The Name To Know: Tosia

BY Harper's Bazaar Arabia / May 19 2016 / 14:37 PM

The line by the J. Crew alum is as pretty as it is wearable

The Name To Know: Tosia

Sara Hankin came up in fashion at some all-American institutions — J. Crew and Ralph Lauren to be exact — before going out on her own and launching Tosia. While she's still up for the fresh Americana vibe, Hankin likes to subvert that idea — using inspired hardware-like dumb bell piercing jewellery — to offset a more easy breezy vibe. The New York native is now two seasons and four years into her brand, named for a lady who embodies its ideals.

How did you get your start exactly?

I worked for several different companies. I was at J. Crew first, and I was last doing the women's collection at Ralph Lauren. While I was at Ralph, I felt that I was looking constantly for these pieces that were easy to wear that had this distinctive quality and this urbane sensuality that I felt like was missing in the advanced contemporary market. I felt like I was always looking for those pieces that were quiet and subdued yet sensual and then I sort of started sketching on my own non-stop. I showed some sketches to co-workers and they were really supportive. And it kind of started like that, really organically. And yeah, then Tosia was born.

Where does the name Tosia comes from?

I named Tosia after my maternal grandmother. She's just this incredibly chic woman who has very much a timelessness to the way she dresses — but it's never boring. And I felt really inspired by that. There was so much in my closet that I was going through and I was wearing only 20% of my wardrobe 90% of the time. I really examined, "what was it about those pieces that I was drawn to every season." When I really started to examine it, there were a lot of similarities… there was always a thing for a perfect white shirt and you know a great dress that could take me anywhere. So that's kind of the inspiration behind the line.

Going into autumn/winter, there's a school girl vibe but with some low key piercing jewellery hardware, what did you have in mind?

I was really inspired by a subversion of this uniform,  sort of turning up the volume. So making a classic polo shirt, but creating it really in this sort of tacky interesting fabric, and adding a piercing detail to the lapel. And taking the blazer and sort of mashing it up into this pleated dress. There's sort of this hint of rebellion and seduction. Spring was a little more romantic. I always feel that I kind of toughen up in the autumn/winter season. You need your armour more then. 

Who's the Tosia girl so far?

The age is pretty vast. But it's definitely this woman who's really interested in her own personal style, more than in following trends. She listens to her own intuition... And you know, really appreciates quality. Everything is made in New York... And there's a lot of handmade elements that I think shine through like the workmanship — someone who appreciates some subtlety and versatility.

Tosia is currently only available in New York, Ohio and Japan, but a selection of pieces are available to buy online here

Via Harper's Bazaar US