Where do you find inspiration?
Do you follow fashion?
C: We really don’t look at what other people are doing. We use this set up, a sewing setup, so if I’m feeling something or if we’re missing something from our closet or if our team feels like there’s something that’s missing from the philosophy of Imogene + Willie, we can make it and test it. One of us can wear it. You know, we can just make five and put them in the store. We really design and create from instinct and we always have.
What’s the inspiration behind your women’s line? How is it different from the men’s line?
M: Guys are simple. Guys don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. But with women, it’s so different. I’ve stayed in the store for the last three years and listened to what the customer wanted. Carrie—whether she’ll admit this or not—has such great style that I felt like everyone that came in the store wanted to dress like her. Carrie mixes new with old, and it just made sense that those pants that she’s wearing or the blouse that she has on, that we should make our version of that, with fit and fabric in mind. And now we have a women’s assistant designer. That has allowed Carrie to give direction to someone who is equally creative, and through that we developed what we are really proud of as our women’s collection. I think that’s why it’s doing so well. It’s doing fantastic in Anthropologie because it has such a wide audience.
Note: The Eddmenson’s recently stated on their website that, going forward, Imogene + Willie will be experimenting with how and when new pieces are offered posing the question: “Why in the world do we have to follow the rules and make a ‘spring’ and ‘fall’ collection? What we make really isn’t a collection anyway. And we only sell it in our store. All our ‘collection’ represents is just thoughtfully designed staple pieces that we love, in hopes that you feel the same.”
How did you take the business into wholesale markets?