Photography by Stefan Arni and his directing partner SIggi Kinski
This week we are lucky to have an exclusive interview with the founders of the fashion house SUST. With the seeds of their company planted in California, these two women, Marion McKee and Tristan Gribbin, have set out to make a mainstream fashion brand, with a green core. They are committed to designing desirable clothing, which looks and feels great, using only the finest 100% organicly grown cottons. They have even committed to having all their garments made in Northern California to ensure all workers are fairly treated, while receiving sustainable wages. Not your typical fashion company business model by a long shot. I guess they didn’t get the insiders handbook to creating a global brand on the cheap. You know the standard chemical / near slave labor production cycle. Isn’t that the right path to creating a main stream brand?
G Monkie: Tristan / Marion, your company is fairly new, only starting in 2008. When you jumped in to create this new fashion brand, what previous experience did you and how did you know what you wanted. to create?
Marion McKee, Co-Founder: I have fourteen years experience as an accessory designer with my own line Marion McKee Designs, which sells in specialty stores and boutiques across the nation. I also owned a skateboard/snowboard shop of street wear trends in the 1990’s in the heart of San Francisco’s Haight Street District. All my experience has stemmed from my love of fashion when I was in school and the merchandising and design classes I took in college.
Tristan Gribbin, Co-Founder: I have a background in theater and entertainment and have seen eye to eye with Marion on style since we’ve been friends in the seventh grade. When we were in junior high we were always sketching punk and new wave designs and passing them around in class! And then, when we were in high school we were Mods and that is still a heavy influence in our style and our designs for SUST today.