LOS ANGELES--Last night, designer Charlotte Ronson hosted a dinner, sponsored by Belvedere Vodka, for her west coast posse (sis Samantha, mom Ann Dexter-Jones and stepdad Mick Jones, Nicky Hilton, Ashlee Simpson and husband Pete Wentz, Ione Skye and Mindy Kaling included) while her hometown of NYC was hit with a snowstorm. Guests gathered around communal tables at Hollywood hotspot Eveleigh (an eatery that shares its Aussie owners with NYC’s Kingswood) and munched on calamari, butter lettuce salad and braised beef among other dishes, while Charlotte made the rounds.
Despite being in the middle of designing both her namesake collection (Fall 2011) and diffusion line "I Heart Ronson" for JCPenney, the rock ‘n roll scion seemed visibly relaxed. The collaboration with JC Penney’s, she pointed out, is in fact the least of her worries. “It’s really fun because they know their customer so well. You get to really design into it. We do our few pieces, and it’s fun that the line is accessible and affordable. With them you just focus on the design. We do the full techpack but they do all of the production. So, I get to focus on the creative, which is so rare. It’s the perfect partnership.”
And how does it feel to have her name exposed to such a wide, mass market audience? “It’s so nice to reach a much broader audience. And to work with a brand that’s so huge...it helps make everything else possible. You don’t have to worry about necessarily selling to certain stores. They have those stores,” Ronson said of the built-in distribution of department stores. “I think they have over 1,000.” The position, especially for a young designer, is definitely unique. “For my collection, I’m always wondering, 'what stores are going to pick this up?’ It’s a totally different stress level.” As for how long the partnership will last: “It’s year to year. So, as long as it’s doing well.”
But, despite all the work to be done, Ronson fully plans on taking a break during the holidays. While Sam may be trying to convince her to come to LA, the only thing she’s decided so far is that she won’t be in NYC and that she’ll be somewhere warm. Holiday shopping, however, she has all figured out. “My sister [Sam] always gets me amazing gifts. We kind of always worry about each other; we spoil each other,” she said of her twin. “She always gets me the best gifts: for my birthday she got me this,” she said [holding up a wrist wrapped in a large, silver men’s Rolex]. “I got her a good one though this year. I can’t say because I haven’t given it to her yet. We always have to buy each other something nice. It has to be either thoughtful, or excessive.”