For the past two years, friends and designers Allison Sires and Fiona Thomas have been carefully cultivating an original storefront in the heart of Nolita which would reflect their desire to create a lifestyle brand that freely incorporates items from their travels, alongside their own seasonal womenswear collections. Aptly calling it Thomas Sires, their 2010 debut drew upon joint trips to Tokyo and Paris, and juxtaposed classic sailor sweaters and French terry sweatshirts with cheery, plastic lunch pails and stationery kits from Japan. Their global pursuits have led to stocking everything from stuffed animals made out of traditional Vietnamese Hmong fabric and Shibori-dyed baby bloomers to sumptuous basics like silk button downs and Fair Isle, merino wool pencil skirts.
The cohesion of Thomas Sires comes from the designers' knack for synthesizing unlikely objects to create something unique and timeless. Their efforts have caught on, and this winter sees the young designers' vision move into stores outside their own. Signing with the Steven Alan Showroom in the fall of 2012, Sires and Thomas approached their new Spring/Summer 2013 collection a little differently than before. "In our store, our clients can see who we are and what we are about the minute they walk in," says Thomas. "So, when we began thinking about creating collections that would be sold as individual pieces in other stores, we had to think about how we could translate our lifestyle conception into each of our designs."
Sires and Thomas remain true to their internationally inspired aesthetic, which this spring takes cues from the Caribbean—specifically, Jamaica. "We wanted to create a collection of both timeless and eclectic pieces that you can mix and match," says Thomas. "We knew each piece was going to need to stand alone but the collection would also have tell a cohesive story on its own, so we started by finding fabrics and silhouettes that fit into our idea of this classic, tropical country club aesthetic."
The upshot is a melange of mild-weather separates which conflate traditional woven motifs and sporty prepster-inspired staples. Highlights encompass Ikat-printed sundresses, geometric sleeveless blouses and vibrant orange sailor shorts. The line also includes the designers' first attempt at swimwear in the form of simple, drawstring bikinis. Walking the line between tailored and casual, the latest collection demonstrates a successful evolution from lifestyle concept store to a brand that can stand on its own.
As their womenswear collection expands into stores like Bird and select Steven Alan locations, the partners will continue to evolve their Elizabeth Street shop. "We are hoping to continue growing," says Thomas. "There is so much crossover to explore. For instance, a print we might use as a dress could become something fitting for a napkin or bedding."
The new Thomas Sires collection is set to hit stores February 2013. For more information visit their website or check out their ever-changing NYC shop.
Images courtesy of Thomas Sires