Teddy Saints invites viewers into their new collection:
On Saturday, June 26th, Teddy Saints embarked on their first-ever pop-up premiering their new “Sun & Leisure” Summer 2021 collection. As you enter into the space you are greeted by the sweet scent of oranges, alongside decorative flower arrangements. Teddy Saints is a minimalist fashion brand that celebrates inclusivity and its love for Spritz.
This introductory pop-up for Teddy Saint’s “Sun & Leisure,” Collection invited viewers into a site-specific country club that catered to connecting the community and drinking delicious Aperol spritz. As many individuals know, for years country clubs were not accessible for people who were not a part of the upper class, predominantly the white upper class. With this event, Teddy Saints reimagines the country club aesthetic, making it inclusive to those of all backgrounds. Viewers were able to not only surf through the new collection, but they were also able to enjoy their spritz drink at curated table sets.
I was able to sit down and talk to the founder of the Teddy Saints brand, Chris Gardner before the event. In this interview, we discuss the new collection, the relationship to Aperol Spritz, and his goals moving forward with the brand.
Lauryn: From my research, I learned that Spritz Club released last summer, so I’m curious to know-how has the brand grown since then?
Chris: Last year was our first introduction, essentially just trying to feel out the crowd and see how people would react to this new brand being put out in the South Florida community. If I am being honest, it was received pretty well for my standards at least. I kind of set the bar pretty low, I had low expectations because I started from zero. It had this catch fire moment where a couple of influencers caught hold of it and the brand spread out to different parts of the country outside of Florida. That gave me the inspiration and the push to continue going forward.
2020 was the year, if you're going to do something might as well do it now. I remember being in my room, racking my brain, and just telling myself I should just do this. I've been trying to do this for years now and this was my first venture by myself.
Lauryn: Why Aperol Spritz? What is your relationship to this drink and what were the decisions behind making it the face of your brand?
Chris: Essentially whenever I go out, I always have a signature drink. Usually, people ask me, “hey what are you drinking?” This drink is very aesthetically pleasing, it’s bright orange with an orange slice on it and usually, there's some type of funny-looking straw associated with it. People are always curious about it and me being the type of person I am, I like to share the wealth.
The Aperol Spritz is something I’ve been drinking for years now and it was always something that I associated myself with when I go out. The one thing that I enjoy personally doing is going out and connecting with people. This was another way for me to connect with people.
Lauryn: It’s such a distinct connotation, what part of the flavors just get you?
Chris: To me honestly it’s the perfect summer drink. We live in South Florida, it’s hot year-round and this drink has kept me refreshed throughout whatever social function I was at. I always associate good times, memories, and interactions with it. The premise of the brand is to further interact with the community and hopefully, we can build something together that is familiar. It’s bigger than just the drink itself, it’s more about building a community of like-minded people.
Lauryn: There is this country club aesthetic that the brand encapsulates and I’m curious to know your ideas behind the creative direction for Teddy Saints?
Chris: The whole aspect of it being a club is that we are all about inclusivity, I want everyone to feel that they are welcomed when they see this. Especially being black and thinking about these barriers that country clubs have created for such a long time against people of all backgrounds. I want this to be something that the community can get behind and everyone can feel included in.
Lauryn: I see that you also make curated playlists and I want to know if they connect to the brand? Or do they stand apart on their own?
Chris: I know this is going to be the repetitive word choice, but it’s all about community and another aspect of that is music. Music is a large part of these social events in the sense that it brings so many people together. It has personally helped me meet a lot of people, these two things go hand and hand with the brand. We want you to be a part of this, but also feel like you have a soundtrack to whatever may be going on in your life at the moment. Currently, we have a playlist catered to the summer called the "Sun & Leisure" playlist available on Spotify and Apple Music. Music is a big part of my life and making playlists has helped me widen my horizons as well.
Lauryn: What do you look forward to and hope to gain from your pop-up?
Chris: What I look forward to the most is meeting the people who gravitate to what we are trying to do and create these life-long relationships. I hope to create a space the community can gravitate to.
Photography by Aldhair Ramirez & Christopher Cruz