Designer spotlight: Alder

Two Pratt grads create edgy yet wearable women's clothing with sustainability in mind.

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  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Pleated skirt dress, $298 (normally $350), at alderboutique.com

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    Wood floral sleeveless button-front shirt, $207 (normally $244), at alderboutique.com

  • Grommet dress, $183 (normally $215), at alderboutique.com

  • Antler scarf, $122 (normally $144), at alderboutique.com

  • Coral-branch necklace, $204 (normally $240), at alderboutique.com

  • Men's knit denim motorcycle jacket, $221 (normally $260), at alderboutique.com

  • Color-block tie, $51 (normally $60), at alderboutique.com

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Designers Nina Zilka and David J. Krause

Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Pleated skirt dress, $298 (normally $350), at alderboutique.com

Nina Zilka and David J. Krause of Alder (alderboutique.com)

Who they are: Brooklyn-born Nina Zilka and New Jersey native David J. Krause launched their first fashion label, the twentyten (thetwentyten.com), while they were both students at Pratt. After shuttering the futuristic-looking line in May, the duo is at it again with Alder, a high-end clothing and accessories label. Launched in September, the brand is named for a tree that's symbiotic with its environment—not surprising, given that its creators are adamant about sustainability and use American-made organic cotton fabrics to construct their garments. Zilka and Krause source the majority of their textiles in the U.S. and produce their line from the Pratt Design Incubator in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

About the line: With cleaner cuts and a flirtier, more feminine aesthetic than the twentyten, Alder's minimalist style is everyday wearable. "It's for the woman who cares about where her garments are made, but still has a little edge to her," explains Zilka. Small details accent simple looks, such as collared shirt dresses ($350), slit skirts ($199) and grommet-adorned long-sleeved shirts ($170). "Craftsmanship, unique and innovative design, and responsible production methods create pieces the consumer can really cherish," adds Krause. Right now, Zilka and Krause are primarily focused on women's apparel, but guys can get in on the action with men's knit denim motorcycle jackets ($260) and color-block ties ($60). The duo is also dipping its toe into accessories, offering patterned totes ($200) and scarves ($144), and collaborated with jewelry designer Robin Mollicone to create Alder's delicate beaded necklaces ($195--$240).

Where to buy: Online at alderboutique.com. Use code "TONY" at checkout to receive 15 percent off all purchases through October 20.

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