Reed Krakoff is having his banner moment. From the launch of his eponymous brand to that New Yorker profile to being honored by Parsons, the Manhattan designer is the talk of the industry. And maybe more importantly, the talk of those working and living outside of fashion’s bubble.
While we’ve heard lots about Krakoff’s social life and his work at Coach, we thought it would be fun to discuss a few more intimate topics, including the creative director’s love of…Ultimate Fighting? (Seriously. It’s kind of amazing.) Click through to read Krakoff’s often-surprising answers to our seven questions.
Fashionista: Your brand’s introduction to the fashion world has been widely documented. Other than the fact that you already run a multinational brand, why do you think the critics and the press are so fascinated by your new work?
Reed Krakoff: I’d like to share that I’m both flattered and grateful for the industry’s support and I’m so lucky to love what I do. I also think there’s an understanding that this is something that’s very personal to me.
We know your wife is a big influence on your work. What other women inspire you?
Patti Smith, Julianne Moore…. I’m really inspired by the modern working woman who is confident, but also sensual and refined. She is someone who carefully considers the way everything looks, feels and performs.
We’re quickly becoming obsessed with your handbags. And we think it’s noteworthy that while they’re expensive, they’re not exorbitantly priced. How have you been able to keep costs reasonable?
We’re an American luxury brand that first and foremost values craftsmanship, however, we also understand the need to balance what is desirable to women with what translates into their everyday reality.
You’ve noted that your design is inspired by things outside of fashion–objects, art. What is the oddest/most interesting thing to spawn an idea?
Yes, I’m absolutely inspired by art and architecture, but my ideas really can come from anywhere. Our iconic Boxer satchel was inspired by my passion for Ultimate Fighting (UFC) and most recently, for Fall, I was inspired by a Corbusier church and a Cinderella table designed by Jeroen Verhoeven.
iPhone or Blackberry, and why?
The iPhone, without question. The apps are endlessly addictive. Who doesn’t love Hipstamatic?
What kind of music do you listen to?
Everything from David Bowie and Miles Davis to Cypress Hill and the Beastie Boys.
7. You were honored recently by you alma mater, Parsons. Was there a specific professor or mentor early on in your career who you feel really guided you?
While there were many professors during my time at Parsons who meant something to me and influenced my work, I think Steven Broadway stands out as someone who, even to this day, continues to help develop my talent. In fact, every so often he comes up to the Coach offices to do a sketching session with me. That’s exactly why Parsons has the reputation that it does and I’m so grateful for having had the opportunity to learn there and for being honored yesterday evening!