New Shopbop Brands

Friday, March 23rd 2012

3 Questions for Hussein Chalayan


Designer Hussein Chalayan.

Hussein Chalayan is arguably one of the industry’s most innovative talents. Known for taking an experiential and experimental approach to design, his runway shows never fail to excite and inspire. The designer’s latest endeavor is Chalayan: a capsule collection with an effortless air defined by clean lines, gentle fabrics, and a muted color palette.

SHOPBOP: Describe your current collection in three words or less.
HUSSEIN CHALAYAN: Modern, minimal, cool. 

SB: What inspires you most?
HC: My insatiable curiosity.

SB: What music is currently on repeat in your studio?
HC: Kate Bush’s newest album, 50 Words for Snow.

Shop Chalayan.

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Thursday, March 22nd 2012

4 Questions for Heidi Merrick


Designer Heidi Merrick.

Los Angeles-based fashion designer Heidi Merrick is a true Californian. The daughter of renowned surfer Al Merrick, Heidi got her start in fashion design in 2006, when she showed a four-piece womenswear collection she patterned and sewed herself. Infused with true love for West Coast culture, Heidi Merrick clothing not only pays homage to the coastal beauty of California, but has become a fashion favorite.

Shopbop: Describe your current collection in three words or less.
Heidi Merrick: Cool, luxe, Californian.

SB: What inspires you most?
HM: People. I love to see someone in their element, being who they were meant to be. Spring was inspired by memories of surfer Tom Curren when he was 18, and my fall collection is based around the idea of another certain gentleman surfer.

SB: What music is currently on repeat in your studio?
HM: Bon Iver, 90% of the time! We also mix in Miike Snow, Foster the People and a little Astrud Gilberto.

SB: What was your last travel destination?
HM: Paris with my bestie—we just got back. We went for Paris Fashion week, meetings, and really just to readjust our eyes, as Bill Cunningham would say.

Shop Heidi Merrick.

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Wednesday, March 21st 2012

4 Questions for Harvey Faircloth Designer Katie Hatch


Harvey Faircloth Designer Katie Hatch.

Katie Hatch’s rodeo cowboy father and a barrel-racing mother brought her up to be unafraid of hard work and high temperatures. How does this translate to fashion? For the designer’s Harvey Faircloth collection, it comes through in spirited, off-kilter classics with a plucky, pioneering spirit. We took a few minutes of the designer’s time to ask her about Harvey Faircloth.

Shopbop: Describe your current collection in three words or less.
Katie Hatch: Carefree surfing tomboys.

SB: What inspires you most?
KH: Old things I’ve never seen before.

SB: What music is currently on repeat in your studio?
KH: “Bam Bam” by Toots & The Maytals.

SB: What's your next travel destination?
KH: New Orleans for a wedding with my boyfriend and friends! I’m making a madras dress for it.

Shop Harvey Faircloth.

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Tuesday, March 20th 2012

3 Questions for NSF Creative Director Jamie Haller


NSF Creative Director Jamie Haller.

NSF clothing has a cool, independent spirit, fitting for the brand’s West Coast roots. Under the creative direction of Jamie Haller, NSF offers sophisticated pieces rendered in casual fabrications, lending each style a sense of chic versatility. We took a few minutes to ask Haller about the NSF collection.

Shopbop: Describe your current collection in three words or less.
Jamie Haller: Effortless, casual, cool.

SB: What inspires you most?
JH: This is too hard to answer. It’s everything—color, shape, texture, place, travel, what I want to wear, what I see around me, what I get “into” at any given moment. I love to pick up things from my travels and incorporate them into a collection. The print on the Shada pant from the current collection was patch-worked together from a vintage printed Indonesian jacket I found at a flea market. I am constantly inspired by beautiful worn-out denim pieces as well, or the perfectly worn and torn tee. I’m always looking for this feeling of broken-down perfection.

SB: What was your latest travel destination? What’s next?
JH: Last travel destination was Egypt. It’s a very magnetic place in the world and I had always wanted to go there. My next trip will be to Bali. It’s so beautiful, tropical, and spiritual—definitely something to look forward to.

Shop NSF.

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Thursday, June 17th 2010

Talking with Linda Trau of ZUBA Africa


ZUBA Africa designer Linda Trau with some of the Rwandan artisans who create her line.

Inspired by “izuba,” the Rwandan word for sunshine, ZUBA Africa is a collaboration between Linda Trau, a designer and humanitarian, and Fairwinds Trading, a company that uses business as a strategy for the economic empowerment of women in developing countries. I asked Linda about the story behind ZUBA, the artisans who hand-make each beaded necklace and printed tote, and how her efforts have made a difference in Rwandan communities.

Tonya: What first brought you to Rwanda, and what is the story behind the line’s origins?
Linda: I was involved with a village that was built in Rwanda for orphaned children, and I saw how desperately poor the women were. These women were survivors of the genocide, and I decided to work in Rwanda the following summer to teach them vocational skills like sewing and making jewelry. The women responded amazingly well. Their spirits were lifted. I worked with the local materials, and began to design fashionable pieces for stores in the United States. We had a wonderful response and were able to empower hundreds of women. In turn, their lives were changed, as was mine. The humble gratitude was so inspiring and heartwarming that my life has been changed forever.

T: What benefit have you seen in these Rwandan communities?
L: The benefits for the women have been wonderful. They have become stronger and better able to feed themselves and their children. Learning these skills has given them hope and a newfound passion for living. Not having to depend on the charity of others changes their reality.

T: What goes into the creation of each piece? Could you tell us about the process?
L: Each design is based on an original idea, and assembled with materials purchased in local markets. The vibrant prints and colors are inspired by the Rwandan women themselves.

--Tonya

Monday, June 7th 2010

Introducing AIKO, Enza Costa, Three Dots & Wessex

Though my warm-weather wardrobe is stocked with easy jersey from James Perse, Splendid, and Velvet clothing, I want to expand beyond these go-to brands to round out my casual-chic summer repertoire. So I’m looking at four lines new to Shopbop for an addition that’s fresh, unique, and equally comfy.

My first stop? AIKO clothing. This line takes the sweatshirt–the ultimate symbol of comfort–and constructs it into fashion-forward pieces, like oversized crop tops, print leggings, and dresses with playful silhouettes. In the words of Creative Director Cynthia Mittweg, “I’ve always found that a combination of comfortable and clever makes for an interesting palette.” Wessex clothing also puts a new spin on a closet staple: the line’s sheer, light-as-air tanks have the perfect slouch and are embellished with shimmering rhinestones.

When searching for casual summer clothing, it’s wise to look to Los Angeles (Ella Moss, Rachel Pally, and Soft Joie are three reasons why). LA-based Enza Costa sums up the city’s easy sensibility with graceful pieces handmade from soft fabrics, while treatments like blueberry dye lend a singular touch. Three Dots clothing, founded in 1995 by designer Sharon Lebon, has mastered the art of draping, and the line’s uncommon prints (and perfect price) ensure I won’t end my search with just one piece.

--Tonya

Friday, March 26th 2010

Lace Looks for People Who Don’t Like Lace

Let’s talk lace. Love it or loathe it? If you’re into it, you already know this is your season—the boudoir trend is chockablock with frilly lingerie looks. But if you’re in the “no thanks” camp, like me? Spring offers up some pretty compelling (no pun intended) reasons to reconsider your stance.

Turns out lace can play it cool. I credit the pic above from our Spring 2010 Trends Report for this fashion eureka moment. But as you can see, inspired, go-way-beyond-what’s-expected styling is key. In keeping with the opposites attract technique shown, I’d pair a lace blouse or blazer (the one above is from newcomer Of Two Minds clothing) with my J Brand cargo pants or the Monrow sweatpants I’ve had in heavy rotation since November.

The overall effect is kind of like you threw a vintage bed jacket over your lazing-around-the-house pants to run out to the deli on a Sunday morning, but heightened, elevated. A perfect example of the look an astute fashion friend has christened “crazy-lady cool.”

Viva la lace!

--Maureen

Friday, January 29th 2010

New to Shopbop: Rag & Bone/JEAN, Helmut Lang Denim + More

 

This spring, minimalist denim is so much more than an elementary assemblage of rivets and twill. The emerging story? Threads for a utilitarian, downtown-cool lifestyle, where blue (or black or white) jeans go back to their no-nonsense roots: clean (or ripped off) back pockets, classic cuts, superior fabrications, and an intense focus on construction and fit.

“The Rag & Bone denim line created a lot of excitement in our New York office,” says Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch about new brand Rag & Bone/JEAN (coming soon to Shopbop), which also offers essential knits and menswear-inspired button-down shirts. “This collection is like the backbone of your wardrobe. In true Rag & Bone fashion, the line consists of all those perfect basics every girl needs—classic styles that can go from beach-chic to urban-cool. Highlights for me were the pastel yellow skinny jeans and the denim overall shorts.”

Like Rag & Bone/JEAN, cool-kid label Rogan clothing complements its Svelte Jeans with edgy yet simple necessities: hooded scarves, and sweaters and tank dresses with provocative sheer panels. Vince may be associated with the question of what to wear to work, but this spring the brand exudes attitude with the launch of Vince Denim. “Their High Line Skinny Jeans fit like a glove,” says Kate. “Acid washes, paint splatter, missing back pockets, and interesting side panels are such great touches.”

Helmut Lang Denim (also coming soon) fits seamlessly with this urban aesthetic as well, albeit on a more experimental level. Keeping with the avant-garde spirit of its parent collection, this line pushes the boundaries of what is expected from denim. Look for leather and jersey panels and washes inspired by industrial, distressed textures such as peeling paint, oil on asphalt, and decayed walls. “Their body-con leggings and dresses with black jersey insets are among my favorites,” Kate says. “Skirts, jackets, shorts, shirts—Helmut Lang Denim has it all covered, and done well.”

--Suzanne

Friday, December 11th 2009

New Handbag Brands at Shopbop: MATT & NAT and Horse+Nail

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My broken-in black handbag says a lot about me: I adore versatility, I like a bag with room enough for a book, and also that I’m terribly careless about throwing it around. We all search for the bag that perfectly reflects our individuality, and though that search can be a long one, two personality-packed lines new to Shopbop are making it a bit easier.

This search was what led Lindsey Hufnagel to found Horse+Nail handbags. Growing up in Alberta, Canada, she found it difficult to express her individuality and unconventional fashion sense. That, paired with her love of horseback riding and her German surname (“huf” meaning horse and “nagel” meaning nail), inspired her to create a line of bags accented with equestrian details that she handcrafts herself with luxe, hand-picked leathers. The result is a line of Wild West-inspired bags with a rocker attitude.

Few lines have an story more unique than MATT & NAT handbags. Creative director Inter Bedi accepted a Hindu mahatma’s challenge to go vegetarian for 30 days, and during this meat-free month was inspired to start a line of eco-friendly vegan handbags. The brand puts a creative spin on earth-friendly fashion: the lining of each bag is made of recycled water bottles, and a message inside each style shows how many bottles were re-used. But that’s not to say the bags are more hippie than haute: they’re adorned with edgy details (no crochet or embroidery in sight), making it easy even for bad girls to express their inner tree-hugger.

--Tonya

Monday, August 31st 2009

Meet Novella Royale and Community Denim

08_31_09_Earth

Though it once conjured up images of flowy hippie skirts and hemp jewelry, designers have come to make eco-friendly clothing anything but crunchy-granola. Along with Shopbop veterans EDUN, Brigid Catiis, and Re Collection, two new brands are showing there’s no need to sacrifice style for the greater good.

Leather jackets are a cool girl’s number one staple, and Novella Royale handbags, cut from old leather jackets, are a close second. Studs and fringe give these totes and clutches a tough exterior, but inside they have a heart of gold: lined with organic fabric, their eco-friendly production doesn’t create new waste. And each handmade-in-L.A. piece is literally one of a kind.

Community Denim takes its name from the idea of people coming together for a common purpose, an outlook reflected in their focus on ethical production and donation of a percentage of all sales to children’s charities. Another of their good deeds? Their clean-lined skinnies with made-in-Italy construction come with an affordable price tag. Make a statement by pairing their black jeans with a grey slash-back tee from Re Collection, recycled-metal Alkemie jewelry, and a Novella Royale handbag slung over your shoulder.

--Tonya

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