Business

Argent’s Sali Christeson and El Turner: “We were just so tired of beige pantsuits.”

The prolific Vivienne Decker at Forbes, one of the very few reporters (apart from Fast Company’s Liz Segran) with a finger on the modern luxury pulse, has just profiled Argent co-founders Sali Christeson and El Turner.  Argent’s specialty: bold — but functional — women’s workwear, made mostly in NYC.

Why they matter: Trust us when we say Turner and Christeson are poised to make some serious moves this year. Alongside competitors MM.LaFleur and Citizen’s Mark, their upstart sits at the forefront of the women’s workwear revival, and at less than a year old has been making big strides in retail. Consider: At the end of 2016 they locked up an extended pop-up deal with WeWork in San Francisco’s Soma district (which was also used as a gathering place for events), and their pop-up in DC’s Georgetown neighborhood for the months of January and February is still ongoing (continued below…).

As stated in our 2017 Modern Luxury Forecast, these ladies do not stop hustling, and Decker’s report shines more light on a brand that has our utmost attention.

Key takeaways:

They’re another (smart) problem solving upstart.

Here’s Christeson: “Throughout my years working in banking and tech, it was crazy to me that shopping for workwear was such a cluster. Women face a number of challenges in the workplace and it’s confounding that figuring out what to wear is one of them. The implications of perception, based on appearance, on a woman’s bottom line over the course of her career are profound. . . . [We] launched Argent with the goal of giving women confidence through their clothing and solving at least one of the many challenges they face in their work day today.”

A strong complementary founding team.

Turner, a SCAD grad with stints at J.Crew and Tory Burch, handles the creative and design in Manhattan. Christeson having worked in tech and banking, handles the business side in San Francisco. Christenson brings the energy, Turner brings the ideas. A perfect pairing.

A unique launch.

Rather than debuting online, praying for press, and hoping for the best, the duo went straight to their target audience in person — launching at a women’s conference with 6,000 attendees.

Being a little bolder.

Said Turner: “[W]e’re introducing a new attitude to workwear to visually inspire our customers to be bold and connect to others within Argent’s community.”

Forward thinking — especially with retail.

Their previous hybrid pop-up with WeWork made it very clear that they understood the future of retail for emerging brands revolves around more than just treating their stores as points-of-sale. As Christeson confirms, it’s about providing the proper (and unique) experience to the core customer: “The future success stories in retail will result from a combination of being unexpected, nimble and balancing efficiency with experience.”

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