Classic, equestrian-inspired pieces have long been a fixture of New England fashion. Whether it’s a pair of riding boots, a collared shirt or even a cape, anyone can rock the timeless style embodied by these pieces with grace and surprisingly little effort.
Julia Livingston, the founder and creator of Clovis, an equestrian-inspired, Boston-based clothing brand, believes so strongly in equestrian wear that she created an entire line around it. On its face the premise of Clovis makes a lot of sense: Livingston, herself someone who loves horseback riding, noticed there was something missing when it came to available options for equestrian wear. It was during her own searches for technical pieces designed for riding that she realized there was a gap between what was fashionable and what was an attainable price point for the average rider.
“So much of what I was finding while shopping for equestrian wear was expensive, when the clothes are literally meant to get dirty,” Livingston says.
The more she searched, the more the thought crystalized in her head: Did it make sense to spend so much money on clothing designed for riding a horse? There had to be a happier medium out there, she thought, first at once, then often, and before long it was all she could think about. And so Livingston set out to create a line that was designed to get dirty and was at the same time chic and comfortable.
Fueled by her own ambition, Livingston brought to life clothing for riders that also functions as fashionable streetwear for the average consumer seeking well-made, timeless pieces for their wardrobe. Many of the brand’s pieces work well for other sports as well, including tennis, skiing, and more. And while designing a line of equestrian wear for non-riders might seem counterintuitive to some, it is the versatile nature of Livingston’s designs that are proving to be practical and popular with consumers.
While the line offers technical pieces meant for riding, other pieces simply draw inspiration from horseback riding. “I was really searching for and ended up creating equestrian-inspired clothing at a lower price point that also functions as everyday wear,” explains Livingston. Clovis clothing places an emphasis on four-way stretch, breathability, dry-fit, using moisture wicking material. The pieces are great for everything from riding to running and are unisex as well as machine washable and dryable. Little touches are important to Livingston, and Clovis focuses on leather details, quality fabrics and prints inspired by the English countryside. As a result, the turtlenecks, sweatshirts, and gloves are as perfect for the barn as they are paired with a ski parka or with a pair of jeans for a no-fuss outfit.
Connecting with Clovis clients from all over the world has been both a delight and a passion project for Livingston, who says it has been “beyond rewarding to see sales come in from around the world.” She credits the power of social media with not only being able to help expand the reach of Clovis but also help her personally connect with customers. “It is true what small business owners often repeat,” says Livingston, which is that “we really do a little happy dance when we see an order come in, especially when it is from a new client or from a new country. The excitement and gratitude I have is enormous.”
Ever mindful of the environment, Clovis strives to use organic and recycled materials. The brand is proud to offer its “Reduce. Reuse. Re-Clovis” line that “repurposes existing garments into” some of their “most popular designs, helping to break the cycle of disposable fashion that many people find themselves in without even being fully aware of it,” says Livingston. Every piece in this collection is “hand designed, hand selected and sustainably sourced,” she explains.
As Livingston looks to the future of Clovis, she is both inspired by and invigorated about what’s next, including a zodiac line featuring items designed around the deities that represent signs of the zodiac. Also in the works are more sweatshirts, pullovers, button downs and less technical items that will appeal to the average customer for everyday wear.