Meet the Founder of A Shirt Story

Meet the Founder of A Shirt Story


This week on Wynne's World, we meet Sasha Iglehart, former fashion editor and founder of A Shirt Story. I own one of her shirts that I bought during a trunk show at Jennifer Alfano's house the year before last, and I love everything about this sustainable brand. 

Heidi: How did you come up with the concept of A Shirt Story? How did you start your brand?

Sasha: I  have always loved men’s dress shirts. My Dad’s wardrobe consisted of suits and oxford cotton shirts, which became soft and well-worn over time. When they became too well-worn for his taste, my Dad’s shirts found other purposes: Smocks for our art projects; beach cover ups to protect our skin from the sun. When a pile of his old Brooks Bros shirts were stacked to be sent to Goodwill I snagged them. How could I resist that soft cotton, the tug of childhood memories?

That’s when the wheels really started turning and A Shirt Story was born.

I’m a lifelong fashion editor. Working for magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE and Glamour, I would cherry pick the best pieces from the major luxury designers in Milan, Paris and New York for editorials and celebrity covers. While my job was to encourage you to shop I now advocate for slow fashion and a core wardrobe of quality pieces.

Sasha Iglehart

All of the shirts you’ll find at A Shirt Story have been carefully hand-picked from Goodwill, scored on ebay, rescued from dollar racks. I look for 100 percent cotton (avoiding the non-iron variety), left over right buttons (ideally), free of holes or stains (though I have been known to go a little Lady Macbeth if I deemed a particular shirt worth salvaging).

All of these shirts have a story. Washing them, cutting off collars, fraying cuffs and replacing old buttons takes time and patience. So I get to know the shirts well. It always crosses my mind who originally bought this shirt? And why? Was it for one occasion or was the shirt in the weekly rotation. Whose drawer will end up in next, and how will it be worn? What’s this shirt’s next chapter? As Orsola De Castro writes in Loved Clothes Last, “Mending doesn’t mean we can’t afford something new; it means we can’t afford something being thrown away.”

Striped Cotton Shirt by A Shirt Story

My big picture mission is to help get surplus clothing inventory integrated into the existing supply chain, either through recycling or better yet upcycling. Overproduction is a huge problem in the fashion industry and so much perfectly good clothing is discounted, discarded, or destroyed.  Thrift stores generally only sell about 30% of their inventory. So where do you think that other 70% ends up? (Exactly.) 

I like solving problems. Listening and reading about the current state of the fashion industry and its massive effect on climate change is overwhelming. However, I feel I am part of not a trend but a movement. And now you are part of it too.

 Shirts by A Shirt Story


Heidi: Could you please share with us what you have been watching and reading lately?


Sasha: My husband and I recently watched Slow Horses (Gary Oldman!!!) and Beef. I hadn't even heard of Beef until seeing the Globes. Loved it. On my own, I watch fashion documentaries and gossipy series like Swans. I'm looking forward to seeing the Dior series, The New Look. Looks like a great cast. 


Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans

I am listening (again!) to "How to Communicate Like A Buddhist" and reading (again) On Photography by Susan Sontag. Both are short books and you get more out of them the second time around. 


 On Photography by Susan Sontag


Heidi: Do you have any upcoming travel plans?


Sasha:  Spring gets busy with pop ups and trunk shows. A Shirt Story does well when shoppers can try on and see the details of the upcycling. "Customer service" is important, getting the sustainable message across that these are preloved or discarded shirts is ideal.  That said, I am just back from a successful trunk show at the Palm Beach store of Unsubscribed who goes all out with a market place of their favorite brands. I put on my salesman hat and start telling the story of the shirts! April is Earth Month and May is always busy. I'll be doing quick stops in NYC area and DC and LA for May. Traveling is also critical for sourcing shirts to rework. I am always on the lookout for great thrift stores. Nothing like a real score thrifting.

Los Angeles


Heidi: What are you wearing this spring? 


Sasha: My wardrobe has simplified since I have started my own business. I want to represent 24/7. It's khakis, every silhouette of white jeans on earth, jackets (3 Dries Van Noten from Vestiaire) or trenches with my Shirt Story shirts. I still have my crossbody Prada nylon bag but I have some new Warby Parker sunglasses and am going really blond so my core wardrobe looks different in the mirror. Haha. 

Sasha's Style 


Heidi: Could you please share your favorite beauty products with us?


Sasha:  Many times I have stood in the Beauty and Bodycare aisle of Whole Foods overwhelmed with options to try. My backup team is Pure Body Argan Oil, Weleda Skin Food (smells so good) for my hair, Ogee Liquid Gold oil cleanser. And my Maybelline brow powder and pencil from CVS!


 Weleda Skin Food, Ogee Liquid Gold Cleansing Oil, Pure Body Naturals Argan Oil


Heidi: Who is your fashion icon?


Sasha: When it comes to "style icons", I can certainly reference the usual suspects. Just google it. But I 'll come at this question from a different angle... who are the creatives who design beautiful collections from season to season whose DNA is clear and identifiable.  My heart starts to flutter when it comes to the following 3 designers without fail. The go to basics are just as mouth watering as the runway silhouettes. Dries Van Noten - if I had to pick one designer to wear for the rest of my life it would be him. His work is eclectic with  a global worldliness. It's the prints, fabric and fit he uses that  make me feel confident and going back for more. His store in Paris is always my first stop. I want to sit next to him on a plane someday. Miuccia Prada. As an editor I left her shows in Milan with more questions than answers. However she consistently predicts the direction of a given season, no one can argue with that. The shoes and bags are the best.. The Row is the luxury brand of the moment. They may seem a bit under the radar with their quiet luxury but there is a cult following similar to the Phoebe Philo Celine years for a reason.


 Dries Van Noten's Paris Shop


Heidi: What is meaningful in your life right now?


Sasha: Reworking my pre-loved shirts gives me a purpose and is deeply satisfying especially when shoppers and friends "get it".  Slowing down fashion, becoming more aware of climate change and making use of what exists is a real thing. I can literally see light bulbs turn on when someone understands the concept of upcycling and why it is SO important.  My goal is to be a solution to a problem! 3 or 4 Yoga and Pilates classes a week is my goal but I am falling off the wagon lately. I want strong bones and a hard core! Haha. We have a puppy and it just feels good to walk. It's good for him and good for us. City walking is a means to an end where as walking in Connecticut is a choice and a great one. Of course, I want to talk about my children and how I love them so much but it sounds corny and trite...


Shop Sasha's collection on A Shirt Story

Follow along on Instagram @ashirtstory


  • Love this interview and the passion that Sasha approaches her commitment to Mother Earth, education, and making the world a better place than she found it.

    MargieD on

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