Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Shop Overt – Photos by Bridget Badore
“Connection is one of the most important parts of OVERT.
co-founder Sarah Saxty relayed in our interview below, “We always consider the reality of the story we are telling, representing the women in the city, and the daily challenge of “doing it all”. We hope that we identify with real women doing real things and connect with the emotion of being a woman doing it all.” In matters of personal style, the idea of “fashion-meets function” is no longer a luxury in this day and age. In fact, Sarah and her co-founder Lauren Kozica have been able to seamlessly blend the two to create a piece that streamlines our approach to getting dressed, but perhaps more importantly getting out the door. Enter the brand’s signature backpack the ‘Noho’ which is on it’s way to becoming every woman’s essential accessory. But beyond designing a quality product, the two co-founders contend that OVERT was founded with a premise to also foster a sense of community – one that cultivates authentic connection and conversation between real modern women, whose shared values include always being en route and never compromising style for functionality.
Their #FollowTheGirl campaign speaks more to these ideals, and was something that piqued our interest in getting to know more about the two amazing girls behind this budding staple brand. Fortunately Sarah and Lauren kindly allowed us to follow them for an afternoon of discovery in Manhattan’s coveted West Village neighborhood. On our way to grab a quick coffee at The Elk (another favorite of ours here at The Style Line), we learned a few key points about this dynamic duo: They both hail from fashion backgrounds and have been able to contribute their unique expertise in developing OVERT, they have an affinity for city life and style, and they relish great conversation over an even greater meal. It came as no surprise to us that they both seamlessly embody the OVERT woman – one whom is well-traveled, well-dressed and infinitely in motion. So with our penchant for discovery and exploration we were excited to have the opportunity to chat more with Sarah and Lauren about their individual journeys, the process of creating OVERT and defining “the girl” and her lifestyle. Discover moments from our conversation and afternoon together below.
I am Sarah – but most people call me Sax,
or Saxty which is my last name. A lot of who I am is evident in OVERT – both on the aesthetic front and in my lifestyle and interests. Being creative, working out, drinks with friends, eating good food, exploring and travelling, learning new things – working and laughing. I have always been a pretty determined person and I thrive on diversity and progression (or good coffee and wine). I love being busy, to be constantly challenged and enjoy being out of my comfort zone every now and then – I hate complacency! So boring. My fashion career started at at the careers library – before the days of easy internet searches! I knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry but didn’t want to be a designer, I always said I don’t want my work to be a job, I want it to be what I do. My decided goal was to become a Buyer, I liked the idea of a role that combined business with creativity. I started out in Retail on the shop floor, and over the following 10 years progressed into the head office of a couple of large Australian brands. I worked my way up from photocopying to a Buying and Product Development role in Accessories.
Fortunately I have had the opportunity of continuing my work when I moved, but in a Trends and Research capacity.Like many, I fell in love with New York on my first visit (in 2009) which lucky for me was a Buying trip for work. I vowed to my colleagues “one day I will live here” – I moved just over 3 years ago from Australia, and haven’t looked back. Let’s say my honeymoon phase didn’t end and my love affair for this city is still as strong as ever. I live in a walk up (thankfully only 1 floor!) in Noho and spend most of my personal time downtown, with the occasional hang out in Brooklyn. I love exploring new cities (or just this one!) and discovering new things. I am notorious for my addiction to research and am guilty of creating some pretty serious spreadsheets whenever I am going somewhere new… sometimes I wonder if I should have started a travel company. I enjoy working out and go to the gym at least 3 times a week where I can; I take 1 yoga class every Friday morning before work, it is my release and escape from the constant hustle of the city. This is something I have been working recently, somethign new I have come to value. My ability to let the mind be at ease. My favorite things are family, friends, food, wine and coffee – the Australian style.
I’m Lauren! I am an expectant mom, I enjoy good conversation-
and even better food, I enjoy people that make me laugh and I like a change of scenery every now and then, whether that be an exotic trip or a fresh coat of paint in my apartment. I value honest and loyal people. I value a sense of balance and being grateful for everything I have.
If we were to #FollowTheGirl where would we find her during her usual day-to-day?
Are there any women in the OVERT community (and beyond) that really embody the essence of the brand?
Lauren: My business partner Sarah. Our brand is based on our life. We are OVERT. Sarah is the essence of the brand. She lives and breathes the city. She balances her life between wellness, hard work, downtime and fun and that is what really embodies OVERT.
How has the inclusion of OVERT in your personal style affected your thoughts on fashion and it’s role in our lives?
How does OVERT cultivate a sense of connection?
What pros and cons has the increasingly present role of technology played in building a lifestyle brand?
Lauren: It means we can connect with our audience on so many different levels. Social media in particular plays a huge role in building our brand. It allows us to bring together the OVERT community, our can girls interact and share their experiences, whether that be on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Snapchat. I find it hard to constantly keep up but disconnect at the same time. I love technology and I’m addicted to my electronic devices, but the more tools, apps and social media platforms popping up, the harder it is for me to switch off. I think the same goes in relation to building a brand. The more we connect through technology, the harder is it to go back to basics. To hear and see things in real life, the old school way.