When Tabitha St. Bernard moved from Trinidad to NYC at age 18 to study psychology with just what she could fit into two suitcases, her surprise at how much stuff people had was immediate. “It was all a complete shock for me,” she remembers. “The excess of everything was such a stark contrast to how my life had always been.”
Growing up on a Caribbean island and with limited financial means, she’s spent almost two decades making the most of what was available to her. “I’ve always been physically tiny, so I had to remake clothes so that they would fit me. And when those went out of style, I would make them into something else,” she says.
When, in her twenties, she had what she refers to as her “quarter-life crisis,” all of those early memories of creating and recreating came back to her, leading her first to FIT to study design and then to her very own line floaty dresses, draped tops, and wispy scarves in sunny, cheery fabrics—all of which are zero-waste and made from surplus or recycled materials. For Tabitha, who also helped organize of the Women’s March on Washington, excellent, ethical outfits are one more way to empower women. “We all want to wear things that make us feel confident, and we want to be good citizens of the world. I’m here to marry the two,” she says. How could you not say “I do” to that? —katie nave freeman