obsessions: tara st. james of study

The designer behind the super-polished but still low-key apparel line Study isn’t a very consumptive person. Everything that Tara St. James produces, from shibori-dyed tees to dresses that can be worn four ways, is made with sustainability in mind. She produces as much as she possibly can in NYC and is all about no-waste pattern making and sourcing good-for-the-world (and still stunning) fabrics.

So when something makes Tara’s wish list, you know it has to be really special. Here, the talented eco-minded lady — who just made a highly covetable shirt exclusively for the website I co-founded, Of a Kind — shares the things she’s longing for right now and the discoveries that get her all excited in general. — Erica

Image above, clockwise from top left:

Minimarket Flat Lace-Up Cut-Out Oxford, $260
“I want to get these shoes, but I would also love to collaborate with Minimarket to do something custom. These are so convertible — you change your socks, and it’s a brand new shoe.“

Bliss Lau Ropewalk Body Chain, $319
“I actually do own this. I wear it on top of button-down shirts all the time — underneath the collar but over the placket of the shirt. It’s really good on top of V-neck T-shirts, too. It’s so functional.”

Café du Monde Coffee, $6
“I was upstate recently, and a friend of mine makes this as a cold brew every morning. I forgot how much I like Vietnamese and chicory coffee. I’m going to start drinking it again.”

Isabel Marant Lucy Aran Sweater, $1,300
“What I like so much about this sweater is the handcrafted nature of it — how you see the actual construction.”

Image above: Tara’s shirt for Of a Kind

Image above (clockwise from top left):

Jim Lambie’s Zobop Floor Installation at the Tate Britain
“I like how geometric it is. The pattern is really, really clean and straightforward, but then it kind of explodes with all the colors. And it’s at the Tate, not the Tate Modern, which is even more interesting.”

NCLA The Ray & The Ro Nail Wrap, $16
“I like that this pattern probably wouldn’t be achievable if it weren’t a wrap. For some reason, I either like really plain, neutral things or everything all mixed together, which is another reason I like the Isabel Marant sweater.”

Pamela Campagna and Thomas Scheiderbauer Nail and String Portrait Art
“Another kind of nail art! I think it reminds me of my grandfather because he used to have a woodworking studio in our basement, and I would go down and play with him. He would show me how to nail things and sand them down. I think there’s some nostalgia in this for me.”

Dip-Dyed Can DIY
“I’ve wrapped cans with yarn to get a different color on the outside, but this looks more pure. I’m going try it, definitely.”

“Furoshiki is just a scarf that you wrap in different ways — it’s an old way that people in Japan used to carry things, tying it around objects in order to create a bag. It’s such a pure idea.”

People’s Pops Cookbook, $19
“My popsicle obsession! At home when I make them, I write chores on the wooden popsicle sticks, and whoever eats that popsicle has to do that chore. I started doing it for my boyfriend’s birthday — like, he’d have a surprise under every popsicle — but now I switched it to chores, which is less cute.”

Moonlight for Violet Fiber-Wrapped Curved Bar Necklace, $24
“A fiber artist named Abigail Doan, whom I follow on Pinterest, posted this necklace. She posts all kinds of things that relate to using fiber in different ways.”

“I think this genius window blinds/clothes rack combo is just a conceptual idea. I think they’re looking for funding to produce them, and I hope they get it because I would love it. The website that this came from, Shoebox Dwelling, does a lot of sustainable interiors, and I reference it a lot.”

  1. Love Tara’s “obsessions”….that floor installation is fantastic!

  2. Maria says:

    Those Furoshikis are definitely AMBATALIA! http://www.ambatalia.com. You should publish that along with the pictures.

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      thanks for pointing that out. i changed the post to link to those on ambatalia’s site.


  3. Renee says:

    Wow that sweater is amazing!


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