Atea Doesn’t Have to Shout
“I wanted to create pieces that would be the DNA of a closet, that you would reach for time and time again—pieces that would effortlessly go with everything else in a wardrobe,” said Laura Myers, the New Zealand-born, London-based creative director of the new brand Atea. “I wanted a collection to be fashionable but not shout-y—think more Emmanuelle Alt than fashion blogger,” she added. With the launch of Atea’s global Web site today, Myers hopes to reach customers that covet the minimal aesthetics of The Row or Céline—but her goal is to bring it to them with a smaller price tag.
“I felt there was a gaping hole in the market for truly wearable clothes created from great fabrics. I was aiming to be above the high street, but below designer prices, and just have pieces that I really wanted to wear myself but couldn’t really find out there—or afford,” said Myers, who prior to living in London lived between the Polynesian islands, New Zealand, and the U.S. (Atea means “distant and remote” in Polynesian languages.) She also wanted to offer a wardrobe that travels well between time zones and temperatures.
Included in the collection (priced between £75 and £600) are crisp shirts, boxy blazers, and smart dresses. The fabrics, among them wool mousse, ribbed silk, and fine alpaca, are a particularly proud point for Myers: “All of the fabrics are sourced in New Zealand, and the country has carved out a bit of a niche in the development of some very innovative and technical fabrics. The wool mousse feels almost like a foam, and New Zealand mills have created a merino wool that is butter-soft.” The colorways are neutral and subdued, too—think oxford blue, charcoal, and white, with a pop of cerise cherry. Added Myers, “They are all pieces you can wear with a quiet confidence. Fashion doesn’t always have to shout out.”