Par en Par
Versatility + Timelessness in Resort Wear
On a plane to London, I could only think to myself how easy it would be to have the perfect spring resort wear collection that is not only beautiful, but ethically made and cared for–something that can timelessly move from spring to summer, and be light enough to pack.
With its second collection having arrived this past Spring 2019, this is exactly what Laura Choi, founder of Par en Par had in mind when planting the seed of her new label. Originally from California, Choi lived in NYC for many years before making the big move back to sunny California.
Before the move, Choi was working at Warby Parker back in 2015 when she originally started appreciating travel. Especially in the ultra seasonal fast fashion, nothing in resort collections are very versatile, or pieces that are wearable in everyday outfits. There was a lack of efficiency and sustainability in this part of the fashion industry. That’s when Par en Par launched in 2017.
The pieces are something you can wear to a wedding or at the office–not limited to specific occasions and it equated similar to the flexibility of altheisure today. While Choi’s last collection was a lot more loose and airy, this year, Par en Par’s pieces are a lot more refined with well thought out details, drawn, closer to the silhouette.
All the pieces are dyed locally in LA, and Choi was part of the entirety of production. “[It] really made me appreciate everything that goes into making a garment,” said Choi as she sat on a couch in her friend’s Soho apartment. “It’s tougher, but the right choice, which makes this collection personal to me.”
As for the name, Par en Par loosely translates to “doors wide open” in Spanish; for Choi, it was all about balance and duality. “Travel was not just about escaping to the beach, [but] the duality of both relaxation and effort, and I need both,” said Choi.
Being a woman of color, Choi feels “incorporating diversity [within sustainability] should just be a given.” Yet, we live in a time where sustainability still has a strong denotation to the word within certain communities. For Choi, it’s an active choice, from who she uses in her campaigns, from the photographers and creators who help bring Par en Par to life, Choi knows the importance in bringing other people of color a voice to share their creative lenses.
On top of taking action into making sure her pieces are ethically and sustainably thought about, Choi even brings it down to the smallest details of her business, which makes all the difference. There is no plastic in her packaging: instead she uses fabric to wrap her pieces, and it gives a fun way for her customers to then reuse it on their own.
Before you think of your destination vacation, think of the piece of clothing that you can take with you again and again, for every occasion. Look for something that not only lasts forever, but a piece that you can keep styling multiple ways. Don’t feel the urge to stay on top of trends, and keep your doors wide open.
Photography by Frankie Galland