Chicory is a brand we’re sure you’ll start thinking of first when it comes to luxury accessories. The San Francisco-based design house is an up-and-coming name in fashion. Known for its high-quality accessories with modern aesthetic, Chicory is making a name for itself in the world of style. It currently produces three types of scarves giving shoppers the option of cashmere knits, silk twill or cashmere woven.
Sukanya Sharath, a former model since the age of 14, always had deep roots in fashion. She started up Chicory after finishing up college and obtaining a degree in Economics.
“I have always had a love for fashion, the ramp, the exhilaration of a fashion event and this early experience imbued in me a deep love for art, fabric, materials and strong desire to start my own line of products, ” said Sharath. She eventually quit her job after several years in fiance and economics to create Chicory. We sat down with the head strong designer to discuss fashion, San Francisco and the impact of the scarf.
“The Chicory woman is bold yet delicate, she is modern yet whimsical and authentic yet caring.”
Sukanya: As someone who loves San Francisco and calls it home, I think San Francisco plays a significant role in influencing my designs and aesthetic for the brand. The city has a unique culture, influenced by diversity, art and a modern outlook. Being in San Francisco allows me to innovate and create a true voice for my products that is strongly in tune with our ethos without being influenced by the ebb and flow of New York style fast fashion.
Tell us a bit more about Chicory’s most recent collection.
Sukanya: For our launch, we introduced our Winter 2014 collection of 100% Cashmere scarves and stoles. The inspiration for this collection was “ode to color” – a celebration of color to contrast the cold and monochrome winter season. The collection includes colorful infinity scarfs, classic stoles and scarves with ruffled details. To produce it we went to the famous Bastia Umbria region of Italy to source the finest first choice Cashmere. This region has a 100-year-old tradition of handcrafting cashmere knits and each scarf is hand made by expert craftsmen to create a scarf that is exquisitely soft and luxurious.
In our Spring 2015 collection we introduced classic silk scarves in artistic prints. The playful designs of Spring are meant to be an experience to the eyes as well as to the touch. The inspiration for this collection was “flutter” – like the flutter of wind that you feel when a butterfly flies near you or the gentle flutter of excitement and anticipation. Our silk designs are artistic, represent butterflies and beautiful mosaics. To produce these scarves, we went straight to the source of mulberry silk in China. The yarns and fabric are produced in a premium facility that controls the quality of every step of production from the raw mulberry silk fiber to the premium twill yarn. Chicory’s hand drawn illustrations, modern patterns and designs are digitally imprinted to produce scarves which are then hand rolled and hand hemmed by artisan craftsmen to produce the colorful, sublime soft scarves that can be cherished for a lifetime.
“At Chicory, we create beautiful accessories because we believe they are the defining components of any ensemble.”
What sets Chicory apart from other accessory brands?
Sukanya: Our goal is to create beautiful and riveting accessories that our patrons will love and cherish for a long time. Designs that meld different materials and processes to create beautiful works of art carefully designed and produced to last a lifetime. Our designs are driven by our brand voice, and our products that are a true labor of love. We focus on ethical and sustainable production of our products, rather than mass production or low cost production, so we don’t see ourselves so much for why we stand out but instead really focus on what we stand for in accessories.
Sukanya: All our designs start with a theme or inspiration. We draw inspiration from the beauty around us, from things that we love and cherish and from art. For Silk Jewels and Mosaic, we have drawn inspiration from geometric abstraction and cubism to produce the pieces that we introduced in the collection. The designs start with hand illustrations and are often mostly completed by hand then digitized and printed. This allows each design to be organic and unique.
How do scarves differ from any other accessory?
Sukanya: The scarf is a quintessential accessory that can always complete any look. It has the power to transform any look by adding color, dimension, texture, subtlety or raw energy to any outfit. It is not restrictive like other accessories because it allows you to mold it to your own personal style. A simple knot can make a big fashion statement. A diminutive piece of fabric that holds such power and control over your outfit, we say a great scarf is every girl’s best friend.
Any tips or tricks on new and fun way to wear scarves?
Sukanya: We collaborated with a fashion blog in Milan, Italy to come up with a “paparazzi style” photo-shoot that featured a model wearing one of our scarves as a headscarf. The photo-shoot was a lot of fun and the headscarf represented a fun and new way of wearing a scarf. This shows how versatile the scarf is – it can go from depicting the gravity of purpose as a neck scarf to the mischievousness of youth as a head scarf without missing a beat. The fun thing about scarves is that there are so many ways you can wear them and define your own style.
Where do you see Chicory in 10 years?
Sukanya: I see Chicory becoming a luxury lifestyle brand in fashion accessories – and becoming the place that first comes to mind when you think about accessorizing your look. We will continue to innovate across all our products to create playful yet sophisticated designs whether you are thinking of work, play or party.