We founded Curator in 2005, motivated by our mutual love of clothing and working together. Our friendship has always inspired creative collaborations that pushed new ideas and missions forward.
We met on a soccer field at 16 years old, where we discovered that we ran at the exact same pace—ahead of the pack. When we ended up picking the same college in San Diego, we grew even closer - living and “getting ready” together for over 10 years. Sharing a love of thrift store shopping and making things from our home - from photoshoots to silkscreening t-shirts - we produced a kindred understanding of clothing, and a love for working together.
While we were drawn to a lot of the same clothing, we noticed early on our bodies couldn’t be more different. Because of this, fit is one of our guiding principles behind all of the garments we make. We design our clothes to fit a wide range of bodies and when we make a piece that works on both of us, we know we’ve got something magical. We source hardworking fabrics and choose shapes that flatter. The goal of each Curator piece is to make you feel powerful and uninterrupted in your day. Clothes that are easy to wash, wear, and support all of your pursuits. Clothes that we want in our own closets.
We created these pieces for the important days of your life, the ones where you want your best friend standing beside you. Just imagine two best friends trying and retrying on these pieces, debating the sleeves, the width, the ease of these garments to get the fit right. We hope our clothes become your favorite pieces to pull out of your closet and that you feel the joy that went into making them every time you wear them.
Deirdre Nagayama & Stacy Rodgers
Curator is built around a 30 year friendship. We put our hearts and souls into each other and this work. This company reflects who we are and we strive to do the right thing in all stages of the business. From the sourcing of our fabric to who we work with to sew the final garments, every decision we make matters and we take that responsibility seriously.
For the many risks of entrepreneurship, one of the very best rewards is the ability to work from our own ethics. We ask the hard questions of our suppliers. We do the research. We inquire about labor practices. We invest more to have our clothes made conscientiously both locally and at factories abroad. We employ communities we want to support. The judgement calls are ours to make.
In an effort to give back to our community, we donate monthly to City of Dreams, an organization that is guided by a bold vision: to end the generational cycle of poverty in our city's most challenged neighborhoods. The same neighborhoods where we produce most of our garments.
As SF natives, we proudly work with four factories in the Bay Area to produce our small batch goods. We ensure our partners pay fair wages and provide safe working conditions. The majority of our factories are family-run - more so even - women-run. Every one of these factories has an owner that works alongside their employees everyday. That’s a key component in selecting a factory for us. We proudly cut and sew our garments in California and currently make 90% of our line at factories that are within a 20 minute drive of our headquarters.
As Covid has changed the world, so too has it changed the garment industry in the Bay Area. Workers are retiring and factories are closing. Our lead times for production have gone from 4 weeks to a 12 week turn around time. This is partly why we are sold out all the time!
We have been monitoring these changes and have slowly begun to explore new supply chains with a work force that is not on the brink of retirement. It’s important to note, we are not taking work away from ANY local factories. Our commitment remains to stay with them until they close. Our main factory, that sews our Jules Coats and Cadence Pants, has given us until August 2024 until they retire. Our other dress factory promises to give us 6 months notice of their retirement. These women are 70 + years old, and while it will be very sad to stop working with them, we want them to take care of themselves.
Braced with the reality that most of our factories will likely close in the next 2 years, we have been interviewing, researching and testing new factories. We are very happy to have partnered with a family run factory in Lima, Peru for our sweaters. We work with an agent native to Peru, whom we pay a living wage to supervise our projects and check in on conditions, and quality control. We have visited the factory and broke bread with the factory owners. We feel confident the agent and the factory are a good fit for our values.
Spring 2023 brings a new factory into our fold. After talking to many of our colleagues in the industry, we selected a factory located in New Delhi, India run by two twin sisters Archana and Arpana. The factory is SEDEX certified, and prices comparable to what we pay in SF to have these goods created. We have run tests, made samples and were able to place a small order to test working with them for Spring 2023. Since there are certain items we cannot make in our current garment dye process, we will focus on India producing the items we cannot make locally over the next year.
We partner with reputable mills who focus on ethical and sustainable practices. We use low impact dyes on all of our fabrics and products. And we wear-test our garments to make sure they hold up to your lives. Before any fabric lands in your hands, it has gone through extensive testing. We’ve learned that fabric can be a lot like meeting a new friend -- you need to hang out with them several times before you know what they are made of. Their traits become especially clear in hot water and tight situations.