Designer Q + A: Next Big Things

Designer Q + A: Next Big Things

As you may have heard, INTERMIX is celebrating emerging design talent like never before this New York Fashion Week. Our new creative retail lab is stocked with product from the most exciting up–and–comers, and we're giving online shoppers even more to discover. We chatted with the women and men behind four of the most exciting featured brands—Galvan, Beaufille, Malone Souliers and Alix of Bohemia—to learn about what influences their designs, who they create for and what they hope to achieve in the future. Get to know them here, and check out Next Big Things, open now adjacent to INTERMIX Meatpacking at 810 Washington Street.

Roy Luwolt and Mary Alice Malone, Malone Souliers

Do you consider yourself an emerging designer? Where do you see your business in 5 years? 10 years?
"Malone Souliers has certainly emerged, seemingly out of oblivion, but actually out of a considered amalgamation of veteran skill, strategic deliberation and concerted focus. In five years, ten and beyond, we shall continue to emerge, of course, with endless optimization and product development at the core of our ethos, challenging the ilk of the legacy houses we indelibly respect, who in fact informed the resolute decision for Mary Alice and I to found the brand—an ode to ultimate craftsmanship that we call 'the lost and forgotten.'" —Roy

What was the mission of your first–ever collection? Is there a particular niche in the marketplace or vision you were hoping to fill?
"When Roy Luwolt and I were founding the business, we clarified to each other our positioning: Refined luxury that accepts the wheel is a circle, ergo we weren't planning to invent anything new, rather revive the best craftsmanship in quality and method and bringing back the lost standards and forgotten methods. Our ethos is of particularity; from meticulous development of shape, size and color to the utmost milimeter. A finished luxury good, generally speaking, insists on every detail, visible and invisible. To put simply, we are addicted to doing good things the hard way." —Mary Alice

Who is the ultimate Malone Souliers woman?
"I don't actually think about the specifics. I don't think about what she looks like, how tall she is, what her career is. It is more about the way she carries herself and the way she embodies herself. For me it's always that type of woman who has enough presence that you are aware of her before she's even walked in the door. She's confident and not afraid to stand out." —Mary Alice
"She is a mother, a daughter, a grandmother or a sister. She could be anyone. She is unapologetic, sure of herself and her inclinations, dispositions and securities, all of which comprise only half of the Malone Souliers woman." —Roy

Sola Harrison, Katherine Holmgren, Anna-Christin Haas and Carolyn Hodler, Galvan

What was the mission of your first-ever collection? Is there a particular niche in the marketplace or vision you were hoping to fulfill?
"Quite simply, we started Galvan to satisfy our own desire for a new kind of eveningwear. For years we had complained to one another about the difficulty of finding long dresses that were modern and cool as opposed to overly formal and embellished, and that had beautiful quality but didn't cost a fortune. Increasingly we heard friends and colleagues complaining about the same problem. Clearly the need existed, so we decided to take matters into our own hands and fill this particular gap in the market."

Who or what are your biggest sources of inspiration?
"The brand identity has been heavily inspired by the '90s since the beginning. Both very the very feminine super model era and the masculine grunge period. We use geometric and structured lines mixed in with fluid, feminine, figure–flattering seams. We also like to emphasize both the feminine and masculine side of the woman herself."

Who is the ultimate Galvan woman?
"Our ultimate Galvan woman is strong and confident in her own style. She wears a dress—it does not wear her. Our goal is to create eveningwear that can be accessorized to fit any occasion. We look to women like Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Julianne Moore, Rachel Weisz and Christy Turlington."

Chloé and Parris Gordon, Beaufille

What was the mission of your first-ever collection? Is there a particular niche in the marketplace or vision you were hoping to fulfill?
"Beaufille collections aim to uncover the brand definition, 'handsome girl,' exploring the juxtaposition of opposite elements such as maculine and feminine, hard and soft, romantic and edgy."

Who or what are your biggest sources of inspiration?
"Art, rebellion, uniform, menswear, adornment, music, subcultures, underdogs, imperfection, our mom."

Who is the ultimate Beaufille woman?
"An effortlessly chic, romantic tomboy."

Alix Verley-Pietrafesa, Alix of Bohemia

What was the mission behind your first–ever collection? Is there a particular niche in the marketplace or vision you were hoping to fulfill?
"My mission has remained the same since I began: To produce beautifully crafted pieces that make the wearer feel like the best version of themselves. I've always hated seeing myself coming and going in the same clothes as other girls, which is why I have always favored vintage and started making unique pieces. I don't believe in acquiring a huge volume of stuff—I'd rather have a few pieces which I wear to death that can handle the adventures that are part of life's vitality. I was just seeing so much clothing being produced, but nothing really seemed very special. I wanted to make pieces that conveyed emotion. Clothing is the art of the everyday—it's the best way of telling the world who you are without having to say anything."

Who or what are your biggest sources of inspiration?
"My degree is in art history, so I always look to artists for inspiration. I wrote my dissertation on Giacometti and the Bohemians of post–war Paris, and I have always been inspired by these free spirits living and producing art together. Like many artists, I look to the past—Jimi Hendrix's amazing psychedelic style, Loulou de la Falaise's truban, Alexander Calder's primary color palette, the traditional garments of Ukraine and Russian romantics. When I lived in London, I used to hang out with a band of gypsies on Portobello Road who had the coolest style I had ever seen. They epitomized 'Sprezzatura,' the Italian expression for artful–artlessness. They weren't trying to convey status or wealth with what they wore, rather trying to show who they were inside. Vintage Victorian charms around their necks, headscarves, beat–up old boots—each element told a story. I construct my pieces in the same way: A collage of many elements coming together to tell a story."

Who is the ultimate Alix of Bohemia woman?
"She knows who she is and what she wants. She walks the line between rustic and refined. She doesn't care about having a fancy handbag or a manicure. She's kind, she's got soul, and a sense of humor about the whole thing. She's the girl at the party drinking a beer with messy hair and paint on her boots, who's laughing easily and oozes confidence. She doesn't care what you think. She's having fun.
"My mother always comes to mind. I grew up in her art studio and she taught me how to be an artist, and that the pursuit of creating was valid, and a vocation. She epitomizes beauty and kindness, and that kind of thing is eternally chic to me."

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