Sali Christeson created Argent to empower women — at the office and the voting booth

I still remember buying my first suit for work in the mid-‘90s at the Montgomery Ward in Lafayette, Louisiana. My mother came with me and purchased three suits that I was expected to mix and match to make them stretch a work week at WBRZ TV in Baton Rouge. 

I was excited about kicking off my full-time television career while in college. But I was not excited about this suit. They all had one thing in common—they were so boxy! I had to settle for a fit that was far from perfect. Let’s just say that I’m happy there are no social media pictures from some of those days! Over the years, I’ve had many suits since that one. But it has still been hard to find professional clothing that feels good, sparks my confidence, and allows me to focus on my work — and not that my outfit is too tight, too loose, too hot, or just plain blah.  

That is, until recently. A brand called Argent, founded in 2016, is transforming expectations about what professional clothing for women can be. When I first tried on pieces from Argent, I was blown away. They looked good and felt good! And I feel even better about my pieces from Argent, knowing that the company passionately supports efforts to uplift women. I’m not the first to notice that Argent is special: Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, Katie Couric, and Kerry Washington are also fans. That’s a robust text message chain if one does exist! LOL.

The CEO and visionary behind Argent is Sali Christeson, whom I was thrilled to meet when she visited Austin for a fashion show at Neiman Marcus. It was fascinating to learn how she turned a “pain point” that so many women have experienced into a successful brand that also does good.

‘Attitude and Ambition’

Before Argent, Sali worked in banking and tech, while knowing in the back of her mind that she wanted to start her own company one day. Like me (and many other women), she struggled to find work clothes that made her feel comfortable and confident.

The “aha” moment that inspired Sali to start Argent was a study showing that a woman’s appearance at work, including what she wears, affects her income. So Sali decided to make it her mission to create women’s clothes “with the attitude and ambition that match our own.” 

Not surprisingly, there was a lot of pent-up demand for this kind of fashion. Top media outlets such as The New York Times, the “Today” show and InStyle (just to name a few) have covered Argent. The brand set out to “develop relationships with a lot of really powerful women that had felt overlooked,” Sali says. And they definitely succeeded. Beyond the famous fans I mentioned above, Argent is beloved by CEOs, activists, journalists, politicians, entertainers and other influential women.

 

Think Pink

Argent doesn’t just support women by creating clothing that empowers success. The company has also partnered with Supermajority, a nonprofit focused on building a powerful voting bloc of progressive women. You may remember the pink-suit campaign during the 2020 election season. Argent donated 10% of the proceeds from its “Election Collection” to Supermajority. It included so many of my Firestarter friends like Stephanie Young, former executive director of When We All Vote, or Emily Ramshaw (below in pink), who started The 19th, a non-profit newsroom. Since the collection sold out in one day, that was a big financial boost. On top of that, the campaign helped Supermajority enlist more volunteers. Look for a new campaign tied to this year’s elections.

“It’s all centered around the hot pink suit again, but we’ll be building the capsule and activating it in different ways than we have in the past,” Sali says. Our goal is really to bring generations together and center it around women’s rights and women’s issues.”

When I asked Sali what she contributed to the success of this campaign (a movement for social good), she told me that they only select partners she believes in. YES! This was music to my ears. I also think that we must commit to the very things that we believe in. When we don’t, we don’t show up authentic, and things usually fall flat.

 

Sali’s Me-Set tips
Running a successful business and being a #MovementMaker for change keeps Sali busy, to put it mildly. So I was inquisitive to hear about how she returns to a place of joy and authenticity through a Me-Set when her life starts feeling out of alignment.

 “I think this really centers around self-care and ensuring that you are taking care of yourself before anything else,” Sali says. “That was how I was raised, and it’s a formula to success. And it’s necessary before you can add value to others. It’s about ensuring that I am in a good place and doing what I need to achieve that. That’s different for everyone. For me, I need time alone. I need time to clear my head; I need sleep. I need exercise.”

Based on my new Argent clothes, I would add that wearing clothes that make you feel like you can take on the world is also a form of self-care! If you don’t believe me check out my smile in this picture. That’s fellow light seeker and Project Runway Season 11 contestant Daniel Esquivel tailoring my suit at Neiman Marcus Austin. 

 

You can pick up your next power outfit at argentwork.com or at one of Argent’s stores. I can’t wait to visit their new location in Georgetown during my next DC visit! The coolest part, Sali believes in community. Argent will allow non-profits to use their store as a gathering space. See, she walks the walk!

Most importantly, Sali’s passion reminds us that “Leaders turn moments into movements,” and we are each leaders for social good. I hope you will join Sali and Argent in supporting Supermajority by donating on their website or finding a volunteer opportunity.

 

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