Taleah of Indigo SageHawaiian designer Taleah Smith has made every-day pieces more interesting with unexpected cuts and a mantra of sustainability – all of Taleah’s designs boast the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. Whether it’s a high-low hem on a pencil skirt or a low-cut v-back, Indigo Sage transforms what was simple into intriguing and easily wearable garments. In today’s Designer Spotlight, Taleah tells us her commitment to sustainability and the challenges she faces as a result.

How and why did you start designing?

In preschool, my mother made me a semi-sheer, sparkly blue skirt that I was only allowed to wear at home. One day, I sneaked it to school in my backpack, changed into it in the bathroom, and rocked it all day until my mom picked me up and discovered what I had done! When I was fifteen, my mother gave me her old Singer sewing machine (no manual included), and I taught myself how to use it through lots of trial and error and tears. It only seemed natural to develop my passion and inspiration into a career.

What do you think about fashion today?

I laugh at myself sometimes when I think about being part of the fashion industry. My general impression is that modern fashion is frivolous, outrageous, and largely non-functional. Of course, this doesn’t apply to every brand out there. But I do believe that fashion should be less superficial and have more of a story behind it. I would like to see less mindless consumerism based on labels, and more connection with what the clothing says about the person wearing it.

What is your fashion philosophy?

My philosophy is that fashion should be a form of self-expression and communication. Whether a woman views herself as bohemian, or bombshell, or sporty, or edgy, or something else entirely, she can use fashion as a way to convey how she feels inside. It can also be a way to illustrate her values based on the stories behind the brands she chooses. Love or hate it, we live in a world where we are judged by our looks, and first impressions are formed within seconds. We can use fashion to our advantage in this regard, by allowing it to convey what we think, feel, value, and believe in.

What is your brand aesthetic?

Indigo Sage is a lifestyle brand that reflects the easy-going vibe of tropical locales. The designs are flattering and chic while also being comfortable and casual. The fabrics are made from sustainable and natural materials in a socially-responsible manner. The Indigo Sage girl is carefree, genuine, confident, intelligent, and passionate. She loves to travel, considers herself a citizen of the world, and endeavors to share her positivity and generosity wherever she goes.

Become an Indigo Sage girl by purchasing Taleah’s designs on Nineteenth Amendment.