After completing Parsons’ BBA Design and Management program, Sarah Ahmed dedicated herself to fostering inclusivity in the fashion industry. And her efforts, begun just after graduation, are focused on the very backbone of the American wardrobe: denim.
Standard sizing for the quintessential sportswear staple, jeans, ranges from 0 to 14, even though “67 percent of women in the United States are above a size 14,” says Ahmed. Using the reach of her family’s apparel business and her own entrepreneurial savvy, Ahmed launched Warp + Weft, an inexpensive jeans line tailored to all body types. “We wanted to create a brand that has mass appeal yet provides excellent quality and value. Everyone wears jeans, so democratizing that space was long overdue!”
Beyond the gains Ahmed has already secured in socially inclusive fashion, she pushes for sustainable work practices and implements a well-considered supply chain. “We are an end-to-end vertical, which means we control the entire process, from spinning fiber to the final product, allowing us to be very efficient. For example, our denim uses 95 percent less water than regular denim.” Ahmed’s involvement in the process allows her and her team to continually find opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of their work.
Ahmed is also creative director of her family’s business, DL1961. In that role, she produced an arresting media campaign featuring four creative pioneers—including Emily Ratajkowski and Maye Musk—who are spreading the message of female empowerment through fashion.