Sali Christeson worked in tech and banking, and she kept running into the same problem: she couldn’t find workwear that was easy to buy, easy to wear, and put forth the professional-yet-feminine image she wanted. In 2015, she founded Argent, named for her great-grandfather’s lumber business in Hardeeville. After raising more than $4 million in seed money, she launched her company, and since then, her brand has been worn by celebrities from Amy Poehler to Meghan Markle, with glowing coverage in magazines including InStyle and Vogue.
Although Argent is based in New York City and Christeson lives in Los Angeles, she keeps close ties with her South Carolina connections, including at Furman, where she graduated with a business degree in 2007 and was named Outstanding Young Alumni in 2022. She also earned a master’s degree in international business from University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business in 2012, and she occasionally drops by to deliver speeches at events like their MBA orientation.
As fall fashion season approaches, TOWN spoke with Christeson about her inspiration and efforts to help women “drop-kick the glass ceiling” with functional clothes that mean business.
The Argent Approach with Sali Christeson
You have mentioned that what you wear affects your bottom line. Why do you think that is?
Absolutely, this is one of the foundational reasons that I started Argent. There are studies that support the notion that women in the workplace are judged by appearance, with a tangible impact on your career over time. What you wear also has a direct impact on your confidence, ultimately affecting your performance as well.
If your clothing makes you feel comfortable and bold, it will show through your body language, confidence, and willingness to demand your seat at the table. In a post-pandemic world, we have seen a rise in demand as women express their excitement in revamping their wardrobe and getting dressed for work again.
What are a couple of your top recommendations for pieces people need in their wardrobe as they head into the office? What about remote work?
Whether you are remote or back in the office, I always recommend a good suit as a must-have, foundational piece for any work wardrobe. My favorite quality about suits is their versatility—you can mix your blazer with denim, or trousers with a tee, to dress the pieces up or down. Our suiting pieces have historically been among Argent’s bestsellers, and this remains true even in a post-pandemic landscape.
While we put a heavy focus on functionality, using stretch and performance fabrics to maximize comfort, Argent is all about delivering bold essentials that allow you to feel confident and have fun with your work wardrobe. We love to play with pops of color—this season, our lime and magenta offerings have been a huge hit!
How did Furman University prepare you for your current career? Could you have guessed back then that you would end up in fashion?
I had the most incredible Furman experience. It was such a pivotal growth period for me, mainly for developing the social and leadership skills that are essential for running a successful business. My favorite part of my experience was networking. I was always on the hunt for social activities and looking to form relationships with fellow students. While I didn’t know then that I would end up in fashion one day, the foundational learning that I gained from Furman are what ultimately gave me the confidence to take the leap and embark on my journey with Argent.
Photography Courtesy of Argent.