How Grammar is Rewriting the White Button Down Rules


The Founder of Grammar talks sustainable fashion, reinventing a closet staple and why you should figure out what you love to do.



Althea Simons

Occupations, affiliations, and projects:

Founder, Designer, & CEO of Grammar


Ideas are cheap. An idea means nothing if it’s not realized. I tend to get stuck in my head, ideas and thoughts rolling around and around. “Doing” calms my mind and allows me to focus.

Tell me why it was important to you to start Grammar? 

It has been my dream to start a sustainable fashion brand for so long. I sort of hid from it for a while. The catalyst for finally doing it was a fire at my apartment 2 years ago. I lost all of my belongings, including my carefully curated wardrobe. I was forced to confront my real dreams and desires, and the very real fact that I had nothing to wear. I experienced trying to rebuild my wardrobe from scratch, but I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to buy. Nothing was exciting to me; I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I decided to make it.


To date, what accomplishments are you most proud of?

Launching the first Grammar collection was a huge moment for me. It was the culmination of over a year of work and a lifetime of dreams. I’m really proud of the product and the way it feels. Seeing people wear the shirts and hearing how much they love them—that’s the best feeling in the world to me.

#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments.

If I had to put it into words it would be something like “breathe.” I think it’s really important to feel it when things get tough or sad or uncomfortable or whatever. That’s the only way you grow. As I mentioned before, I tend to get in my head so I often need a reminder to come back to my body.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?

To stop working an hour before I want to go to bed. If I don’t, I sleep horribly.

Ideas are cheap. An idea means nothing if it’s not realized.

Favorite method for logging any kind of inspiration.

I can’t say that I’m very organized when it comes to logging inspiration. I tend to jot ideas down on any random piece of paper I can find, or in the Notes app on my phone or computer. I do collect them though, at a certain point. I will gather all my disparate ideas on a big foam board in my studio and look for connections.

Get to know yourself, figure out what you really love, and do that.

What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned?

To listen to myself, not other people. Stop looking to others to answer my questions; I have the answers.

What's your go-to song to put you in a better mood?

Right now it’s “Wow” by Beck. Takes me from apathetic —> grateful.

What’s the best piece of advice that you can give someone right now?

Get to know yourself, figure out what you really love, and do that.

Top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party.

I love dinner parties! There’s nothing better than sharing food and wine with friends and family.

As for people I’d like to meet and/or plug my brain into theirs and download everything: Madeleine Vionnet and Issey Miyake. Both brilliant designers, sculptors, researchers, masters of form, pursuers of beauty. I love their work and am inspired by them constantly.


3 words that you want to be remembered by.

Warm, passionate, brilliant. You asked!

What’s the next goal?

Second product drop, Spring pop-up.

By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look?

I would be honored to be an inspiration to others, especially women who want to start their own businesses.


Click here to learn more about Grammar.