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Scarves are an entirely functional accessory in San Francisco, where we typically experience three seasons throughout the day. Vida, a local e-commerce startup, is trying to make more interesting scarves by partnering with artists to create unique designs at consumer-friendly price points. Modal scarves are $40, modal-cashmere blends are $75, and silk scarves are $95.
Vida founder Umaimah Mendhro tells Racked that her goal at Vida is to use technology in a way that would bridge the gap between designers, producers, and shoppers. "We believe there's an overhwelming amount of choice. You want to go to a place where every single piece will be beautiful and fit your aesthetic."
To create that aesthetic, Vida collaborates with artists, painters, photographers, and designers from around the world. Art work is loaded to a digital file, and Vida's partner-factories digitally print the images onto fabric to fulfill orders. Designers receive 10 percent of the retail price when items with their art are purchased, WWD reports. The company will begin accepting orders on November 19 for scarves and silk tops, but Mendhro expects to expand to other apparel in the future.
What should you expect from the current product lines? Vida sent a couple of samples over to Racked —a graphic-patterned scarf cashmere-modal scarf and a photo-print sleeveless silk top— and the printing work is well-executed. The design covers the entire surface of the scarf, so there isn't an awkward design perimeter like you see at those print-your-own-design t-shirt shops. The lightweight scarf is only 10 percent cashmere, but it's still incredibly soft. (It's an appropriate Bay Area-weight neck warmer, but don't depend on it to stay warm in an East Coast polar vortex.) The silk top is unobjectionable. It looks better layered under a jacket than on its own, but the photo print on the front is an interesting alternative to the standard silk shell.
If you're looking to add an artistic element to your wardrobe —and actually support artists in the process— you can sign up on Vida's website to get first dibs on the product launch next week.