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Womenswear

Sister, Sister: An Exclusive With Annie Griffin

By October 10, 2013 Designers, Womenswear
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Two sisters, one fab collection: in 2009, Annie Griffin and Robin Gerber launched Annie Griffin—a diverse collection filled with bright colors and flattering silhouettes. With Annie’s creative background in art and design, and Robin’s marketing and sales skills, the business-savvy duo found their recipe for success—the line is now sold in over 150 boutiques nationwide. two+seven caught up with the sibling team to see what’s what’s next for the feminine-flirty-classic Annie Griffin.

 

Don’t Miss: Get 25% off your purchase at Annie Griffin with code twoseven25

two+seven: Give us some background: how did you get started in fashion design?

Annie Griffin: I concentrated on painting in college, but have always loved textiles. I worked in interior design after graduating, and I constantly found myself thinking about how those beautiful fabrics could be put together in clothing. So I enrolled in SCAD, and launched the line when I was 25.

2+7: What was the hardest part about starting your own business? The most rewarding?

AG: The most rewarding? Design is what I love, but learning the ins and outs of how to run a start-up business were definitely the most challenging aspects for me. When my sister started working with me things became a lot easier, as she was the salesperson I desperately needed. Trying to do it by myself was too difficult, and Robin is great at networking and making sales. I would say that the most rewarding part is seeing how all of us at Annie Griffin have each grown in our roles. We’re a team, but we really use our individual strengths to contribute to the company as a whole. And of course it’s also so rewarding to see a collection come together in production after working so hard to design it!

2+7: Being sisters and business partners, do you guys ever butt heads?

AG: Being partners and sisters certainly has its challenges, but our personalities tend to complement each other in business. Robin has never met a stranger, and I can be on the shyer side and love to design. It’s been great having Robin here as a support system and a sounding board for ideas.

2+7: What inspires you on a daily basis?

AG: My inspiration is really everything around me in my daily life. I am inspired by architecture, nature, my closet, interiors, my travels, nail polish colors, Pinterest—you name it. I’m constantly taking pictures on my phone for inspiration.

2+7: What’s next?

AG: We just got samples in for our Spring ’14 line, and I couldn’t be more excited about this collection. It is by far the most complete collection we’ve ever had, and so far it has been very well received. Robin is working on selling the spring collection now while I am working on designing Fall ’14.

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An Exclusive: Emerging Designer Rinat Shayna Brodach

By October 1, 2013 Designers, Womenswear
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The Designer: Rinat Shayna Brodach

Rinat Shayna Brodach grew up in Israel, knowing at a very young age that she wanted to design. Rinat was drawn to fashion as a way to express herself and pursue her curiosity of the movement and draping of fabric. After fulfilling her duties in the Israeli army and empowered with a stronger sense of self and direction, she moved to the United States in 2005 to attend the Academy of  Art University in San Francisco. She was offered the experience of a lifetime in her senior year when she won the grand prize for her thesis, a year in Paris.

In 2010 Rinat moved to France to study at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. She remained in France for one more year working at the fashion house of Steffie Christiaens, among others, before returning to the States in 2012 and settling in New York City, where she currently resides. She will be launching her first ready-to-wear women’s collection through her presentation “Exposing the Heart” expected in February 2014.


The Aesthetic

Rinat Brodach creates designs draped to enhance the art of a woman’s body, and bring to light the soul underneath. Crafted in New York, expertly finished and built to marry the androgyny of mankind with the sensuality of all women, Rinat Brodach designs  speak to the desire for indulgence and the necessity for truth. Each piece makes the woman more confident and continually pushes growth of self.

Objective

To design comfortable, versatile, and luxurious garments for women that experiment with drape to transcend time, enhance inner beauty, and afford the woman an escape into a more beautiful world.

 

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Ryan Jordan Spring/Summer 2014

By September 16, 2013 Designers, Events, Fashion News, Womenswear
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Menswear accents met fierce feminine attitude at Ryan Jordan’s packed presentation Friday September 6, 2013 at Banchet Flowers in the fashionable Meat Packing District. It was Jordan’s unwavering dedication to female empowerment and sexuality that inspired the sharply tailored styles we saw last week.

Even with menswear-esque sartorial silhouettes, a strong-sexy femininity still showed through. The girly-girl side came out with a slip-like pencil skirt, curve-hugging frock and red haute dress complete with a plunging neckline and dramatic slits.

Fashion’s favorite material this season, leather also made an appearance in the form of a sexy-chic bustier bralette.

About Ryan Jordan

Ryan Jordan began his career in fashion at only 14, going on to attend the prestigious Parsons’ School of Art and Design. He has completed internships with W Magazine, Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, Visionaire, Sonny Groo, and Tom Ford. He worked under the eclectic art direction of Nicola Formichetti and is a favorite of pop icon Lady Gaga. Jordan’s impressive experience and skill have made him a rising star in the fashion industry.

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Charlotte Ronson Spring/Summer 2014

By September 11, 2013 Designers, Womenswear
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It was effortless city chic at Charlotte Ronson with her Paris-meets-New York-inspired Spring/Summer 2014 presentation on Saturday night at The Box in Lincoln Center. Charming sun dresses, jumpsuits and separates with pops of print—polka dots, florals and plaids—brought a whimsical touch to classic silhouettes. Echos of fall’s menswear trend were evident in collared blouses and tailored trousers. Overall, a delightfully effortless collection sure to make warm weather dressing tres facile.

Images: Style.com and twoandseven

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Ann Yee Spring/Summer 2014

By September 5, 2013 Designers, Events, Fashion News, Womenswear
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It’s day one of New York Fashion Week and we’re excited for the return of our favorite shows. After last year’s rooftop presentation at the Standard Hotel, we were anxious to see what designer Ann Yee had prepared for her Spring/Summer 2014 presentation.

This year we’re in West Chelsea being ushered into the elevator of an industrial pre-war building. In complete contrast to last year’s naturalistic theme, the designer draws inspiration from her Michigan roots and the slow economic decline of Motor City, Detroit. Yee takes a positive and survivalist approach by incorporating a sense of hope for a revival or better, a “Resurgence” for the once prosperous city. “Through my work, I’d like people to see the possibility of the city being something of value once again”, shares Yee.

Models sport metallic eye shadows, cornrow braids and white stiletto heels. An androgynous canvas highlights the feminine knit textures paired against mint green silk shorts, a taupe loose fitted trouser and a white full pleated skirt. A structured tweed moto jacket and a printed mix-media blazer made for great layers over open-knit tops.

Stepping away from knits for a moment, a pleated white dress and bomber jacket was a look I was most excited about. It embodied the feeling of revival and rebirth that comes with spring—and hopefully for Detriot.

-Alex Avila, Traveling in Heels

 

 

 

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Introducing Prospekt Supply + The New Windbreaker

By August 28, 2013 Designers, Menswear, Womenswear
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From the city streets to the back country roads, rain and windy weather can really put a damper on your mood—and not to mention, your style. That’s where Prospekt Supply comes in, debuting their label with arguably the most high-end windbreaker on the market. Designed in New York and made in Vancouver, this outerwear is rendered premium Japanese water-resistant breathable fabric and finished with leather accents and quality zippers. Best of all, we love how this timeless staple folds away conveniently into a little travel pouch—perfect for the gal (or guy!) on the go.

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Made in New York: Humbert and Lo

By July 2, 2013 Designers, Womenswear
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Wearable, beautiful and locally made, clothing designer AJ Woodruff‘s effortless designs “combine vintage details with modern tastes, while employing local sourcing and celebrating the art of hand-making.” Born in Atlanta, Georgia, this talented entrepreneur moved to LA before settling in Brooklyn, NY and launching Humbert and Lo—a dynamic RTW collection alive with color and texture. two+seven caught up with AJ to find out more about H&L and what’s next for this versatile, sustainable line.

two + seven: Having attended Catholic school and having to wearing a uniform every day, was fashion design your escape from monotony?

AJ Woodruff: I attended Catholic school from kindergarten to 12th grade. That’s a lot of plaid skirts and saddle oxfords for any person!  As kids, we lived for non-uniform days, which were usually given as a reward for selling ungodly amounts of fruit and wrapping paper.  To this day, I am thankful for the ridiculous amount of oranges my mother bought just so my sister and I could wear a pair of jeans to school!  Not wearing a uniform was such a novelty that I always looked for the most unique, one-of-a-kind items I could find. At the time, I was really into vintage fashion and I started sketching and reconstructing clothes when I was 10 or 11 years old.  I had no idea that designing could be a job, but I’ve been sketching ever since.

2+7: Tell us about Humbert and Lo. How did it come about and what was the most difficult part of starting your own business?

AJ: Humbert and Lo came about kind of by accident. A few years ago during the height of the recession, everyone I knew in the creative industry was getting laid off.  Being jobless in New York can be very scary, but being laid off almost became a right of passage and a time to reevaluate your career.  When my turn came, I had mixed feelings about the fashion and I was caught between going back into advertising or leaving the creative industry completely.  I started making clothes for myself merely as a project to keep busy and after creating a few things, I realized I had made a collection.  That pretty much snowballed into Humbert and Lo.

The hardest part of starting a business is starting a business!  Every aspect of it is challenging from having enough time to do everything to handling financials. You have to wear a lot of hats and even with the best planning, it’s mostly trial and error.  Although most problems aren’t unique, finding a workable solution oftentimes is.  Research is key for me, and Google is a big help!

2+7: There is an emphasis on local sourcing and hand-crafted construction—the whole coveted “Made in America” aspect. Was this one of your goals starting out?

AJ: When I was in college, I had the misfortune and fortune of seeing a sweatshop in person. I was completely mortified, but it stuck with me and taught me what not to do in the future.  Although making clothes in the United States is challenging, I need to know that my products are being produced in a safe environment.  Producing clothes locally allows me to closely monitor the process and have more control over the design and manufacturing.  I know the hands that the clothes have passed through which gives me peace of mind.  As the company grows, it becomes more difficult to produce locally, but I love a challenge, and it is definitely a goal that I am dedicated to.

2+7: You mention that your inspiration comes from the different places you’ve lived—Georgia, LA and New York. What else inspires you on a daily basis?

AJ: I am highly inspired by architecture, music, novels, and especially film.  I love books by Haruki Murakami and Miranda July, and I’m obsessed with Turner Classics and the Criterion Collection.  I really enjoy movies that transport me into another time or place where the director’s focus is on cinematography and framing.  I particularly love surfing documentaries and films directed by Godard, Sophia Coppola, Adrian Lynne, and Wong Kar-Wai.  Their movies are like eye candy.  I can’t get enough!

2+7: Your collections are soft and subtly glamorous—southern belle meets urban hipster. Who would you say is the Humbert and Lo gal?

AJ: I love that phrasing!  Can I steal that???

2+7: Of course you can ;-)

AJ: Overall, the Humbert and Lo customer is someone who loves small details, versatility and most importantly, comfort!  I hate to wear anything that is too clingy, too tight, rides up, or is itchy. I always want my clothes to feel like the comfort of a sweatshirt while wearing something feminine and presentable. Each piece is inspired by a different era from the 1920’s to the 1990’s, and I combine those details with modern fashion trends. The Humbert and Lo girl appreciates the vintage aspect while embracing current styles.

2+7:  What’s next?

AJ: I’m very excited about the upcoming Humbert and Lo Fall collection, but even more so, I’m really looking forward to a new charity project that I’m working on.  Before fashion, I studied fine arts, photography, and graphic design.  This new project has allowed me to get back to my roots while also supporting one of a my favorite organizations.  But right now, my lips are sealed so you’ll have to stay tuned to see what’s next!

“One of my favorites: our new FATA MORGANA TEE which is a hand painted tee using a tie dye and paintbrush technique. Each tee is individually made in limited batches.”

“And our SILK CAFTAN DRESS is a must-have in pure silk and has an inside adjustable drawstring so that the dress can be worn three ways.”

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Beat the Heat: Keep Cool With Cutouts

By June 28, 2013 Designers, Womenswear

This summer, it’s all about the laser cutting and cutout designs—hello Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler. But our favorites this season come from our pals at NOT.

Combat the hundred degree weather and humidity with NOT’s Hole Tent Dress in pink cotton and silk. This summer must-have is so versatile, our friend Jenny Lai showed us a few ways to wear the flirty frock.

Also, be sure to check out NOT’s new e-commerce site for more fun and funky wear this summer!

Layers keep it casual—and totally cool. Try this look for fall transitioning.

Take it out with tights and ankle boots for the perfect after-hours getup.

Have a high-fashion moment by adding sheer pants and ankle strap platforms, a la Man Repeller!

 

 

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New On the Jean Scene: Articles of Society

By May 13, 2013 Designers, Womenswear
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Classic denim + iconic fit. That’s the motto behind ultra-cool LA-based jean brand, Articles of Society. Founded in 2012, AOS branded itself as the first line to offer consumers superior jeans at an affordable price after recognizing this missing element in the denim market and refusing to compromise quality for value. two+seven talked to the AOS team, the jeanius’ behind the brand in an exclusive interview.

Mya Skinny in Optic White (Summer)

two+seven: Give us some background. How did AOS get its start?

AOS: The premium denim market has been oversaturated with brands popping up left and right, all offering the same thing for $200. We noticed a missing element in the marketplace – premium jeans at an affordable price – so we set out to make affordable jeans without comprising quality fit and design.

Mya Cargo in Military (Fall)

2+7: What’s the design process like, from start to finish, for designing the perfect pair of jeans?

AOS:  All good design starts with the fabric. We believe that denim should be soft to the touch, have great recovery (not bag out) and feel great on. From there, we develop dozens of washes and select the best of the best. Special attention is paid to the details often left unnoticed, including threads, hardware and back pocket placement.  Each wash is then custom-fitted to confirm that the fit is spot-on.  And there you have a perfect jean!

Articles of Society Spring13 from Articles of Society on Vimeo.

2+7: The denim market is a competitive one with tons of brands and history. What’s the secret to standing out?

AOS: What we offer has never been done before. Coming from a premium denim background, we know what makes premium premium. We just figured out the right formula to create it for $50.

Mya Zip in Moto (Fall)

2+7: You also craft shorts and the quintessential denim jacket—what other staples can we look forward to?

AOS: With a classic and iconic design aesthetic, we remain focused on creating quality, on-trend items. We just launched a new relaxed crop, the Cindy, made from a super-soft rayon/cotton denim.  This fall, we are excited to launch a few novelty items based off our top selling Mya Skinny – the Mya Cargo and the Mya Zip.  For Spring ’14, we are looking into offering a few sportswear pieces, which would include shirting, jackets and dresses.  We are also excited to launch our men’s division of AOS for Spring ’14, which will include premium jeans in Slim, Straight and Relaxed-Straight styles starting at $70.

2+7: Where can we buy AOS jeans?

AOS:  AOS jeans are available nationwide at Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Von Maur and select boutiques. We’re excited to be offering our jeans at Lord & Taylor and The Buckle this fall.

JOIN THE CONTEST: Win a pair of AOS by submitting a shot on instagram! More details below!

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So Fresh: Mint Clothing Company

By May 8, 2013 Designers, Womenswear
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T-shirt designer Jessica Snyder gets graphic with her California-based luxury t-shirt line, Mint. Sporting photo images and west coast motifs, the tees tap into seaside themes for refreshing, effortless style. A SoCal native herself, Jess grew up loving both fashion and the beach—so it’s only fitting that Mint matches up the two. We caught up with the multitalented entrepreneur in an exclusive interview. Oh, and PS: be sure to check in tomorrow to see Mint the Blog and Jess’s must-have summer essentials!

 

Photo by Kyle MacLennon

two+seven: From surfer to stylist (and more) you’ve worn a lot of hats! How did you make the transition to designing t-shirts?

Jessica Snyder: It’s funny how they say “the love of your life might be right under your nose…” and that’s kind of what happened with fashion! I’ve always loved it, since I was practically a toddler in pink Converses! It just never even occurred to me to think of it as a career. My cousin was in fashion and I started off interning for her just for fun, then interning for a stylist, then got a job assisting a stylist…which I loved! But then I started thinking it might be cool to see how clothes are made and wanted to see the process of a concept to actually creating something tangible. I went a little extreme on the last one haha. Curiosity Kitten!

Mint Spring 13′ from Mint Clothing Company on Vimeo.

2+7: What came first – the t-shirt line or the blog?

JS: The line came first, I was doing samples and developing the line behind the scenes which takes a while as I manufacture everything and also I wanted it to be perfect!! But I was anxious to get going and get Mint out there and that’s how the blog came about! I still love styling and creating looks so it worked out perfectly that I am able to still be creative in that way as well as designing.

Paradise Tee

    

2+7: You are obviously inspired by Cali and the seaside lifestyle. What else inspires you?

JS: I recently spoke at an event for fashion students and this is going to sound so cheesy but I realized talking to these kids and answering their questions that I just love what I am doing so much. That in itself is obviously a constant inspiration to keep moving forward and continue to work hard and hopefully inspire other people to follow their dreams and do their best, all that good stuff!!

Photo by Ian Zamora 

2+7: What do you with your free time when you’re not designing/styling/blogging?

JS: Go to the beach!! I love to play hooky and just go for a surf, lay out with a book or magazine, just relax! I’ve been going to the same beach since I was a kid so it’s always nice to stop by, see who’s hanging out, say hey. It keeps me grounded…all the boys I grew up with usually make fun of what I’m wearing! Oh silly boys!

Photo by Kyle MacLennon

2+7: What’s next?

JS: With the line I started out really small but I am proud to announce we are expanding! We are adding some really awesome new pieces. More then just tees- hint hint!! I am working really hard, having so much fun doing it and I am super super excited to share it! So stay tuned!

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INSTAGRAM: @mintclothingcompany

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On the Cutting Edge: Designer Elvira ‘t Hart

By March 27, 2013 Designers, Womenswear
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Artist and designer Elvira ‘t Hart creates graphic sketches with edgy overtones. Then, she turns them into clothing. The Dutch entrepreneur utilizes modern technology (laser cutting, 3D imaging) to bring her preliminary visions into intricate real life. The result is stunning, unique statement pieces that show off a totally unique aesthetic. two + seven caught up with Elvira to find out about her label, process and inspiration.

two + seven: Tell us a little bit about your collection, Drawn Clothes and Wearable Drawings.

Elvira ‘t Hart: The label is based on drawings that I make, in which I literally draw my designs. In my latest work, a collection existing of a few black garments called Drawn Clothes and Wearable Drawings I wanted to translate two-dimensional sketches into three dimensional garments—all without losing the characteristics of the first sketch.

2+7: What was your inspiration?

EH: The sketch itself. In my opinion a sketch or quick/ unfinished drawing is often more interesting to look at then the finished, final result. 

2+7: What is your process like? 

EH: By making the actual drawings the literal patterns or by sketching the patterns and cutting these out with laser, every line I draw will also appear in the final garment—the signature of my hand is maintained. The clothes follow the shape of the drawings and take over their characteristics: outlying lines, empty or unfinished areas. An image is reduced to lines, planes and areas which do not have to be fully formed or finished to give the viewer an idea of what is depicted. Only the essential information is given, the rest you can leave up to your imagination!

2+7: How do you think technology has shifted fashion?

EH: Without the technology of laser cutting, I would not be able to execute my work this precisely. Every line I draw will also appear in the final garment. My signature stays the same; I can make the perfect reproduction of my drawings in other materials. Of course it is not a new technology, even 3D printing is not that new anymore.  However, the things which are done with it are new. Because these technologies become more and more available, accessible, and cheaper to use, it is possible for young designers in all fields to use it and to experiment.  Making the impossible possible! I think a part in fashion has definitely shifted. This part is not only about producing collections every season and reinventing the look of clothes. It is also about reinventing the way we design and execute those designs.

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Making Waves: Estuaries Swimwear

By March 25, 2013 Designers, Womenswear
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This is a tale of two cities; a story of two seas: design duo (and multi-talented sisters) Layla Chen and Zhu Ru hail from Honolulu and honed their craft in NYC, creating ultra-cool beachwear swimming with urban sensibilities. Their beautiful yet functional line, Estuaries, blends the “tranquility of the beach with the energy of the city”—and with great success. With an exclusive launch at InterMIX boutiques and a brand new shopping site, two+seven chatted with the ladies of swimwear about their modern yet classic collection.

two+seven: Give us some background. How did you both get into designing swimwear?

Layla Chen + Zhu Ru: Growing up in Hawaii inspired us to create the Estuaries label, and it really had a lot do with timing.  Zhu Ru was already working in fashion and Layla was in sales and marketing.  When we both found ourselves living and working in New York, we decided to create a collection that reflects the beach culture we love so much and wanted to integrate it into our city life in New York now.

2+7: Having grown up in Honolulu and now living in NYC, how has each locale influenced your design sensibilities?

LC + ZR: We were definitely influenced by our upbringing.  Hawaii is so naturally beautiful and relaxed, whereas New York is high energy and exciting.  Experiencing such a difference in environment really gave us such insight and inspiration.  It’s this perfect dichotomy that influences the balance when we design and it’s also what we strive for in our business operations too.

2+7: As sisters, do you guys ever butt heads? How do you work things out, in terms of your business, if there’s a major disagreement?

LC + ZR: We are so lucky that we get along really well.  Being sisters, we naturally understand and respect each other’s ideas. When we can’t make a decision, we have to remind each other to bring it back to the core about who we are, what our brand stands for and often times, the answer is clear.  It also helps that we are solution-oriented and are able share our different perspectives and this combination works well for us.

2+7: Tell us about your latest collection: what’s your inspiration, and who’s the girl that’s wearing it?

LC + ZR: The latest collection reflects our favorite times at the beach which is during the golden hours. These hours are when we see the texture and colors very well. Our girl is one who knows how to appreciate this and knows how to make time for herself to enjoy her life.

2+7: What’s next?

LC + ZR: Last week, we hit InterMIX stores with an exclusive color way. Plus our e-commerce site just launched! And in the coming months, we’re adding some new colors to our current collection for FALL 2013 as we add on more designs for Spring 2014 and will be showing the collection at the swim show this July.

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