By Kristin Thornton
questrian themed style has long been an influence in the fashion world. From navy coats to tan breeches, the classic attire has graced runways and ad slicks for decades with great appeal to the aspirational lifestyle customer. Inversely, until recently, competitive equestrians were not afforded options that integrated streetwear influence into their daily attire. Enter Arianna Vastino, a visionary that recognized the opportunity within this marketplace to infuse contemporary style into functional riding apparel.
Plaids Please. Le Fash paid tribute to vintage riding attire with the re-introduction of plaids to the equestrian market. Once a staple in the industry, Arianna thought this signature equestrian look shouldn’t only be reserved for non-equestrians and launched plaids with rich hues for a traditional, yet fashion forward look.
Equestrian Lifestyle. After successfully styling her campaign shots with accessories from other designers for years, Arianna wanted to expand her company’s footprint into the lifestyle market and turn lefashny.com into a one stop shop. During the 2018 holiday season, she launched Le Fash Lifestyle- a curated selection of accessories, gifts and home decor all fit for equestrian life- and any woman on the go. Shown here are the leather tassel necklace and suede adjustable belt from California based company, Atelier CG.
Arianna’s company, Le Fash, was launched carefully and with great attention to detail. Her time spent studying at the world’s best design schools and working within the fashion industry for prestigious companies including Bergdorf Goodman and Harper’s Bazaar assisted in developing the skills necessary to start her own company. Additionally, a rider since childhood, she understood the importance of tradition within the sport and also had access to feedback from its users. These two factors greatly influenced the cut, construction, colors and patterns of her original designs. Arianna produced each garment in New York to control the quality of each item manufactured. The result was an unprecedented collection that incorporated both technical features specific to riding, yet stylish enough to belong in the most well-curated wardrobe. These factors have earned Le Fash the honor of being recognized as a pioneer in the stable to streetwear fashion trend.
Stable to Street. Arianna debuted The City Breech Collection in 2013 which was engineered for riders but also added carefully thought out details, like the signature faux ankle snap, that would allow for a seamless cross over into every day wear. The ultra thin 1mm rivet doesn’t add any bulk under a riding boot yet polishes the pant for a ballet flat aprés ride.
Technically speaking. With an influx of new brands coming out of Europe, Arianna recognized the need for some more technically based product lines and launched the Paulo Alto Collection in 2017. Named after a play on the tech capital of the world and also her horse’s name, this shirting collection provided the same quality and design but with a warm weather sporting fabrication, Chitosant, an organic based fabric treatment certified by the USDA that provides UPF 50 protection, high breathability and wicking. She also introduced mesh sleeves and mesh insert details which allow for maximum airflow where it’s needed most.
Fashion + Function. The silhouette that launched Le Fash’s debut shirting onto the market featured a center cotton panel with a bamboo, color blocking side panel and sleeve. This design defined Le Fash’s dynamic vision as it allowed a uniform look underneath a riding jacket for competition yet looked like a fashion forward, slimming shirt when worn alone. The stretchy knit bamboo fabric not only allowed freedom of movement with a slim fit but also breathability and moisture management. The unique magnetic collar closure closes securely for competition yet without the look of snaps or buttons when worn open.
As with most popular innovative products, the market soon became flooded with items that imitated the unique look of the original Le Fash collection. Tapping into her dynamic entrepreneurial spirit, Arianna strictly upheld the quality of her brand while adapting to change by creating new styles using technical fabrics that appeal to the modern equestrian. Additionally, she recently co-founded Vastino Ventures, a boutique consulting company that uses the team’s years of hands-on experience to assist small businesses deliver fashion and consumer products to market. Motivated to assist additional other entrepreneurs find success, Vastino Ventures proudly communicates their intention with the tagline, “STOP DREAMING. START DOING.”
More About Arianna Vastino:
Arianna Vastino was raised in rural New Jersey where she fell in love with horses and equestrian sport at the tender age of 3. After training and competing as a hunter/jumper rider for her entire life, Arianna discovered her affinity for style and design and entered the fashion industry at 15. After continuing to advance her skills through education from the world’s best design schools, such as Pratt Institute and Istituto Marangoni in Milan, she went on to earn positions that have connected her with some of the industry’s top companies such as Bergdorf Goodman and Harper’s Bazaar.
While discovering the mass appeal of equestrian style in the fashion world, combined with her desire for more stylish riding clothing herself, Arianna was inspired to create a lifestyle clothing brand that would appeal to both high level equestrians and those with a love of equestrian fashion. In 2011, after 10 years of research and development, Le Fash was born, pioneering the industry?s now popular stable to streetwear fashion trend.
Combined with designing and running her company full time, Arianna recently started a boutique fashion consulting company, Vastino Ventures, where she helps young entrepreneurs with design and branding to bring their ideas to the market.Connect with her at LeFashNY.com and at VastinoVentures.com, on Facebook and on Instagram @lefashny.