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DALLAS — A vivacious spirit runs through Hi Expectation, a new junior line of active and casual sportswear enlivened by playful prints.
The colorful palette of Hi Expectation reflects the Buenos Aires roots of designer Sofi Sugasti. She relocated to Dallas 13 years ago with her husband, Martin, the U.S. distributor for fast-fashion labels Reverse and Washborn.
Sugasti has long worked as a nanny and personal shopper for a wealthy Dallas family, but she felt it was time to explore her creativity and lifelong interest in fashion. Her choice in fashion became a junior label because the vivid colors, quirky custom prints and comfortable silhouettes mesh with her personal style.
“I’m 35, but in some ways I’m 15,” Sugasti admitted, gesturing toward Hello Kitty dolls and the many cartoonish stuffed dolls populating her workspace. “I still read Seventeen, Teen Vogue and Nylon, and I pay attention to the music that’s out there.”
Her fall collection features eye-catching prints, all of which she designed.
Some are recolored scenic photos, like the purple, coral and green Rocky Mountain image on velvet, and the acid green Empire State Building slashed with fuchsia and periwinkle against a black and gray cityscape printed on jersey. Another bold motif is a black-and-white plaid sateen dotted with multicolored daisies.
The fabrics, which also include fleece and sheers, are primarily made of polyester.
Sugasti cuts the materials into simple chemises, tunics, crop tops, athletic-style zip jackets with banded knit trim, short skorts, slim pants, button-down shirts, long knit cardigans and sports jerseys. The line is produced in Los Angeles, and wholesales for between $25 and $50.
When the label was first launched this fall, Hi Expectation was picked up by urbanoutfitters.com and NastyGal.com as well as specialty stores including Dallas designer boutique V.O.D.
“Hi Expectation isn’t a typical V.O.D. collection, but we love that it’s locally designed and love its South American sense of whimsy,” said V.O.D. co-owner Jackie Bolen. “It’s been fun to stock something at such an easy price point, and our customers have really gotten a kick out of some of the prints, especially the Texas State Fair references.”