made in USA

ABOUT IIVI CLOTHING LINE

Our Story

Why are we here?

The answer is simple, we found a huge lack in quality and fit between high-fashion clothes and plus-sized clothes.

This led us to more research. Did you know the true average sized American female is a size 14? We found it interesting that the fashion industry uses a size 2 as “average” and adds material to get to a size 12. Do you know what that means? That means clothes meant for truly average women end up looking unfinished. That seemed backwards to us, so we decided to do something about it. What about iivvi clothing line sets us apart from many others? iivi makes high quality clothes with minimalistic roots that look tailored just for you, an average sized American woman. We believe in sustainability – not just with ethical manufacturing processes but for long-lasting wear, too. We even cut out the middleman – so you can shop online without paying markup. iivi believes “plus size” is a dirty word. Together, let’s change the face of average.

According to the CDCP database, the average American women is a Size 14. We disagree with the fashion industry standards that proclaim that this is “Plus Size”.

“Plus Size labeling of this demographic is statistically incorrect and insinuates unrealistic expectations. Normal, healthy, and content are all emotions that should underly the shopping experience of all women, not just Size 2’s.

“Since college I have slowly put on weight, and am now a Size 14. I’m happy with my size, but as I grew, I found I liked shopping less and less. Having always been tall, I have often had a hard time finding clothes that fit me right. I don’t like the idea of shopping in plus size or being called plus size because I don’t feel “plus”.” —Katie Shangraw, Design and Production

With this in mind, our clothing is graded from Size 12 both up and down.

This ensures the best possible fit since we are specifically designing for Size 12 women as our starting point, then encompassing Sizes 4-18. As opposed to the standards of the industry, which grade their clothing up from a Size 2, meaning that they simply add material to designs meant to fit a Size 2. We refuse to compromise the integrity of our fits, we do not scale to extremes. Our measures of Extra Small-Large are set to accurately represent the dynamic bodies and physical realities of modern women, and can be found HERE

“I need to be comfortable for my brain to function and be successful at work. Tight, constricting clothes, especially blazers, simply don’t work. I would get too distracted by worrying about the clothing’s fit to concentrate on the task at hand. They also made me feel claustrophobic, which is why finding and wearing breathable fabric is so important to me. I love high fashion, style, and minimal looks but they don’t exist above a Size 8, and I’ve never been super skinny. Instead, I make my own clothes with quality fabrics, and friends and colleagues keep asking me where I buy my clothes, which made me realize that there is a real need.” —Sirpa Cowell, Founder and Creative

We endeavor to create functional fashion for real women through superior quality materials, and sustainable practices in local New England Studios. We revisit the roots of American textile fashion manufacturing, having sought out the experienced seamstresses of the original industry in Southern Massachusetts. Our core values are based on quality craftsmanship and long-lasting, breathable, materials.

OUR TEAM

Sirpa Cowell

Sirpa Cowell

Founder and Creative

A native of Finland, Sirpa melds Scandinavian designs with American modernity. She is the vision and founding force behind our label. Raised in a textile mill town learning the trade from her grandmother and father, Spira’s hands-on experience with local manufacturing processes is evident in her attention to detail and quality. Her iivi concepts folder is titled “Common Sense” because designing a purposeful, high quality collection is exactly that to Sirpa. Her background in heading design departments yields a vast wealth of experience and savvy. Sirpa forgoes traditional stuffy suits and high heels, opting instead for pieces she functions and feels best in. Realizing the scarcity of these wardrobe essentials inspired her to create her own. Sirpa believes no women should have to waste time or attention worrying if their clothing is fitting properly.

Katie Shangraw

Katie Shangraw

Design and Production

Never-mind sentences, Katie can finish Sirpa’s thoughts. This powerhouse industrial design duo has been coupled for the past seven years. It comes as no surprise that the collaboration of these posh and pragmatic real women yields iivi. We are thrilled for Katie as she is a new mother to a beautiful, healthy, three month old baby girl. Katie’s all-encompassing love of the natural world is contagious, and drives our sustainability ethics. Genuine and kind, she is everyone’s best gal-pal.

kshangraw@iivishop.com

Catherine “ Cat ” Harnden

Catherine “ Cat ” Harnden

Media and Marketing

Self-described bacon connoisseur, adventure fanatic, english nerd. Cat acts as curator of our brand identity. Keeping you up to date on all things iivi, she makes sure our design studio’s passion is conveyed through all your favorite sources. Cat happily answers any customer service questions to ensure a flawless online shopping experience. Fueled by caffeine and realism, she is the honest friend perfect to bring shopping for jeans.

charnden@iivishop.com

Michael Cowell

Michael Cowell

Operations and Fulfillment

A calm and grounding presence, Michael oversees all aspects of order fulfillment and general operations. Detail-oriented, he ensures every iivi order is processed and packaged with the quality we pride ourselves on. Michael is Sirpa’s husband and resident dad of the studio. He is our numbers and technical expert, having previously built flight simulators. A go-to source of logic and reason, ensuring that everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.

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