Is there a moment that was a real breakthrough for you?
It was two things. My first order from Barneys rocked my world. I love shopping there and now they respect my designs and believe in them. That support was amazing and pushed me further. Then last year I was in Hong Kong and one of my customers told me someone bought one of my dresses at her store and wore it to Drew Barrymore’s engagement party, only to arrive and realize Drew was wearing the same dress. I started crying! I always loved Drew growing up, and it was just surreal. I get chills now just talking about it.
What’s your jumping off point for each new collection?
I am not as traditional when sourcing inspiration. I don’t look at a painting and envision 40 looks. I think ‘if I was a girl what would I want to wear’ or the girls that I hang out with–what they are missing in their closets. I even look into my own closet a lot. One season I started off with this sweater I wore for like four years during highschool. It was my Dad’s ski sweater from the 70’s and it always got compliments, so I looked at that and analyzed why I loved it so much. I used that as an inspiration one season.
Do you have any muses?
I love Taylor Tomasi-Hill, Rooney Mara, Kristen Stewart. I bounce a lot of ideas off Christine, my colleague. My stylist Susan Joy has worked with me from the start and I always look at her reaction to my collections. My mom is so fashion forward. I want to dress all the women I love in my life.
Would you say your ranges are very New York-centric?
Yes definitely. This last collection was inspired by L.A. and Lords of Dogtown. I went to Coachella last year and everyone was so chill and happy. I wanted to bring that lifestyle back to the city. I wanted to bring the California cool to the office or a work dinner.
How did your retail and buying experience influence you?
A lot my growth is attributed to how hands on I really want to design for the girl who is buying the clothes for her store and the girl buying them in the store. I think working in that store when I was younger really helped me understand the process. Working on the floor, working as a buyer, it all really helped me be a better designer because you understand how it comes together. I try to focus what sells well and adapting it to the next season.
Do you follow the fashion world closely? Who do you consider inspirations?
Yes I am obsessed; I just love clothing so much. So I love seeing what other designers are doing. I love Jack and Lazaro from Proenza. Ozwald Boateng from London is amazing.
What’s in your closet?
I go through phases. My collections reflect it. When I am really happy I am mixing prints and tons of color, then sometimes, I’m all dark and in leather. I have this one Unis varsity jacket I am currently obsessed with. I’ve been wearing a lot of Vans and being casual and some people are telling me I need to dress more like a designer, but what does that mean?
If you weren’t a fashion designer what would you be doing?
I would just be in LA or somewhere on the beach just hanging out with an umbrella in the sand shuffling coconuts around.
Any exciting plans for the label?
I am doing my first pre-fall collection, which I am really excited about. I would be interested in doing handbags and shoes down the line. I also really want to do menswear. It’s just really tricky, because men tend to want simplicity and it becomes more about practicality than design. I want to do it right, so I won’t rush it, but you will see menswear from me!