When Sarah Lalji set out to launch Regal Tiger, her new line of diaphanous, light-as-air dresses, kaftans, and separates, she had two goals in mind. One: to produce the most luxurious lounge- and resort wear possible, and two: to raise awareness for animal conservation. A huge animal lover, the second mission came easily through a partnership with Panthera, the world's only organisation dedicated exclusively to the protection of wild cats and their vast landscapes (they work to protect big cats all over the world by working with local people to save them). The partnership is founded on activism and transparency, with a dedicated percentage (15%) of each purchase supporting ongoing global preservation efforts.
Consequentially, the big cat theme runs throughout her inaugural collection. Featuring animal prints such as tigers and cockatoos, the 100% silk garments were inspired by exotic destinations, and look just as chic with a bikini as when worn as a matched, printed suit. "Everything is 100% US made and with the best quality silk," explained Lalji over tea. Exceptional quality, tailoring (the maxi dress has a thoughtful, small train that floats out elegantly when you walk), and luxury were the key elements for the designer; who is as passionate about animals as she is fashion. Raised in California, Lalji held a senior level corporate position (which she quickly found unfulfilling), before deciding to launch her own label. "My husband is Indian, and after learning more about his culture and wearing saris I fell in love with their beauty and craftsmanship," she says. "I wanted to join that Eastern influence with my Californian background and decided to launch Regal Tiger. I'm also a huge animal supporter and wanted to merge fashion with animal activism without making it too granola-y. I call it fashion activism."
Available at regaltiger.com, the collection has the sort of luxurious ease that allows for a couple of pieces to be thrown in a suitcase before jetsetting off on your summer vacation (with the knowledge that you're also helping the animals). In the end, Lalji says it best, "We're promoting purpose beyond profit in the luxury space. Our customer is always compassionate — and that's what's truly beautiful."
Via Harper's Bazaar US