Sunday, April 18, 2021
Tiare Rose Offers Technology Based Shopping Focusing on Fashion that’s Good for the Planet
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Kim Castellano wants to help people curate an environmentally sound, socially responsible wardrobe.
   
Sunday, March 21, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Kim Castellano has a rather unique goal for a fashion retailer.

“My goal is to get people to buy less but better quality,” she said.

In particular, she is promoting high-end, one-of-a-kind fashions and fashion products that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible at her new Tiare Rose boutique and e-commerce site.

 
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The Tiare Rose boutique is open Friday afternoons or by appointment.
 

“I think people think they’re going to end up taking their purchases home in a hemp bag when they buy something that’s good for the environment. And that’s not the case. You don’t have to sacrifice style for sustainability,” she said.

Castellano launched her new Tiare Rose, which touts premium fashion and beauty products that are “better for the planet, better for humanity and the best for our customers,” last Sunday.

The central shopping experience takes place online. But she also opened a boutique in the old Ski Summit building on Warm Springs road across from Backwoods Mountain Sports.

Three of her college friends from University of Southern California were the first to make inroads into the store, having come to Sun Valley for the launch.

 
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A shopper tries on a summery dress.
 

Castellano named the store Tiare Rose after the gardenia flower in French Polynesia that boasts  fragrance. She coupled that with Rose to draw attention to the fact that her business caters to women with clothes designed and manufactured by women.

“I thought it gave an air of femininity to the store. So many traditional department stores, like Nieman-Marcus, are old men’s names,” she said. “I wanted something young and feminine. And the boutique shows that e-commerce doesn’t always involve a big dingy warehouse.”

Castellano spent 20 years prior to this offering “Fashion First Aid,” helping shoppers accessorize to help their clothing look better and last longer. During that time, she watched countless retailers and brands preach sustainability but come up short.

“Fashion is horrible on an environmental level. Fashion people love new designs, but there’s very little innovation when it comes to creating more sustainable clothing,” she said. “I think people should be looking to do something better rather than being focused on design.

 
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The collection includes breathable silk face masks.
 

“I was personally underwhelmed when shopping at department stores and luxury e-commerce websites, as they all sold volumes of the same product and made dubious sustainability claims,” she added. “I’m trying to be a trusted source for the fashion industry. A lot of brands are focused on sustainability. There aren’t a lot of retailers focused on sustainability.”

Castellano searches the globe to find clothing and products made with minimal impact on the  environment while paying homage to social responsibility.

She buys from companies whose emerging designers and quality artisans are primarily female. Companies where a majority of the ownership is comprised of indigenous and people of color. Companies that treat and pay employees and contractors fairly, abiding by labor laws.

She seeks natural components that are non-toxic, often made out of recycled materials and manufactured responsibly, using manufacturing processes that employ wastewater recycling, energy efficiency and products sourced nearby to reduce carbon emissions from transporting material.

 
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Mymiel skincare products were designed by Harvard-trained dermatologists who give a portion of profits to the Center for Honeybee Research.
 

One of her fashion designers is a young Chinese-American woman who moved from New York to California when her mother and dog got cancer. She realized the chemicals used to make fibers and bleach and dye fabrics can contain toxins, carcinogens and hormone disruptors. And she found that silk—a product with deep roots in her heritage--was very environmentally friendly and good for the body as it is anti-microbial and breathable.

A leather line created by the grandchildren of a former tanner, who found a way to bypass the toxic heavy metals like chromium, cadmium, cobalt, lead, nickel and arsenic that make tannery wastewater one of the most polluting effluents there is.

“I look for clothing made of natural fibers that break down at the end of their life cycle,” said Castellano. “Of course, you can’t get away from synthetics completely. No one’s going to wear a wool bathing suit.”

Tiare Rose’s store boasts V-Neck tees, Erma Leather Trench Coats, Cara Cara jumpsuits, cashmere lounge hoodies, silk face masks and silk midi robes and London Crop Denim jeans, along with Kypris eye serums made out of ethically sourced mica and shea and ocean extracts to hydrate and smooth the delicate skin around eyes.

It is open one day a week from 1 to 4 p.m. Fridays. But people are welcome to make appointments to shop at the store at other times during the week.

“Instead of having a store where someone sits waiting for someone to come, we’re offer private shopping events,” Castellano said.

The Tiare Rose website at https://tiarerose.com is debuting with clothing accessories, bags and beauty and will expand in the future. It offers text-based personal shopping services by a team of in-house stylists that provide tailored product recommendations and individualized style advice.

The website features short talks by Tanya Gruber, a fitness buff and influencer from Arizona, who led viewers through a 10-minute meditation wearing some of Tiare Rose’s fitness clothes. Such talks will take place daily beginning April 14.

There also will be brand-hosted live shopping events showcasing curated products while consumers can ask questions via chat or call.

“I’m hoping to provide editorial content about the industry and beauty products,” said Castellano. “Our goal is to do retail differently. We’re poised to redefine the architecture of shopping and revolutionize the way people buy.”

 

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