The girl behind Brooklyn's best apparel brand speaks with Beautiful Savage
IN GOD WE TRUST is an inimitable Williamsburg-born brand known for strong tailoring and an exclusive, handmade finish. Everything they sell is manufactured in the USA, if not in right their Greenpoint showroom. The brainchild of owner-designer Shana Tabor, IGWT started in 2005 on Wythe Street when Tabor borrowed $5000 from her brother. The young, FIT trained accessories designer opened up shop and started making her wares right in the back room. The rest is history.
Tabor was kind enough to open her doors to Beautiful Savage for a few images and this interview.
Photos by Anne-Claire rohé
In the mood to shop IN GOD WE TRUST? Have a look at their OFFICIAL WEBSITE.
You started IGWT in 2005. What were you doing before this?
Working in the jewelry industry. Fashion costume jewelry. Mostly mass market low end items. I had a few really great jobs though, designing stuff I liked.
What prompted the name In God We Trust?
The name is a comment on the nature of US commerce and detachment from what it is that we actually consume.
Was there an original vision for the brand?
I’m not sure if there was one. I just didn’t want to do corporate design or be frosting cupcakes or anything. The store seemed like a good in-between.
So you started with on Wythe street. But since then you moved to Bedford, then opened up locations in Soho and Greenpoint. What’s behind your success?
I have a small team that works very hard. They believe in the brand as much as I do. We all wear a lot of hats and have very fast moving hands.
How many people do you have?
All in all there’s about 20 of us. That includes stores, studio, office and production.
And how many designers?
There are 3 of us in development. And I have an assistant for jewelry and apparel.
Does running the brand take you away from design?
Is that a joke? Everything that has to do with business takes me away from design. It’s very frustrating and challenging to be creative in an allotted time slot.
So then what drives you to do this everyday? It’s gotta be a TON of work. What’s the vision?
Honestly, working this hard is just kinda in my blood. I would be doing the same quality of work no matter what i had to do for work. I’m just lucky to be doing it for myself. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy and can be quite exhausting.
You manufacture everything in New York?
Yes. We’ve been pushing our retail locations to focus on our own brand the most. We make as much as we can handle in house in Greenpoint. The remainder in manufactured in midtown.
And considering the business, how do you compete with brands who outsource? Do you feel local production is financially sustainable?
Is anything aside from staying in bed sustainable? We have a strong wholesale business with our jewelry collection. Our prices are honest, and I think that alone, makes us competitive. As far as apparel goes, we have decided to only offer our collection in our own stores. Hoping that a direct to consumer model will allow us to stay competitive with pricing, and offer a level of exclusivity.
Can you describe your aesthetic?
No, hot really. Honestly we just make what we like, an hope people respond. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.
Do you ever educate your audience?
Not really. People pay attention only to what they find important. I might find it fascinating how a yarn or a fabric is made, others might just like the color green.
And what are you making for next season? What’s new? Anything exciting we should look for?
Does everything count? Ha! Just kidding. Some smaller runs and exlusive projects. We are working on bags, dog, baby, and immediate exclusives made in small runs. You’ll see changes in coming seasons. Our prices will go down a little, because we aren’t trying to complete in the resale market.
What advice would you have for young designers and manufacturers?
Make nice with other people in your community!
Thanks so much for your time Shana.