Last night we popped by the opening of Zac Posen‘s new Z Spoke store in the Meatpacking district. The new space, painted white and replete with a red carpet, fresh flowers and stacks of fashion-y book, is, much like it’s dynamo designer, the last word on glamour. We caught up with Posen, who looked adorably dapper (of course) in a pantsuit and colorful graphic shirt, to talk about the new space, his crazy work schedule (sometimes he doesn’t sleep) and the future of Z Spoke.
Fashionista: The store looks amazing. How did you pick this spot?
Actually the spot picked me! Our CEO is also the CEO of Scoop so we wanted to build the new store into Scoop’s space. I wanted to have a store that was a destination location, and I feel like this is it. You know, I’m a born a bred New Yorker so I knew it was important to have a destination.
Where in New York did you grow up?
I was born in SoHo on Spring street. My dad’s an artist, he worked in half the loft and we lived in the other half.
Is the building still standing?
My parents still live there! Yeah, so what I think of my parents is that they were hipsters. That’s why I’m so into glamour.
They were the original hipsters!
Yeah, they moved into the SoHo loft in the very early 70s–illegally. And you know back then it was all artists and young people. And now it’s…
Right. The property value must have skyrocketed.
Well, exactly. So I wanted to open a store in a place that felt like it was on a good path. And also a place that wasn’t hard to find.
Has this been a crazy-stressful or crazy-exciting time for you, getting everything ready?
Well, you know, [Z Spoke] is about creating what I think is the highest quality product at the lowest price. And I really love women and I love my customer so I’m going nuts trying to get her what she wants! It’s just the beginning and it’s going to get better. The bags are selling, they’re like flying off the shelves. And the clothing is still limited distribution so if I were a collector and wanted to buy…it’s a good time to start buying!
Are you excited to be showing again in New York this year?
I think that the experience I had in France gave me really great clarity–a great foundation for going international. And now I think I have great clarity on what I can give to America and who my customer is [here]. I think supporting American retail is really important.
What is your secret to making it through Fashion Week without collapsing?
Health food! Lots of green juices. Lots of rice. I go down to my Japanese supermarket on Broome and West Broadway to get my rice. I cook myself rice and beans every night. Even if I come home at like midnight from the office, I have to cook to relax. That’s my therapy–cooking.
Do you usually work till midnight?
I’m usually at the office till 9 or 10 at night. But during the shows…it can get quite intense.
What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without sleep?
For real? Probably like two and a half days.
Wow. And you’ll do it all over again in just a week or too.
It can be daunting but it’s also really exciting. It’s exciting to see your brand grow, and you know branch of into different things.
Where do you see Z Spoke going?
I really see the brand as moving into a lifestyle brand–doing furniture and homeware.
What kind of pieces would you create?
Something very functional. This is a brand that is all about function!
And glamour we would add.