In the Spotlight
Designer: Travis Oestreich
Backstory: Although still young, the Minnesota native has compiled an impressive résumé that includes a number of high-profile brands. After graduating from the Art Institute of New York City, he joined John Varvatos, a personal favorite of his growing up, and stayed there for five years before leaving to work on Marc Jacobs’ men’s line. Once that was shuttered, he designed men’s and women’s knitwear for Alexander Wang and then got an offer he couldn’t refuse from Banana Republic. But when the company revealed that it was moving its design office to San Francisco, Oestreich had a decision to make: relocate or find a Plan B. “San Francisco wasn’t the place for me,” he said. Instead, he took his nest egg and decided to branch out on his own.
Aesthetic: Oestreich has chosen an unconventional product for his introductory collection: caftans and jumpsuits. “They’re colorful and playful and no one actually needs one, but if you get one, you’re excited to wear it,” he said. “These clothes are a luxury you never knew you needed. Whether you are male, female or any fabulous being in between, these garments were made for each person to feel beautiful, proud and fierce.” He envisions people wearing them at the beach and on vacation and the initial collection will feature six gender-neutral styles in a variety of patterns and materials including solid black and purple silk, white linen and a colorful lipstick print.
Distribution: The Travis Oestreich collection will be sold exclusively on the company’s new e-commerce site at its launch, which is scheduled for May 11. “There are a lot of online companies now and the risk level is lower,” he said. “And we’re starting small.”
Prices: The caftans will retail for $150 and the jumpsuits for $250.