Meet the two women re-inventing the modern white shirt. Hoa Huynh and Sezin Calikoglu are two fashion passionate friends behind the brand, Pause. - a collection without season and with total ethical transparency. Hoa and Sezin design and produce their products in New York with 100% ethically-sourced cotton. We spent a morning chatting with them at their cozy Cobble Hill work space.
How did you two come together to collaborate and start Pause.?
We met while working together at Calvin Klein as a designer/buyer team. We stayed friends after leaving the company and decided to launch our own brand based on a category we worked on together before: woven tops. We wanted to start out with a focused idea that didn't really exist, which was a shirting line with a strong fashion POV that was ethically sourced and fairly priced.
What are each of your strengths and how do you balance each other’s out and use them in your business?
We each spent about a decade in the fashion industry where Sezin worked in Fashion Design and I (Hoa) worked in Merchandising and Product Strategy. Sezin leads the design and product development processes and I lead the business and marketing strategies of the brand. To this end, we complement each other well, are extremely collaborative, and have been able to make quick business decisions.
Where do you find your creative inspiration?
We find creative inspiration all around us – from architecture, editorials, forms, objects, textures, travels, and people.
Tell us about your seasonless approach to the brand.
Our seasonless approach is inspired by the desire to invest in more quality made clothing and throwing less out. It’s less important for us to offer new items every time a new season starts. Instead, our pieces are meant to be timeless and classic and can be worn in different ways any time of the year. We will discontinue and develop new styles as it makes sense for the business and for our customers.
How did you come up with the brand name, Pause.?
Pause. was born from the concept of slow fashion. It represents the appreciation of how and where a garment is made. Pause. is also an idea that extends into our lives – it’s about being in the moment, especially when it often feels like everything is constantly moving so fast.
Why is being ethically transparent important to you?
The apparel industry is known to be harmful to the environment, so changing how fashion is made is important to us. We work with a mill that is OEKO-TEX certified, which means they don’t use toxic chemicals to process textiles. Informing people of ethical or sustainable practices can also help change shopping habits, hopefully paving the way for a safer and cleaner world.
What's next for Pause.?
We plan to expand our shirting line by offering new styles and limited edition colors and stripes. We've also been talking about extending shirting into a new category!
Select Pause. styles are now available at Steven Alan Tribeca and Steven Alan Chelsea.