You can take the man out of Wall Street, but you can’t take Wall Street out of the man. In this case, that’s a good thing.
Venture capitalist Matt Scanlan headed east to the Bayangovi region of Mongolia in search of an adventure and came back with a business — and a mission. “While spending time with the herders there, I formed a relationship and I wanted to help,” he said.
Bayangovi produces some of the finest cashmere in the world, but the effects of climate change have been affecting the area’s pastures and decreasing the number of goats, causing herders to lose their livelihoods.
Scanlan decided to invest in them and, at the same time, fill a void in the ready-to-wear market. The result: a new, advanced contemporary knitwear line, Naadam, which is named after Mongolia’s annual Naadam festival, the most famous in the country.
“It is about creating a high-quality product for the men and women who travel, who are passionate, who are creative and can appreciate the value here,” Scanlan said as he showed the label’s first collection for fall.
Fashionwise, the lineup has a casual luxury aesthetic. For women, there were long. lean cashmere tunic dresses; a gray version featured side slits and a mock neck. Other top looks included a military-green jacket that appeared to be quilted worn over a lean sweater and skirt, and a long gray swing coat worn over the simplest ribbed sweater and cotton maxiskirt.
The men’s looks seemed a bit more developed in terms of colors and textures. A cashmere parka with navy piping was worn over a camouflage sweater and burgundy track pants with a gray cashmere overlay, while a charcoal-gray jacket with stitching detail and matching pants was worn under a red shawl and over a denim shirt to chic effect.
With this company, cofounded with partners Diederik Rijsemus and Hadas Saar, Scanlan said he hopes “to change the way people think about sustainability as a business practice.” The collection will retail between $395 to $1,500.