Between a store in Los Angeles, a Target collaboration and strong representation in First Lady Michelle Obama's wardrobe (back when people got really, really excited about her fashion choices), Tracy Feith definitely made a mark on the fashion world with his cool girl-beloved namesake line — until it shuttered somewhat abruptly in 2010.
Since then, Feith has been in Los Angeles designing for Toms shoes, but for spring 2016, he is making his return to clothing as the design director for Warm — a cozy, good vibe-y boutique in Nolita — that debuted its first wholesale line on Wednesday. He's joining forces with the store's owner, Winnie Beattie, who holds the role of creative director.
It wasn't a tough job for Feith to get: much earlier in her career, Beattie was one of his first employees. "I called him from a pay phone 20-something years ago and said, 'I have to work for you, I'm obsessed with what you're doing,' and he hired me," she explained at Warm's Fashion Week presentation. She worked there for two years and they always stayed in touch, even after Feith's clothing line closed and Beattie's store opened about three years ago. "People were asking me all the time, 'Do you know what happened to Tracy Feith? Do you have any old Tracy Feith?' Or when I would wear [the label] girls would stop me [on the street], so I really felt like he was still so relevant."
Brett Heyman, founder of handbag line Edie Parker, recently invested in Warm, giving Beattie the resources to make Feith's return to design a reality via a new branded collection to be sold in Warm stores and wholesaled to others. Prices will range from about $500 to $1,000 and the aesthetic is, well, very Tracey Feith: casual, easy, feminine and inspired by California (where Feith is still based), with plenty of the cool prints that his namesake line was known for.
"It was a very easy, natural kind of thing to take on," said Feith. "I know this customer so well, it's like the sister to Tracy Feith, an extension to what I was doing back then." When asked if anything about it feels different, he said, "I think the consumer is more sophisticated now and there are more people who want that kind of ease and that versatility — where you're comfortable but you can dress it up or you can dress it down. Something I take pride in is that I make clothes that can do that."
In addition to designing the line, Feith is also doing brand consulting in LA, where he plans to stay. As for the line's future, he says the plan is to grow it: "I would love to do men's, we could do swim, we could do home." But that all depends on support from retailers, which he's not all that involved with.
"I just want to make clothes that people want, that's my main focus here." Not a bad position to be in.
Browse the full collection below.