Saint Sintra's Runway Debut Is the Start of Something Big

Saint Sintra's Runway Debut Is the Start of Something Big

Story by Alex Blynn / Photography by Serichai Traipoom

Saint Sintra, the namesake label of Parsons grad Sintra Martins, had stans before it had even officially launched. Only 25, Martins' line of fantastical, smartly constructed clothing and accessories has already been worn by the likes of Slayyyter, Kim Petras, Azealia Banks and Olivia Rodrigo.

Hailing from LA and now NYC, Sintra cut her teeth at Thom Browne and the buzzy Wiederhoeft brand before embarking on her own in 2019. And this season, the young designer presented her first ever runway show during New York Fashion Week.

The show took place inside The Stranger, a funhouse-themed atrium in Midtown Manhattan that contains vaulted ceilings, a working waterfall, enough blinking lights to impress any rave kid and an animatronic elephant (also adorned in Saint Sintra). Onlookers sat on covered armchairs and loveseats while more fans of the brand cheered on from a balcony.

The Clermont Twins, wearing custom soft pink silk looks from the label, held court in their seats while fashion kids from all over New York filtered in and began 'Gramming. After many minutes of '90s rave music remixes, the space exploded with overhead light, welcoming in the procession of models.

Featuring an (expectedly) diverse set of runway beauties, Martin's new pieces echo her past while looking straight ahead; fun and wearable yet experimental. "My original inspiration was The Pink Panther cartoon series," Martins told PAPER backstage. "At the beginning of the year I was watching a lot of old cartoons, a lot of feel good television like Star Trek and Looney Tunes, stories I know already. I really wanted a color palette from the cartoons that I was watching, because I love how bright in technicolor they are. And I wanted to make a wearable collection that was familiar yet new. I think I achieved that!"

Martins' signature style — soft pastels with embellishments — was of course present, especially noticeable on a white and pink mesh hoop skirt and matching pink silk bustier with tiny crystal diamante. But new directions also made a mark, including more jewel tones and high contrast colors. Pieces like a floor-length gown with purple, green, blue and yellow feathers, or a transparent crystal-rope cocktail dress that dripped over its models curves and seemed made with Doja Cat in mind ("It was!" Martins confirmed to us).

Although just her first attempt at a NYFW showing, the highly creative effort is being noticed in a big way by more celebrities and tastemakers than ever before.

"We're already getting so many pull letters!" Martins said. "When I was a kid I used to draw costumes for Britney Spears on napkins and random pieces of paper. My friends and I would have design competitions where you would design clothes for Britney. I love to dress celebrities. They're modern iconography, sort of modern mythology. So dressing them feels like I'm really contributing to contemporary culture. And as a young designer, it never hurts to have someone like Kim loving your brand!"

Photography: Serichai Traipoom