As I chatted with Sea NY cofounder Sean Monahan, an almost-forgotten term from high school social studies came back to me: melting pot.
We were talking about handmade silk beads that come from India, a print from Liberty London and a blouse’s weighty, gorgeous lace—which he gets in Italy. And he was talking about how he and his partner, Monica Paolini, exist almost entirely outside of the Fashion Week schedule; they don’t have presentations or runway shows. Instead, they concentrate on really knowing what their customers in Korea, Australia and Vancouver BC wear. They make featherweight tops for the girls Down Under and ruffled hoodies for girls in the Pacific Northwest.
All images by Jessa Carter
Sean told me all this with a soft but unmistakable New York accent—perfect in this analogy, because NYC has always been America’s symbol of multiculturalism. There in the heart of Paris, watching buyers Joyce Lin and Laura Janney select cool, chunky knits and sweet tie-waist dresses, Sea NY felt like a very real and very cool mix of traditions, crafts, communities and commonalities.
It felt like one of contemporary fashion’s prettiest melting pots.