Friends with Benefits

...from New York to Paris and back again

Clark Sabbat originally studied architecture while he was in High School but became interested in fashion while waiting for projects to be graded and decided that he wanted to design clothes. Clark taught himself how to draw. He applied and was accepted to the Parsons School of Design. He attended Parsons for three years before going to The Fashion Institute of Technology where he studied women’s tailoring and patternmaking. Once Clark left school, he started an import and export business which took him to France where he discovered the city of Love and Light. He learned to foster his creativity working and living between New York and France for 10 years. He came back to NYC a few years ago and continued a fashion company he started in France, Voudoo. That company has closed and for the past 2 years he has been designing with his girlfriend and business partner Lynn Levoy on Friends with Benefits.

Their collections are all about “accessible cool”. They create beautiful and affordable clothes that are designed to last. Their collections are filled with unexpected details and the most amazing fabrics. Friends with Benefits started from modified cotton t-shirts and has grown into beautifully draped pieces with intricate stitching, not easily noticed at first glance, but once worn, the garments hug the body and emphasize the details that went into their creation. The collections are always evolving as they evolve. Clothes are a reflection on how Clark and Lynn feel about themselves and the world around them….Their philosophy is simple “As always the fabric dictates the cut and the drape. All the hands can do is pay attention to what the fabric wants to do. This collection is simply about design in its most basic sense….A pair of scissors, fabric and inspiration.”

Nothing inspires me like…
The world around me. I find inspiration in music, in the streets while walking, staring at buildings, looking at children playing etc…inspiration is everywhere as long as you keep your eyes, heart and mind open.

I hope…
The people of this world can become more tolerant of each other and learn how to help each other and put aside differences to make things better and safer for the future.

Cultural influences…
Are everywhere for me. I grew up in Queens, NY which is the most diverse place in the world. Every country is represented there and they all have all their traditions and culture intact. So walking the streets in different neighbourhoods was like going around the world.

I got where I am…
Through determination, talent, will power and the kindness of others...

Fashion can sometimes be…
So vain...

I scream when…
My computer crashes.

The earliest memory…
Of signs of loving fashion for me is when I was about 4. I wanted a denim jacket and matching denim jeans so badly I cried until I got them.

Pain comes from…
Not doing what you love and not being true to who you are.

I like making…
The ones I love happy. No better satisfaction than to see someone you care for surprised by kindness.

My mum…
Taught me that if you want something that you have to work hard for it. She worked two jobs to give us what she could when we were children.

I love getting older…
I feel more aware of the world and my place in it. I use my newfound knowledge to try and help others.

Did you know…
Andrew Jackson was the only American president to pay off the national debt?

Money makes me…
Happy because I have a chance to have it and sad because so many other people don’t have the same opportunity.

I have never…
Jumped out of an airplane.

Creativity comes from…
Making your thoughts into reality.