Sari Azout ’10, a Colombian-born former International Relations concentrator, always had an eye for business and trends in the market. After graduating from Brown in 2010, she moved to New York City with a couple childhood friends and worked as a trader for a bank. As a way to save time and money while always looking good, she and her roommates began trading clothes and soon became addicted to the revolving closet.
They would freely bib (give) and tuck (take), establishing a new type of barter that required no more than a mutually beneficial exchange of clothes. Sari and her partners soon decided to bring this new means of “shopping without spending” to the world, thus creating Bib + Tuck. You may recognize the name; the company recently collaborated with Fashion@Brown for their clothing swap. In 2011, even before it launched, the company was Vogue approved, solidifying it as a bona fide fashion novelty.
Sari took some time out of her busy schedule to tell BlogDH all about the company, fashion, and her time at Brown. Check out the interview and an exclusive promo code after the jump:
BlogDH: What made you want to start a company like Bib+Tuck?
Bib+Tuck: We wanted to bring the idea of sharing to fashion. We wanted to do it in a way that was very social and generational, and that sort of revised barter in a modern way.
Did you do anything at Brown that influenced the creation of the company?
To be honest, I’ve always been obsessed with marketplaces. Whatever the need is, I like the idea of matching buyers and sellers. So at Brown I was highly involved with a microfinance group on campus, which I helped found. That was all about giving underprivileged members of the Providence community a chance to fund their own companies. I majored in Econ and sociology; I’ve always been very entrepreneurial, and I’ve always been interested in merging my creative side with my more technical side. I was also involved with Mezcla.
Where do you see Bib+Tuck going in the future?
Our vision is to become the most curated community of “shoppable” personal closets. We want to essentially transform the way fashion is consumed. When you think about fashion, you think about walking into a store and spending money on clothes. For most women, they love to shop, but they hate spending. We want to transform shopping so that it’s all about shopping without spending and combine that with the message of recycling clothes. We really just want to get our customers and our members to understand why this is important. It’s not just that we don’t want to spend money on clothes, it’s that we have to spend more time appreciating what already exists instead of having to agonize over what else we can buy. It’s all about being champions and models of this new form of consumption.
What are you favorite and least favorite trends?
My least favorite trend is Birkenstocks. My favorite trend is, well it’s not a trend, but the designer Chromat. Beyoncé wears all this stuff. [Ed. – Flawless] It’s all about structured cages and geometric experiments on the body; I’m obsessed with her stuff, and we’ve actually featured her on Bib+Tuck.
Funnily enough, my handwriting is terrible. I can’t draw. I can’t do anything with my hands, but I’m creative in my head. So fashion has always been the way I’ve manifested my creativity. I never actually considered a career in fashion, but I feel like what I’m doing has a deeper meaning than just fashion. I’ve always been fascinated with fashion in itself, but I never liked how the industry was all about image and consumption. We are in a way trying to disrupt that industry.
How would you describe your personal style?
I always feel like I’m in the seventies. I’m all about wide leg pants. I’m all about wearing kimonoed, super long coats. Lots of hippie stuff. Anything floral; I wear lots of crop tops. For my style icons, I love Alexa Chung, the Olsen twins. My style is also constantly changing. Lately, I’ve been attracted to a lot more vintage-looking clothes, because I’ve developed this appreciation for old things.