Patty and Katie McInerny may not be French but the identical twin sisters embrace and embody the French aesthetic of looking effortlessly chic with confidence and ease.
Their company name: SECLAT, is a combination of two French words they loved, explains Patty: Subtil means subtle and Eclat means panache.
“French words define our company because we identify with French women’s simple but chic look. They never look like they are trying too hard, but always look amazing,” says Katie.
For summer 2018, their eyelet beach tunic with leather tie and three-quarter split sleeve, raffia wristlet and Moroccan tote is making waves on and off the beach. Patty, who worked as an editor and writer for many women’s fashion magazines in New York City for more than a decade, has high style standards. Her sister, Katie, whose background is in finance, joined forces to launch Seclat New York, a boutique accessories/apparel brand that focuses on smart, busy and chic women.
“We do well in these areas because we have a very resort summer vibe,” says Patty. “The quality and materials we can offer to customers at a lower price due to our small business structure and direct sales approach.”
Deciding to enter the beachwear market was easy, explains the duo.Since the brand launched four years ago, it’s drawn attention from Miami to Martha’s Vineyard.
“We noticed the current beachwear was either too preppy or too sexy. It was hard for us to find cover-ups that were sophisticated, modern and had a more ‘Hamptons vibe,’” says Katie.
Their beachwear had a soft social media launch during winter. Resort wear launches in a few weeks.
“People like the airy fabric,” says Patty. “You see the outline of your bathing suit without feeling too exposed. It also serves as a day dress, so it’s cute enough that you can leave the beach or the pool and go run errands.”
“Our tunics are cotton,” she adds. “Most out there are rayon; we really wanted a soft, natural fiber. It’s lightweight and the eyelet keeps them breezy.”
Their handwoven Moroccan beach totes with vivid colored tassels are popular, along with their natural raffia wristlets that are ideal for easy transport. They can be worn with a bracelet or a detachable cross body strap.
“They sold out last year and were the biggest seller at The Ritz Carlton boutiques,” Patty says. “People like them because they are small yet they can hold keys.”
Their floral raffia foldover clutch with fringed edges will debut soon. The sisters enjoy what they do and are grateful to be working together.
“As twins, we have a unique ability to anticipate and understand each other,” says Patty. “We both share a unified vision. We collaborate on all designs and materials bringing a unique dynamic to our business.”
They spent a year looking for unique materials before starting their business. During a European textile show in Manhattan, their creativity kicked into full gear. They discovered embossed cork clutches that looked “skin-like” and were new, unique, and environmentally friendly.
“Our embossed cork designs give you the luxury of exotic skins without the guilt,” says Patty.
With several designs manufactured in Italy they also worked closely with European and New York artisans.
Working in an industry some feel is saturated does not dissuade them. Their access to materials that many high-end fashion designers use, they say, makes them stand out. And, they limit production runs and don’t sell in major department stores, so their products feel unique.
“We are a small company and able to get products out quickly, often a year ahead of the larger companies,” Katie says. “Last year, Jimmy Choo used the same fleurette raffia in his wedges that we had used the prior summer.”
Another perk to the consumer is personal service.
“We sell directly, unlike bigger companies, so we listen to our customers and are responsive to our designs,” Katie says. “If we hear that a cross-body strap is too long or a style didn’t work, it’s gone from the next run.”
Prices range from $75 to $225. Look for new arrivals at seclat.com.