacket a vest, make it longer or shorter, and the same with one of our dresses.

B: You using fish skin leather on garments. Can you explain how you heard about that and the amazing benefits this offers and creates?

A: My partner Tabitha learned of it and it’s amaaaaaazing! The skin of the fish is a byproduct of course, usually thrown away, but a while back that skin was used to start a whole other industry for the villagers of Corumbá, Brazil. The dyes used were also low impact dyes. I love that we’re using something that would just be thrown away and contributing to a growing new industry for people who need it!!

B: As a mom myself I’m inspired by your energy and ability to wear so many hats. Acting and producing and supermom and now fashion. What are some words of advice to other female entrepreneurs?

A: Um….I don’t sleep much….? But seriously, I swear if you want something done…give it to someone busy! It’s a work ethic thing I think, and a woman thing. I so believe in being prepared – maybe over prepared  – all of the time, and the women I work with are all the same. They amaze and inspire me to be my best, be it my fashion partners in LIVARI (Claudine is a powerhouse – she amazes me, and Tabitha is such a YES person when we are designing – she is magic) or my producing partners on EGG or the cast and crews of OITNB and BETTER THINGS. Oh, and I’d also say: have passion – I loooove what I do!

B: You talk about wanting to slow things down with this clothing line. Can you share some practical advice on how you implement that great philosophy in your work and home life.

A: I think it’s about doing what you are doing when you are doing it. When you’re with your kids, give them all your focus, for whatever time you can during a day, just turn off the devices and focus on them. And when I’m working on the movie, that’s all I’m doing. When I’m on set at OITNB (I can’t believe we are in season 6!) or on BETTER THINGS I try to just be there. And when I’m working on fashion, the same thing applies. Also: keep breathing, cultivate gratitude, abandon FOMO.

B: Finally besides launching Livari and starring in Orange is the New Black and BETTER THINGS you have a new film. Can you share the story of EGG with us?
 
A: We just wrapped and it’s so exciting to be editing now!  It’s an unflinching comedy about why we choose motherhood, why we  fear it, revere it, or even delegate it, and why some women chose to forgo it. I had soooo much fun working with the BRILLIANT Christina Hendricks and Anna Camp – and my sweet husband too!
You can also read more about Livari and Alysia’s journey with the line in this LA Times article.

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 13: Designer Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs, actress Alysia Reiner and designer Claudine DeSolawalk the runway together at Kia STYLE360 Hosts Livari by Alysia Reiner, Claudine DeSola & Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs Presented by Ivy at Metropolitan West on September 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/Getty Images for Kia)

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 13: Actress Alysia Reiner walks the runway at Kia STYLE360 Hosts Livari by Alysia Reiner, Claudine DeSola & Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs Presented by Ivy at Metropolitan West on September 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/Getty Images for Kia)

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 13: Actress Alysia Reiner walks the runway at Kia STYLE360 Hosts Livari by Alysia Reiner, Claudine DeSola & Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs Presented by Ivy at Metropolitan West on September 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/Getty Images for Kia)