Carmen Anderson is a marathon runner, a vegan and a proud New Yorker. Her clothing line, Carmen Anderson NY, is completely her.
“It’s comfy, it’s sustainable, it’s made it New York City and it will never go out of style,” said Anderson, who sells on her website and at Red Hot Spa in Roslyn, Rain Spa in Huntington and Yvette Lingirie in Bayside.
Anderson came out with a 24-piece collection for women loving the athletic leisure trend in 2013. This year, she hopes to expand her styles to include flowy dresses and tunics made especially for plus-sized women.
Self-described as anti-shopping, Anderson caters her line to the on-the-go woman who doesn’t have enough hours in the day to peruse the stores, or her own closet, looking for something that fits her lifestyle.
“I thought about that woman that’s a mom, she likes to stay fit, she works, she’s on-the-go and doesn’t want to spend too much time figuring out what to wear,” said Anderson.
You could say Anderson has spent most of her life on-the-run, literally. A mother of two, she’s completed the New York City Marathon twice and Boston Marathon once. She doesn’t expect Carmen Anderson NY to inspire customers to go out and run 26.2 miles for fun, but she does hope it helps them stay fit and healthy.
“It makes you feel sexy, it makes you feel comfortable and I think when women feel that way it encourages them and inspires them,” Anderson said.
The clothing is also fit for the planet. While she doesn’t talk much about her opinions on animal rights and fur, Anderson became a vegetarian in the 1990s and later progressed to veganism, and it is important to her that her clothing is made of plant-based and sustainable fabrics, such as modal rayon.
“I am into sustainability all together,” she said. “I tried to stay in that circle with my collection. This is me, this is who I am.”
Equally important was that Carmen Anderson NY is made completely in New York, where Anderson moved when she was 19 years old from the Dominican Republic.
“I’ve become a New Yorker, so I wanted to keep the business in New York City,” said Anderson, who lives in Great Neck. “I’m not going anywhere else. Why go anywhere else when everything is here in the garment center? The quality is as good as anywhere else.”
Anderson’s customers wouldn’t have her, or her line, any other way.
“Customers tell me how great they feel when they wear my clothes,” Anderson said. “I become their friend. They feel comfortable talking to me, there’s a connection. They relate to what I’m saying and I portray that in my clothes.”