Born and bred New Yorker, Tatianna Gildersleeve’s perpetual curiosity, spirituality and passion for elegance have truly led her to founding Tredway White. From, Brooklyn Technical High School to Columbia University — Tatianna immediately set out for a career in fashion, honing her skills over the years as a celebrity fashion stylist and editor at such publications as InStyle, People, Suede, WWD Ultimate Accessories Guide and Footwear News.
It wasn’t until the birth of her two boys that she be came increasingly aware of the link between our environment, our food and our textiles. “Our skin is our largest organ yet our bedding, clothing, athletic wear and undergarments are saturated with harmful chemicals,” she states. She began conducting research on the business of fabrics — attending trade shows, meeting farmers, textile researchers, government officials — “I learned that there are so many chemicals used in the production and finishing process and the consumer isn’t aware of any of it. My epiphany turned out to be a well-know industry conundrum. Even if they were aware, there is no choice — there is no other option.”
Something had to change. Tatianna always knew about Alfred Tredway White’s social and environmental legacy from her high school career in Brooklyn. “You can’t walk very far in Brooklyn without experiencing Alfred Tredway White’s impact,” she says. “I used to sit in front of his house every day after school,” she recalls. “It wasn’t unusual, it was just the first house on the Brooklyn Promenade but I just never thought that I would end up marrying his great-great grandson!”
“When I learned that the White family started out in the textile business in 1830, I thought what better way to carry on Alfred Tredway White’s legacy than to rebirth the family business,” she states. Among White’s philanthropic efforts, he was a leader in the development of housing reform and truly believed in enriching people’s lives, regardless of social status or income level. Tatianna’s purpose in reawakening and rebuilding the Tredway White mission begins with working with farmers, manufactures, and designers to create an environmentally sustainable, ethically sourced, fashion-forward textile model, sans the use of chemicals that are harmful to our people and the environment.
“It all goes back to Alfred’s own mission to cherish the environment and honor the spirit of humanity,” she says. “Because taking care of our planet and our children is what life is all about.”
Tatianna resides in Greenwich, CT with her husband Jeff, and two children — Weston and Everett Alfred.