Abby Moriarty, Founder, 1920 T-Shirts


"My brand is influenced by certain artistic things—art, design, the craftsmanship of a modern chair. On a trip to Scandinavia, I was looking at Fritz Hansen’s showroom, Finn Juhl, all these remarkable mid century modern designers... I kept thinking about how these chairs they designed in the '50s were just as relevant today as they were then. That fascinated me. I started thinking about the pieces in my wardrobe that were most important to me, and it was t-shirts. I’ve spent my whole life going through stacks and stacks of t-shirts always looking for the best one. They’re so important! I’m always looking for the perfect shape, the perfect fit, the perfect colors. That’s what I wanted to really focus on and do. So, looking at the history of the t-shirt, you used to wear it under army uniforms—it was an undergarment. Then it started coming out in pop culture, in films with Marlon Brando and James Dean. I always really liked oversized tees, so I kind of looked at that, and was like, ‘What inspires me about design, the t-shirt has all of those elements.’ Our namesake is 1920, which is the year the t-shirt was first put into the dictionary.

I’ve always been very into beauty—it’s how I grew up. My mother didn’t really leave the house without makeup and of course that rubbed off on me. Blush and mascara can do so much for a person. I like feeling more glow-y, and healthy, I guess. I very rarely leave the house with nothing. That said, I don’t really like an overdone look—I like it to feel more natural. I spend a lot of time and use a lot of products to make it seem like I didn’t spend a lot of time or use a lot of products. [Laughs]

Skincare is super important to me. My friend is an aesthetician, and she introduced me to this brand Osmosis, which I’ve really fallen in love with. I use their Purify Cleanser morning and night. It has sort of a citrus-y scent, and it doesn’t strip your skin at all. You just feel super supple and refreshed. I use Thayer’s Witch Hazel Rose toner, but not every day—just on days I want something a little more brightening and refreshing. I also use Lotion P50 once or twice a week at night, especially if I’m feeling a little less than jazzed about how my skin’s looking, or if I have a spot.

All of the Osmosis serums are kind of designed to be put together. You start with Clear, which is an activating mist—it sort of preps the skin, and works really well with all of the serums. Immerse is an oil—they call it a moisture booster, but it smells so good. I’ll use Correct, which is a vitamin A serum, mixed with Replenish, which is an antioxidant repair serum. I don’t even use moisturizer anymore—just those two, in the morning. At night, I use Catalyst, which is a DNA repair system, which you mix with the Replenish. When I do feel a little bit dry, I’ll put a little drop of the Immerse in with it. Sometimes I’ll use the Dr. Hauschka Wild Rose during the day, just to change things up every now and then. Then this is Clinique Pepstart, which is an oil-free moisturizer. On lazy days, I’ll throw some of that on.

I’ll do a mask once a week—I love the Mario Badescu Super Collagen Mask, and then Cucumber Gel Mask from Peter Thomas Roth is really good, particularly in the summer months. I’m kind of obsessed with this brand Osea, which is from Malibu. I use their Blemish Balm, which is a very eucalyptus-y, clean moisturizer. In the summer I’ll wear that during the day. When I feel like I need a little bit more of a spa cleanse, I use their Ocean Cleansing Mud. I’ll also switch it up with the wash if I feel like I need a little change.

I love the Kiehl’s Grapefruit Shower Gel. Citrus is my thing—I just love things that feel fresh. I’ll also use anything by Avalon Organics—they have beautiful eucalyptus shower gel, or lavender shower gel. And then I’m obsessed with nourishing creams and oils. NARS is fantastic, this is the Monoi Body Glow, and it has a bit of a floral piece in it. It feels like vacation to me, and it reminds me of living in LA, so I’ll use that a lot in the summer. The Herbivore Citrine is a beautiful body oil—Rosehip and Neroli. So nice. I also sometimes use plain almond oil right out of the shower. Since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve been putting almond oil everywhere. I heard the key to avoid stretch marks is constantly moisturizing from the very beginning. For that I also have this stretch mark cream from Erbaviva that’s made with cocoa butter and seathorn. It feels super luxurious.

I started seeing a fantastic girl named Clare Malarkey, who opened her own studio in Greenpoint called Cem Studio. She just gets my hair. I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out how to make my fine, very straight hair appear like it has a lot of body and a lot of movement. I use the Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo or Avalon Organics Biotin Thickening Shampoo because they’re not oily, they don’t weigh it down. I don’t use conditioner anymore. When I get out of the shower I put it up in the turban, and then as I take it out I sort of do a scrunching effect to it, and just rough it up. I don’t comb it, I don’t brush it. I’ve trained myself to have naturally wavy hair now, which is pretty incredible. Not combing is key for me. I use a little bit of Bumble and Bumble Volumizing Mousse, or Oribe Surf Comber Tousled Texture Mousse. You just put a little in, and let it dry about halfway naturally, and then just take a dryer and scrunch it around. When I have meetings or really want to do my hair, I use a curling iron. I’ll take two or three-inch sections and start at the top—if you leave the bottom out of it, it sort of has a messier, less precious look. Again, no combs—I just finger tousle it, and then spray a little of this thing called American Wave Glint from Arrojo Salon in it. That helps me to put in the bangs because it just gives it all more life, and I’ll just spray it through. Gotta love hairspray—I use Aveda Brilliant. I grew up in Minneapolis, so Aveda’s in our blood just as much as Prince is.

My favorite fragrance is Byredo Bal d’Afrique. I don’t really like typical fragrances that smell like a department store—I can’t handle them. Then I was on the Le Labo kick, but it felt like everyone got on it. Santal 33 is everywhere. Bal d’Afrique is super clean and subtly musky, but it smells really fresh. I also love Margiela’s Untitled for when I want just a little bit of a stronger scent. I used to travel to Florence twice yearly, and there’s this beautiful little fragrance boutique and I got this, called Gente di Mare. It’s really sweet—watery, but with a little bit of fruit in it. In the summer I’ll wear it, but very sparingly. The Byredo you can do five, six squirts—this is a one and done for me. They make everything right there, on a little cobblestone street. And then I love Bobbi Brown’s Beach for vacations. It’s so good—it smells like coconut, and sand, and sun. In the middle of winter I like to just take it out and smell it.

My makeup always starts with Cle de Peau Concealer. I’ve probably been using this for 10 years. I’ll put it around my eyes, a little bit on the sides of the nose where I get red. Then I typically finish with Clinique—my childhood thing—Stay Matte oil-free sheer pressed powder. I love it. It doesn’t really feel like you have a lot on, which is good. And then I always will do a bit of a bronzer—Smashbox Bronze Light in Warm Matte. I always do a bit on the side of the cheeks, forehead, and under the chin a little bit, with a multitasker brush from Sephora. It’s nice because it has the angle and it’s really dense. I have just started using a little bit of & Other Stories natural line of makeup from Paris. This Retouch Powder has a little bit of sparkle to it—I’m not really a sparkle kind of girl, but there’s something very highlighting about it and it’s nice. And I love blush—even when I was working I would keep blush in my bag, and every day around 4:00 PM I would touch it up. It’s just such a brightener. I’ve used NARS Orgasm for probably over 10 years, too. And then this YSL Blush Volupte in Shade 8, which is another peachy color. Anything that’s a coral-y or orange-y.

I feel very strongly that L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara is the best thing that’s ever existed. I’ve spent money on a lot of other ones, and I just feel personally like they never live up to the price or the hype—with the exception of Chanel’s Le Volume Waterproof. What I like about the L’Oreal one is that it goes on very thick, but doesn’t clump. It just feels like it really gets the job done without very much. The Chanel one has this super thick brush, and it feels very rich and very deep. You don’t need to use a lot of it. Then there is YSL’s Volume Effect Mascara in Shade 40N002, which is sort of a plum-burgundy. You use just your normal black mascara, and then finish with this on the tips. It really brightens and opens the eyes. I can’t live without Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Warm Brunette on my brows, either.

On my eyes I use Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Look palette in really neutral shades. I will put a little brown just in the crease to open the eyes. Sometimes I’ll just use the lighter, shimmery one as a wash—I really believe in fingers for makeup. The other eyeshadow I can’t live without is Stila’s Twig. It really pops—it has a subtle shimmer, but doesn’t look sparkly. Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Chocolate 730 is sort of that same brown with a hint of red. When I do an eyeliner, I use Dr. Hauschka brown eyeliner in shade 10A6, and it’s a deep brown slightly metallic. If I’m gonna do a full cat eye, I love Maybelline’s Master Precise liquid liner, or Stila’s Smudge Stick Waterproof Liner in Stingray, which is a super dark black.

A bright red lip might be my signature. I teeter between three. The NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square—people stop me all the time and ask what color it is. Orange-reds are key. Smashbox makes a fantastic Be Legendary lipstick called Fireball Matte, another orange-red, and this is what I’m wearing today. Matte is the other key—no gloss in your red. And then NARS makes another one called Heatwave. Whats good about all of these is that they’re moisturizing, but matte. I’m still searching for my favorite nude, but I really like NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine. I like a nude that has a little bit of a blue in it—more of a 60s girly pop. Otherwise, MAC’s Cream Sheen in Fanfare is beautiful.

Yoga is my savior. I go to a studio in Greenpoint called Ushu Veda Yoga, on Manhattan Avenue. It’s this great hippie place—they do healing, and oil workshops, and reiki, and acupuncture. Pottery is another huge thing for me. I go to Gasworks in South Slope. It’s not the closest, but it’s so beautiful. They have gas kilns, which are very rare. It’s serene—when I first saw it I was like, “OK, it’s worth the trip on the G.” Being pregnant, and also doing pottery, I probably haven’t had a manicure in six months, but I typically go between a nude or a red. In the summer I’ll do a bright orange or a tomato-red. It feels very classic, but fun."

—as told to ITG

Abby Moriarty photographed by Tom Newton on March 27, 2018.