She’s continued to push the limits of her novelty items, some of which—in particular a tube dress that converts into a sweater and practically requires a how-to demo—take Inhabit’s basics philosophy to the brink. Still, once on, the total effect is layered nonchalance. “That’s always been the underlying mood,” says Cho. “Nothing is ever forced. And it’s about the nuances. Everything is considered. What do we do with the cuff? What do we want to do with the neck trim? Do we want to open it a little extra here so that when she moves, she shows a little skin?”
And if she does, it’s all about understatement. From the muted palette made up of varying shades of gray, green, brown and black to Inhabit’s version of embellishment in ribbed cuffs, reversed seams or plays on proportion, nothing is brash—a fact that Perlick considers essential to the firm’s success. “We’re not trend driven,” she says. “We stick to our guns. We’ve gone through many seasons where stores wanted more in-your-face sex or more color and embellishment. One store wanted coins and s---, and we’re just not interested. We’ve stayed true to what we believe in, and that has been our saving grace.” And their clientele, both stockists and A-list—Inhabit has been anointed by Hollywood’s reigning king and queen of effortless cool, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who, according to Perlick, have placed personal orders—certainly seems to appreciate the collection’s consistency.
Cho and Perlick prefer to grow and change organically, even when it comes to organic clothing. Last spring, in a move they maintain was improbably unrelated to the ubiquitous green trend, Inhabit introduced an eco-friendly T-shirt collection after Cho happened upon the right cotton and the right people to produce it. “If I were going to branch into the idea of green, it needed to be green from beginning to end,” says Cho of the 10-piece line that, from the raw materials to the low-impact dyeing, is about as green as it gets.
As far as further expansion goes, Cho and company have tested the waters with some home items, but there are no plans for a store in the near future. For now, the focus remains Inhabit’s bread and butter: the stuff their customers live in. “What I love to hear the most,” says Cho, “is when they say, ‘I wear it every day.’”