SECOND .ST is a socially-conscious clothing initiative founded by two Lebanese graduates of famed NYC design school Parsons, Sarah Hermez and Tracy Moussi.

The newly-launched brand offers fashion lovers a wide collection of unisex shirts in unique patterns, blending prints, geometric shapes and patchwork. sat down with Moussi to find out more about the forward-thinking clothing brand, the first of its kind in Lebanon.

(Image via Rag Hunter) Tell us more about SECOND .ST. How did the idea start?

SECOND .ST: It all started on Second Street in Alphabet City, NYC, where both Sarah and I met. We lived in apartments facing each other while attending Parsons The New School for Design. We were always interested in the social aspects of fashion since we grew up in a region under constant conflict. Why did you guys decide to mix fashion and social consciousness?

SECOND .ST: Our stories are different, yet intertwined. I initially did my thesis at Parsons on the topic of social consciousness and design. Sarah always wanted to find a way to merge her two passions, creativity and design. We both found ourselves moving back to Lebanon after graduation. Sarah launched Creative Space Beirut, a non-profit free school for fashion design. I worked for several designers while continuing to strengthen my skills. Through the years, we often talked about our common interests and eventually joined forces on a journey to launch SECOND .ST, a for-profit brand that supports and collaborates with Creative Space Beirut. Who are your target clients?

SECOND .ST: Our client is experimental, eccentric and progressive. He or she likes to add a twist to their classic items and is not afraid to look masculine or feminine. What is your main inspiration?

SECOND .ST: We chose to focus on shirts as a product because shirts are an item found in everyone’s closet. It is a classic item with lots of leeway to experiment. Geometrical shapes and lines were the inspiration for this latest collection. What makes this initiative unique?

SECOND .ST: Not only do we offer a unique well-crafted item, but each purchase helps pave the way for free education. Second .ST and Creative Space Beirut have a unique relationship, engaging in a mutually beneficial trade-off model. SECOND .ST and Creative Space Beirut share resources such as a studio, supplies, sewing machines and fabric. This divides the expenses for both parties. The success of SECOND .ST's products will help create a cycle of opportunity for the free fashion school's deserving students, who can be hired as in-house designers for the brand. Additionally, in an effort to directly support free education, and to give consumers even more incentive to purchase the bold and versatile SECOND .ST shirts, 30 percent of SECOND .ST's profits are donated to the Creative Space Beirut. What were the main challenges you guys faced in the process of defining the brand?

SECOND .ST: The main challenge was finding good tailors. We did a lot of field research, asking around, and through trial and error. Our shirts are complicated in construction since we experiment with different cuts, so it is important that our tailors be up to standards. What has been the people's response to the initiative so far?

SECOND .ST: We have launched in an exhibition in Kuwait and Beirut and the response has been great! We sold over 120 shirts during this time. What are your future plans?

SECOND .ST: We are working on the FW 2015/16 to show our creations during fashion week. We would like to be sold in concept stores in Paris, London, NYC, Berlin, Copenhagen and more.

Check out SECOND ST.’s creations on Instagram. You can also find the brand on Facebook.

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