Images: Jonathan Simkhai
Boston's fashion scene should be proud. In the last few weeks, (and in the months to come), we have played host to a bevy of talented designers. The streak was kicked off by someone you need to know and know more about- Jonathan Simkhai.
My personal tale began with the line began with a belated trip to Louis to assess the state of spring fashion. I left with a Suno and Jennifer Chun dress, but was saddened that I didn't have anything from Jonathan Simkhai in my shopping bag. Thoughts of his pastel wide-leg pants and sporty track shorts danced in my head. Fast forward to week end, when Louis announced they would host the designer, in conjunction with the W Hotel, for a presentation. Fabulousness all around. He also made an in-store appearance at Louis on that Saturday, March 9th. Revel and welcome this infusion of fashion!
Jonathan Simkhai launched his collection in 2010 and has seen a swift rise in recognition for his efforts. His womens wear hallmark? Sweet tomboy cuts with ladylike detailing. Borrowing all the best from the boys, he weaves, cuts, and sews a delightful collection season after season. Simkhai is also part of the CFDA incubator program, launched last year, which helps mentor, sustain, and grow the lines of ten lucky brands and designers over a two year period.
Want to hear more about Mr. Simkhai? I took the opportunity to get some styling tips for mom to be moi, find out more about this design process and of course, ask a few Proustian-esque rapid fire questions about the totally irrelevant.
What is the design process for each collection?
I always like to start with the vibe I'm feeling from the girls in my life and what they want to wear. I then begin to start looking at fabrics and colors then hone in on what feels right. From there it is a lot of sketching and development.
In a previous interview, you mentioned a close friend's wedding in Anguilla as a reference point for SS2013- has travel similarly influenced previous/future collections you are working on? Anything in particular about the get away that translated into the line?
Travel does tend to have a strong influence on my collections. In particular, Resort 13's color palette and silhouettes were heavily inspired by my close friends wedding in Anguilla. After the wedding, I simultaneously was working on SS13 and traveling through Venice Beach after attending Coachella in California. I was extremely inspired by the colors and trademark symbols of Venice. I even created a ferris wheel print in a sunset palette that I took with my iphone while out there. For the upcoming season, I have an inspiration trip to Bangkok in the works through the CFDA and W Hotels as well.
The addition of resort collections must be keeping you very busy! Was there an impetus for the additional offerings?
Taking on Resort and Pre-fall has been an adjustment. It's crazy going from collection to collection with even less time to spare! I felt the need to offer a "palette cleanser" between the larger collections and expand my reach to a wide variety of customers.
How has the CFDA incubator program been? Any positive changes for you and the line that can be attributed to their involvement?
Being part of the CFDA incubator has been an incredible experience, they are such a valuable support system for my brand. My company has definitely grown since their involvement, and I believe that stems from their encouragement and the amazing creative outlet they provide.
Item from the current line that no woman should be with out?
The signature Jonathan Simkhai Silk Track Pant
And a final, selfish question- as a mom to be, what would you recommend for women on the look out for chic maternity wear? PS, I am thinking of adding some elastic to the fabulous floral palazzo pants!
I would definitely recommend any of the silk bottoms with elastic waistbands! They are chic and comfortable. The dolman top is also a great piece because it has such an easy over-sized fit and the contrast roll-up sleeve lets you dress it up or down.
Five questions with Mon Petit Chou Chou:
Last splurge? Lanvin Sneakers
Favourite scent? Comme Des Garcons Hinoki
Superpower you'd most like to have? Fly
Last meal on earth? Fried Chicken
If you weren't designing, what would you be doing? Slitting coconuts on the beach serving people fresh Pina Coladas