SEA designers Monica Paolini and Sean Monahan want customers to feel and embody a sense of freedom and creativity through their designs. With an expansive collection and stocklist that incudes global retailers such as Barneys New York and an ever-growing Japanese fan base, how to progress and elevate each success collection is a continuous challenge for the design duo.
Having grown up together in Newburgh, New York, the pair began working together after Monahan moved back to New York. With experience working for Betsey Johnson and Jill Stuart, Paolini was able to flex her creative muscles autonomously. Producing collections that combine femininity, coolness, and optimism, their often modestly provocative designs have been embraced by a growing international fan base, with Japan representing one of the brand’s largest markets.
Expecting a child when she was designing the Pre-Fall 2016 collection, Paolini decided to make clothes a woman could wear before, during, and after pregnancy. The resulting line up was a kaleidoscope of mixed materials and textures that exudes unconventional appeal. From lacey, patchwork-inspired tops to fringed outerwear with raw, unraveled accents and intricately embroidered, eyelet creations, the pieces are delicate with folksy undertones without being frilly. Distinctly girlish with touch of rebel, the label continues to find its way into women’s closets and retailer inventories with wearable staples that stand up to the test of time.