So what’s been the moment you felt it was all working out?
L: I would say after our first lookbook. We used every resource we had to make it. Once it was printed everything felt real. We walked around Soho with samples in hand and our lookbooks knocking on doors of boutiques.
D: It was real for me when Opening Ceremony placed their first order.
How did you start building the brand from there?
D: What worked for us was our personal style.
L: We were against that at first; we didn’t want to be the face of the brand.
D: Then someone sat us down and told us that we were our best marketing tool.
L: We were so passionate that we wanted people to just like the brand for the brand. But it worked out for the best.
D: The press was slow at the start, but then it just picked up. Our stuff started selling out of O.C. and that made people curious.
What’s the philosophy of the label?
L: Using every resource that you have, and not necessarily money. Giving it everything.
D: And Building relationships. We almost didn’t make it last season, but people have taken chances on us because of believing in us. You have to really humble yourself, while still having confidence.
What’s it been like working as sisters?
L: I’ve been working with Darlene since 1990! Sometimes she knocks on my door at 5 a.m. reminding me of what I need to do that day. I guess a normal business partner isn’t there all the time. It’s 24 hours a day.
Where do you work from?
L: We work from home. We’ve worked from Starbucks, Barnes and Nobles. We used to read entrepreneurship books in there.
D: We’ve had meetings at the Business Library on Fifth Avenue.
L: We’ve been commuting our whole lives so it’s not a problem.
How do you describe your style philosophy?
D: We love taking simple garments and play with fabrication and details. Maybe it’s a sleeve or the placement of a pocket. Something unexpected.
Who are your muses?
L: Young people! We love young, confident girl. Someone with an idea of the future
D: New York City too. She’s our muse. I consider her a girl.
L:Chioma Nnadi from Vogue.
D: She doesn’t even think when she gets dressed; it just works. She wore a Chicago Bulls jersey to our show and it just looked elegant. And then I wanted a Knicks jersey. She beats to her own drum.
What designers do you guys admire?
D: Phillip Lim. He is my ultimate favorite. Anyone can where his stuff, old or young.
L: Darlene follows all the magazines, but I don’t. But I like Phillip Lim too and Proenza and Chloe. There are so many.
D: I’ll never get over Alexander McQueen.
What else inspires you?
L: We were inspired by the fact that our dad came to the US and was able to influence his style. There is a cliché about how people dress from a third world country, but he didn’t fit into that. He always maintained his own style. We are so inspired by different cultures.
D: Immigrants that come here or people from different countries stand out because they have a different outlook. We love that.