New York Fashion Week wrapped up a couple weeks ago, with over 200 events taking place and designers both new and established presenting their spring 2016 collections. Headlines for Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne’s debut at DKNY and Kanye West’s second season of Yeezy may have grabbed the front page, but New York had an abundance of young talent to offer too. Luckily, I was able to see a number of designers showing in their first few seasons. Two labels that stood out to me for their fresh aesthetic were Frankie B Hollywood (pictured above) and Pamplemousse (pictured below). I got a chance to speak with the designers of the two labels about their business, their inspiration and what they were planning next.
Frankie B Hollywood-
Anthony O’Dell: What would have to say to those that only remember you from your jeans in the early 2000’s?
Chadwick Bell: I’d say that the memory is a good starting point. Frankie B jeans were a coveted item… creating something coveted is hard to do. The idea of what we’re doing going forward is carrying the tradition of creating “pieces” that are covetable for your everyday life – your favorite jean, favorite leather jacket, favorite tee, favorite blazer, favorite leather moto pant, favorite tuxedo. etc
AO: Why did you choose to re-launch in New York as opposed to LA?
Chadwick Bell (designer): NY has a wider press outreach during fashion week. Lots of buzz and lots of hype. There needed to be a singular moment to say we’re back
AO: What do you want to be known for this time around?
Chadwick Bell: Not just your jeans… but every piece in your closet
AO: How would you describe your new aesthetic?
Chadwick Bell: Rock ’n’ Roll Chic and Modern Hollywood
AO: I read that you will be launching a festival collection in line with Coachella, will launching around major entertainment events become a focus or will you be in line with the most traditional calendar?
Kevin Chen (CEO): Yes, our festival collection is representative of our connection to the music industry, we plan on incorporating artist’s work of many genres into our brand in the near future and promoting those events and activities alongside some of the fashion calendar staples.
AO: The labels you’ve worked for such as Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez are known for their clean lines and feminine features, has this consciously affected your design process?
Danica Zheng (designer): I’ve always believed in and adopted a rather minimalistic aesthetic in my designs. Working for labels such as Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez has definitely expanded my knowledge and enhanced my skills in the process to achieve such designs, mostly in the amount of attention paid to every details and finding a solution to every design problem during the process.
AO: I heard you were focused more on the luxury market to start off what made you change to contemporary?
Danica Zheng: I wanted to focus on making luxury pieces available at a contemporary price point and therefore to a much wider range of customers. I want to see more women wearing and enjoying my designs.
AO: In your S/S16 show description it says you continue to romanticize the idea of bondage, has the idea of combining seemingly opposite ideas always appealed to you?
Danica Zheng: The idea of juxtaposition, or rather, the idea of balancing has always interested me. I like to take two extremes and mesh them together, taking the essence of each and establishing a middle ground. There are many things around us that we have become so opinionated about and often overlooked the delicate details involved, I want to present to people what they have forgotten and see certain things in a new light.
AO: How would you describe your signature aesthetic?
Danica Zheng: Easy to wear pieces with a twist of freshness.
AO: I know a lot of girls that would love to wear your line, what retailers can we find you in for F/W15 or S/S16?
Danica Zheng: SS16 will be available for pre-order on www.pamplemousseny.com starting Oct 1st.