Creative Louisville: Annie St. Clair – Designer

Meet Annie.

Annie St. Clair - Louisville Designer

Annie and I met a while back when we were mostly just bumping into each other at parties, football games and other shenanigans (though not actually at the bar Shenanigans). We reconnected recently through a friend who told me about the the new line of t-shirts she is launching this fall. A Louisville-based line of t-shirts? Yes please.

As someone who considers themselves somewhat of a t-shirt connoisseur, I was pumped to try out her knitwear line, A. St. Clair, and after one look (okay, more like wear) I was sold. Not only are they the softest tees ever, but each tee is totally customizable. You read that right ,you can customize your tee to fit exactly your style and wants. So if you’re on the hunt for a crew neck, white t-shirt that is extra long, you can go to the site and boom – it’s yours. I’ve already got three of her tees – all different combos – and I am obsessed.

So get to know Annie, the gal behind the brand A. St. Clair and then stay tuned here on Facebook for more details on her launch.

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GENERAL 

* Name: Annie St. Clair

* Company: A. St. Clair

* Title: Founder/Designer

* How did you get started in your field? When I was little, I would sit in my room and sketch clothes. I found some of those sketches the other day. Then my company was called ASI (Annie St. Clair International). So funny. As time went on, I thought I needed to be more realistic about life choices, and went to school for PR and marketing. After school ended, I realized I had no clue what to do in the “real world”. I started a sales job that wasn’t for me, so I quit and started teaching swimming, but I still itched to live out this dream.

Last summer, during a major life rut, I decided I was going for it and starting a knitwear line. I didn’t tell anyone. I RESEARCHED. All night, for weeks. Midnight research on how to start a business, clothing line, get in touch with factories. Super glamorous stuff. Then I went to my family and said, “This is what I’m doing. Want to be a part of it?” We met with factories in New York last fall. I even wrote a business plan, which no one has read except me, but it helped me streamline what I wanted to do.

* What inspires you? Movies, music, books, being alone with my thoughts. But the line is mainly inspired by two ideas…The modern woman who does it all, who needs a shirt dressy enough for a suit, but perfect over leggings at the gym. The other idea is the art of travel. So many times I have packed a suitcase and wondered why the same tank I like to layer under my sweater isn’t the same one I could wear with just heels and jeans at night. Packing would be a breeze. And I like the idea of not knowing exactly what you’re doing when you travel. Options are necessary.

* Describe your brand in three words: Custom. Luxe. Essential.

* Describe yourself in three words: Optimistic. Kind. Driven.

* One thing about you that might surprise people: Growing up, I was a competitive swimmer with a few state titles/records. I still teach swimming at Blairwood.

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LOUISVILLE 

* Why Louisville? So many people end up leaving Louisville, what helped keep you in the 502? Mainly my family and friends. This is home and always will be. Southern, but edgy. I love that.

* Favorite Louisville Neighborhood: Probably St. Matthews, but I did grow up in Prospect, so it has a spot in my heart. I loved driving down 42 when it just snowed and the trees were super icy (I would call it Narnia), or walking to DQ to get a blizzard in the summer with friends when that was the only place out there.

* Favorite Spot for a Drink: The Silver Dollar, Proof, Mojito

* Favorite Lunch Spot: Ghyslain. I live by it and go there way too much.The best coffee and crepes.

* Favorite Dinner Spot: Volare. Italian is my favorite.

* You’ve got to try (or go to): Try Comfy Cow’s Bourbon Ball Ice Cream. Go to the Anchorage trail to run/walk. It’s shaded and you usually see horses/deer.

* Favorite Festival: St. James Art Show. Art. Food. Cider/Beer. Fall. Perfect.

* Favorite Pizza Spot: I love Spinelli’s white pizza.

* If someone is visiting from out of town and only has time to go to three places, where do you send them? Churchill Downs (hopefully for Oaks/Derby), Nulu, and a UofL game (preferably against UK).

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JUST ANNIE

* The t-shirt is as iconic as denim. What inspired you to start your own t-shirt line and how is your line unique?
I was inspired to start the line by my own closet. One day, I was getting ready for brunch, and my favorite longer shirt for a certain pair of leggings was dirty. None of my other tees were quite as long to go with leggings. I was pissed. And then I couldn’t find that longer tee shorter to tuck into skirts/shorts. I just wondered why no one had standardized tees.

And that is why the line is unique. We are giving women the chance to mix the neckline, length, sleeve, and color they want to create the perfect tee for them. Based on preference, outfit choice, body type. The goal is to make style super easy, but personal. Plus, they really are the softest thing ever!

* Customization is key with your line. What is your go-to style? I usually wear skinny jeans or leggings, so I like our longer tees/tanks in a v-neck or scoop. And I’m usually mono-chromatic. Then I add my favorite boots/sandals and I’m done.

* Favorite item in the fall line? We are working on a kimono in our modal/spandex fabric. With leather. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone!

* Who’s style inspires you? So many people. I love old movie stars like Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin. Also, Sienna Miller, Jennifer Aniston (never tries too hard), Tom Ford. In real life, my mom. She was doing athleisure before it was a thing. She’ll wear her tennis skirt with a fur vest in the winter and make it work! She always does her own thing and what works best for her lifestyle.

* If you could raid any celebrities closet, who would you pick? Can I mix together Beyonce, Sienna Miller, and Princess Kate’s closets’? Perfect. Let’s add in the Vogue accessories closet and my Aunt Anna’s closet. She has best bags and shoes.

* Who would you love to see in an A. St. Clair tee? Jennifer Lawrence! What would be better to see THE celebrity of the moment, and Louisville girl, in a Louisville line? Other than that, a total stranger. Looking forward to walking down the street, seeing someone I don’t know, and thinking, “That’s mine.”

* What’s next for you… Turning 29 this week! After that, letting the line evolve and grow. Eventually, I want to do a men’s line and add in more than just tees for women. Although, tees are the best. Let’s be honest!

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Photo of Annie by Rhea Hickok.
Product Line Photos by  Fred Love.
Lifestyle Photos by Andrew Adams

Want to be featured on Creative Louisville? Know a great creative Louisvillian that would be perfect? Drop me a line with a quick introduction and photo samples of your work for consideration to danielle@louwhatwear.com

meet danielle

mom of three, small business owner. balancing life and style in louisville, ky

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3 Comments

  1. She’s right – t-shirts really are best!

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent
    https://thekentuckygent.com

    Posted 8.6.15 Reply
  2. Amanda J. wrote:

    Since I saw your first Instagram post with one of her tees, I’ve been excited for her line to be available. I love a great t-shirt, and what’s better than one from a Louisvillian?!

    Posted 8.6.15 Reply