STATELESS is a team of fashion design and industry experts passionate about producing fresh clothing lines, functional apparel, and memorable brands in the most creative, efficient and effective way possible. With a global network of manufacturers, vendors, and advisors we help entrepreneurs, investors, designers, and established companies in various industries navigate the apparel design and production process to create lasting, profitable fashion lines. Our team is made up of expert fashion designers, developers, production managers, and brand designers from Gap Inc., Macys, Ralph Lauren, Osh Kosh B'Gosh, J. Crew, Patagonia, Adidas, Google, etc. with degrees from Parsons, RISD, and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
Stateless has a network of manufacturers and fabric/trim vendors based in the United States and overseas. We've vetted and built strong relationships with many factories to meet our high standards of ethics and cost effectiveness. Our designers and production managers are fluent in technical "factory speak," meaning they know how to communicate with manufacturers to ensure excellent product. Through costing exercises and sample comparisons, we will help you find the perfect apparel manufacturers for your needs.
Be sure to follow us on Instagram to keep up with the team!
Meet (some of) the Team
Creative Director, Co-Founder
Souad (Sou) has been working in the fashion industry for 15+ years. She has a strong track record in developing brands and managing creative teams. From New York to San Francisco, she has designed and concepted for leading American retailers including Gap Inc., Oshkosh B’gosh, The Children’s Place, JC Penney, American Eagle Outfitters, and Tea Collection. Souad also helped launched new kidswear brands for American Eagle Outfitters and JC Penney: 77Kids and Baker by Ted Baker, and tech subscription brand, Rockets of Awesome.
Sou studied at Parson’s School of Design and New York School of Design.
While working at an educational consulting firm in NYC in her past life, Stefanie learned the ropes of the consulting business and business development. Knowing that people were knocking on Souad's door for concept and design help, Stef approached Sou with the idea of building a design and consulting agency for brands seeking to outsource creative design and development. Souad agreed and they became the Brains and the Creative behind Stateless Fashion Design and Consulting!
EVAN POLIVY, Director of Brand Development
Evan is our branding expert. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he studied as many mediums as he could, including graphic design, film, photography, and apparel. Now, after over nine years as an agency Creative Director working with some of the world’s top companies including Google, IBM, and Sotheby’s, Evan prides himself on his unique ability to bring artists together to form cohesive and memorable brands and experiences.
Like our clients, Evan also owns his own apparel startup called The Rafter Club where he has constructed a world of basketball-inspired menswear.
COURTNEY BAGTAZO, Senior Development & Production Manager
Courtney began her career in fashion in 1999, selling handmade surf trunks by seamstress Sato Hughes, who had been making bespoke shorts for Kanvas by Katin since 1961. A few years later, she worked as a vintage buyer for Japanese distribution company Ragtime Cowboy and Imonni alongside owner and designer Eiko Wise.From these two women, Courtney learned the details of fashion construction and handmade clothing production.
In 2004, Courtney began working as a product development and production manager, in order to provide production expertise to emergent and established brands; manufacturing mostly in the US. Courtney gained a diverse skill-set while working over the course of more than a decade in the industry. She has worked for brands including Battenwear, Best Made Co., Jesse Kamm, Cuyana, Rockets of Awesome, etc.
ERICKA MAYS, Director of Production Management
Ericka Mays grew up in Chicago. She started her fashion career in retail, working for such stores as Marshall Field, Neiman Marcus, and Henri Bendel. Upon moving to New York City, she worked for Cynthia Rowley as her Production Manager and subsequently as the Director of Production for Norma Kamali. With seed money from friends, Ericka also founded Ericka Mays New York, a plus size clothing line as well as Lux Cover a cashmere travel accessories collection. Having helped many of her peers in production consulting, she retired her brands and commenced to production consulting full time.
ALYSON ARAQUE, Resident Merchandiser
Alyson was bitten by the merchandising bug while working in a small boutique at Keene State College, NH, where she played basketball and was studying Broadcast Journalism. She immediately retired her sneakers and transferred to the University of Delaware from which she graduated with a B.S. in Fashion Merchandising.
For the last 15 years, Alyson has worked for industry leaders such as Saks Fifth Avenue, TJX Companies, and Equinox Gym. The lion share of her career was spent as a Buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue for high profile categories of Women’s Shoes, Men’s Classic Clothing, and Cosmetics. Over the years, she has partnered with brands such as Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Ermenegildo Zegna, Kiehl’s, Stuart Weitzman, Lancôme, and Ralph Lauren to develop strategic initiatives for sales and profit growth, launched exclusive capsules, and executed events and marketing strategies.
This year, Alyson began the second act in her career, developing her own women’s tailored clothing collection, Q Sartorial. When she’s not living the “startup life”, you can find her with her Cavalier King Charles, Bettywhite.
LIZ LEAVITT, Director of Development & Production
Liz has sourced product globally for over 25 years. Her love of shopping and knowing how things are made turned her into a development and production expert. She started her career working in retail and her journey took her to manufacturing garments in over 20 countries and 5 continents.
Liz has worked for big players in the industry serving as the Vice President of Development and Production for Talbots and Ann Taylor and holding Director positions at Lord and Taylor, Macy’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Ann Taylor and Talbots. She has worked on all size ranges from 3 Months to Plus size across categories. Her main focus is delivering a quality product at a great price, on time.
As a native New Yorker she loves spending time visiting museums, Broadway, taking spin classes and of course travel.
CAROLINE COCKERHAM, Senior Designer & Developer
Caroline is a technology and sustainability focused designer, with a special concentration in 3D seamless knitting. She has worked in domestic and international textile mills, for small and large brands, design agencies and fashion start-ups. As a graduate from NC State University with a BS in Textile and Apparel Product Development & Design and an MS in Textile & Apparel Sustainability, Caroline is passionate about finding smart and sustainable ways to produce clothing. Brands she has worked for include Patagonia, Lucy Activewear, Wool and the Gang, Appalatch, and Nimbly Made.
Anna is one of our senior designers with more than a decade of design and production experience.
Educated in the UK, Anna graduated from The University of Brighton in 2005 with first class honors in Fashion Textiles & Business Studies. She began her career in London working for Sophie Stellar, knitting and selling swatches to diverse fashion companies in Europe and the US. She was hired by American Eagle outfitters in 2006. After 2 years, Anna became a part of American Eagle's new concept '77 kids.' Launching in 2008, Anna headed up all girls knits for ages 3- 14 years. In 2012, Anna relocated to California to work for 'Juicy Couture' as senior designer for girls, later transitioning into women’s to help grow juicy's casuals line. In 2013, Anna returned to NYC to work for JCPenney, launching the 'Sally M' exclusive line.
Whilst she's not designing you can find her at the beach, surfing, running, cuddling with her dog George or sipping on a soy latte in her favorite coffee shop.
Virgil is one talented Designer. Throughout his extensive experience and top-notch training, he has translated his craftsmanship across the design spectrum. From fun and thoughtful children's wear at Macy's and Sears to custom, couture-level garments for celebrities and performers at Asher Levine and Yigal Azrouël, Virgil's personal mission is to translate and explore the needs of others through his own expertise. With a passion for concept development and quality construction, he is able to elevate clients' visions in the most seamless way possible.
Associate Fashion Designer
Calla has a BS in Fashion Design from Drexel University. Her work experience includes fashion design for Kate Spade, Zac Zac Posen, Karl Lagerfeild Paris, and various other fashion brands. Calla also dabbles in fashion styling and video/photo shoot production. She is an artist by nature and spends her free time painting and dancing here in NYC. Calla's passion is finding the balance between functionality and aesthetic.
Lizette is currently the youngest member of our team. She spends her summers working behind the scenes at Stateless, while learning more about the fashion industry and business management. She has more of a pop-punk style compared to the rest of our team, mainly wearing a pair of Vans, a band tee, and black jeans. She also gigs as a full time student. Lizette enjoys drumming, performing in theater, live music, and a good pizza. In the future, she aspires to help people in anyway possible and advocate for social justice, hopefully via fashion.
Stateless cares about tasteful design and a solid point of view. We work with clients who share those same values. Here's what some of our clients have said so far...
"I knew that they had the experience from the corporate world of what a tech pack needed to look like, and from a brand perspective, they know what it means to build a brand. All of our communication to our customers is polished and clean and has a strong point of view. They made us look like we’re complete pros even if it’s just us."
— VP of new box subscription company based in NYC
"Stateless are a very talented team of designers and fashion consultants and it was our pleasure to work with them recently on a design project. True professionals every step of the way! Fantastic quality of work and attention to detail. Delivered on brief, on time, on budget but above and beyond for quality and creativity."
- Marcus Fearon, CEO of LabMarc
"Trust their taste level; trust their point of view."
— Creative Director of new fashion company in SoHo, NYC
"They’re able to come in and understand what your brand is about."
— Former Creative Director at major national retailer
"Working with them made my product. The quality of my product has changed. They take care of approving products and quality to extreme detail."
— Founder of children's line in its 6th successful season
"I think the Stateless opportunity is for new businesses, to get them up and running and actually making the product. It’s being able to come in and understand what your brand is about, and help you find factories whether you want to create product domestically or overseas. They’ll explain the advantages and the disadvantages of both. They can explain why made in the US is more expensive if you’re willing to pay for it, and share some of the nuances. It’s not as easy as it sounds."
— VP of box subscription company based in NYC
"They made it a reality. They took my dream and made it into a reality."
— Founder of new line sold in boutiques in the U.S. and Paris
"Without them, it would have been much harder to launch."
— Founder/Creative Director of new apparel line in stores around the nation
"The Stateless team are the best in the industry, hands down. We feel so lucky to have them on our side. True professionals through and through, we can't recommend Stateless enough."
— President of International Private Label