SO.TY is a neo-luxe sustainable circular fashion brand. It was launched in Los Angeles by Sovereignty Company. This social enterprise and non-profit is set up to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable fashion society for BIPOC residents. Charles Harbison, a sought-after fashion designer, is the founder of SO.TY. He has dressed celebrities such as Michelle Pfeiffer and Beyonce. The brand aims to redefine neo luxe as a movement that incorporates eco-responsibility and gender affirmation, size inclusion, race and class equity, and thoughtfulness into the luxury goods business.
Harbison was inspired by his own experiences as a millennial fashion designer looking for a breakthrough. He also questioned fast fashion’s focus on rapidly changing styles and trends. Harbison and Corneil Montgomery of Sovereignty Company teamed up to form SO.TY is a circular social enterprise and non-profit that is unique in its kind. It was recently launched in Los Angeles. SO.TY is focused on sustainability and inclusion and offers a line of eco-friendly clothing made with reusable materials. To help finance the Fashion CEOs Accelerator, the Fashion CEOs Accelerator provides resources for fashion designers and entrepreneurs to create and launch circular and sustainable business models. Four percent of the proceeds from the neo-luxe fashion brand will be donated to Sovereignty Company.
“Sovereignty was honored to partner Charles and the SO.TY brands to bring designers of color into the spotlight, and help elevate stories that deserve to be represented and heard,” states Neil Montgomery, founder, and chief executive officer at Sovereignty Fashion Chief Executive Officers Accelerator. “Our purpose, vision, mission, and mission are perfectly aligned to make an even greater impact.”
SO.TY is distinguished from other luxury brands by its team of shared values and unique perspectives.
Charles Harbison is chief fashion director at SO.TY. “The SO.TY Team represents what Neo Luxe believes in and where it wants to go,” Harbison said. Each member of the team brings a unique perspective to our mission. Our team includes women, black people, people of color, and people who were raised poor. We work together to achieve our goals. They are the ones who define our thought leadership, which in turn shapes our work.”
Harbison is trying to bring attention to identities that are often overlooked or underrepresented. His upbringing heavily influences both his designs as well as his ethos.
Harbison is a working-class boy of working-class North Carolina women. He has many stories to share about his experiences with strength, choice, and self-definition. He wrote in September 2021 about his inspirations and The Atlantic Always Gold Sandal. These stories continue to live through his SO.TY designs.
It can be viewed as a feminist version of menswear, or as gender-neutral clothing that women have the option to choose from. It is queer-affirming and femininely influenced. Harbison’s bright and cheerful designs are a nod to his grandmother and mother, who modeled him with the same unapologetic dignity. This fashion line features pieces such as a bomber jacket in fuchsia pink, basketball shorts, and tanks with sequins. It plays off the irony that masculine and hard things can be made playful and soft.
The pieces will be made using recycled polyester, organic cotton, low-water-use fiber, and recycled polyester fill, keeping with the company’s commitment to sustainability and circularity. They will be produced locally in Los Angeles. SO.TY will be sourcing surplus, old stock, and vintage fabrics.
SO.TY will be available in wholesale markets by June and July, and an e-commerce website will be launched later in the year.