Fashion Workwear Brand Argent Helps Women Everywhere Achieve Their Ambitions

Simon Mainwaring
5 min readApr 22, 2024

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Photo Provided By Argent

Ninety-nine percent of the partnership opportunities that nine-year-old women’s fashion workwear brand Argent considers never get a yes. “We’ve been really, really intentional with our collaborations,” says CEO and founder Sali Christeson.

Argent sells a functional lineup of trousers, blazers, dress tops, outerwear, and other fashion for working women through an online shop and some brick-and-mortar stores.

Argent leadership, says Christeson, wants to ensure that any alliances feature a force multiplier of brand influence: “Impact on women, writ large,” she says. “Period.”

If the Supermajority Fits …

It’s saying something, then, that the NYC-based Argent strongly pursued, and in 2020, inked a “breakthrough” deal with, the 4-million-member Supermajority. The nonprofit’s slogan is: One woman can be ignored. Two women can be dismissed. But thousands of women, working together, are unstoppable.

Supermajority provides resources, training, and education to help women, especially young women and women of color, become change leaders in their communities.

Supermajority focuses on getting women to vote, Christeson explains. Don’t forget, she says, “Women are the majority of people in the US. We are the Supermajority.” And yet, she says, some elected officials have failed to represent women. What politicians don’t realize, Argent proclaims, is that women are the most powerful voting bloc in the country. “Together, we’ll prove it.”

As the “visual” partner in the “always-on collaboration” with Supermajority, Argent developed an iconic pink suit. It was the perfect representation of the two organizations’ “shared mission to encourage women to vote in every election and realize their collective power to shape democracy.”

Several candidates and many voters have worn the suit during campaigns and election days (#VotingSuitsYou). “We helped thoughtfully seed and leverage people’s platforms to amplify and celebrate female ambition. Period.”

“That partnership,” Christeson reflects, “really serves what Argent’s goals are, and reinforces loyalty among our target customer base.”

Fashioning — & Financing a Movement

It’s not that Christeson and Argent are making purely commercial decisions. Christeson, in fact, is a kind of political influencer as much as a CEO; she’s attempting to change the world for women, and help women as a bloc change the world. It’s working, across the board.

And Argent’s thriving. The venture cap-backed/privately held company raised $4.06M in a later stage VC Series A1 funding round in April, 2023. It raised $5.05M during its 2018 seed round.

In addition to traditional financing, Argent’s fortunate to have the support of a community of “angel investors:” Stitch Fix CEO & founder Katrina Lake; One Kings Lane Co-founder Ali Pincus; model, actress & founder of Finery, Brooklyn Decker; Decker’s husband, the last man to win the Grand Slam, tennis champion Andy Roddick; and the founder of Broadway Angels, Sonja Hoel Perkins.

It Starts & Ends with What Women Wear

Christeson grew up in South Carolina. She studied business and finance as an undergrad, then shifted gears and got her International MBA at the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business in 2012, where she focused on supply chain. That program included a stint at the renowned Goethe Institute in Berlin, which led to a job at Daimler Financial.

When she returned to the US, it was to work in Silicon Valley. She’s served at Cisco and Johnson & Johnson. “And across all these experiences,” she insists, “it was pretty obvious that the working woman was very underserved. She was an afterthought, especially from a clothing perspective. Every woman will tell you this. It’s been a shared pain point across every peer group, at every level.”

“But I think I was resistant,” Christeson admits. “I was reluctant to start an apparel company.” But then around 2015, Christeson read a study proving that women are “judged on appearance” as much at work as everywhere else. Seems obvious, right? But, that study, and several since, “quantified the impact of what you wear on your bottom line, over your lifetime — it’s quite significant.” This surprised and disconcerted her.

In fact, some recent longitudinal research shows that “Women today earn just 49 cents to the typical men’s dollar.” This is much less than the 80 cents often reported, according to a new study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

So, says Christeson, “I wanted to start Argent because I believe in the power of brand. I think that brands, when successful, have a platform that they can use to drive change.

Christeson decided to “take all of these successful women and infuse them into our brand, infuse them into the storytelling, and really evolve that to the point where we’re both celebrating these women — and giving tools to our community that allow them to really navigate the workforce, to remove barriers for them, and just be a resource.” That includes expert styling counsel.

Argent sees itself as solving women’s workwear style dilemmas, with help from the most inspiring women in the community. The Work Friends team — which includes women shaping the futures of their professions, such as journalism, production, and corporate leadership — is a central part of Argent’s “ongoing mission to empower women through … workwear designed to level the office playing field.”The Bold Changes & Subtle Touches

If your image of women in business brings to mind the likes of the big-shouldered power suits and bulky jackets of Tess (Melanie Griffith) and Cynthia (Joan Cusack) or the more slimline (real power) suits of Katherine (Sigourney Weaver) in Working Girl, Argent has a message for you: “Work is changing, but our clothes are struggling to keep up. We know this firsthand: Argent is the result of years spent searching — and failing — to find clothes with the attitude and ambition that match our own.”

Take the jacket. “You have seen women complain about not getting pockets since the beginning of time,” Christeson complains. “I think that links to the fact that fashion has been male-led. So, Argent includes interior pockets in all of our blazers.” Argent outfits include stylus pockets — “for pins, tampons, lip gloss,” says Christeson. “We have bands in the sleeves of our blazers, so when you push out the sleeves, it holds them in place. Same thing in our long-sleeved blouses.

They’re just these little subtleties that streamline a woman’s day-to-day, but also allow her to avoid some of the microaggressions that happen.”

What’s the right wardrobe for today’s woman? It differs, obviously, given how diverse women’s bodies, tastes, and styles are — not to mention their jobs and the cultures of their wide range of workplaces. But, an ensemble from Argent will always possess “an unapologetic attitude, a boldness, and ambition,” says Christeson. “I think those are all words that very much capture the brand and our customer.”

No matter the job, the location, the season, says Christeson, Argent workwear will be functional and fashionable, for those who take charge and make noise.

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Simon Mainwaring

Founder/CEO brand consultancy, We First, bestselling author of We First and Lead With We, host of podcast, Lead With We.