Lightening never strikes the same place twice – unless you’re designer Dorothy Shuford Lanier. After the success of her label DOSTY, Lanier took a brief hiatus from fashion for some much-needed family time. Two years later, she is back with the launch of POPE, a collection devoted to clean lines, wearability, and versatility. two + seven spoke with Lanier about her inspirations, future plans, and the spark that keeps her going.
two + seven: After the success of your label DOSTY, you stepped back to spend time with your family. Has it been challenging to get reacquainted with the fashion industry?
Dorothy Shuford Lanier: Yes, I find it challenging to say the least. I am not as bold and aggressive as I once was and the industry really seems to require that these days. We are just swimming in an endless amount of brands, so getting the attention of editors and buyers requires some bold moves which for me, is hard to come by.
2+7: Where did the name ‘POPE’ come from? Why not continue with DOSTY?
DSL: POPE is my father’s name so as one of the greatest men on Earth, the name speaks volumes to me. As for DOSTY, I wanted to let it go because I felt the line was being diluted by retail pressure and its voice was gone.
2+7: You say of your customer, “I see her buying clothes, like she buys art.” What makes a piece truly stand out as a piece of art?
DSL: My comment that “she buys clothes, likes she buys art” is more about an attitude. For me, I buy art that I love and somehow it ends up working beautifully (perhaps unexpectedly) in my home. I feel clothes can be the same way. You find a piece you love and it compliments something else in your closet. Together they become strikingly different and amazing together.
2+7: What inspires you on a daily basis?
DSL: Creating sophisticated, effortless clothes that will tempt women who opt for jeans and t-shirts most days to step it up, and go for something more polished.
2+7: Any favorite pieces from s/s 2012?
DSL: The Cat wide leg pant- these pants can do anything: the beach with flip flops or cocktails and a wedge. Also the Flynn top – a “go to” blouse and the Maude dress – an alluring neck/shoulder, but not over done with all the comfort of a shift.
2+7: Any favorite pieces for f/w 2012?
DSL: Sancy fur, Thieves cord jacket, Dresden pant, and Damon top
2+7: What’s next for Pope?
DSL: A defining spring/summer collection that really puts us on the map.