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Jonathan Simkhai Discusses His Spring Collection, Louis, More

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Coming off a hectic fashion month as part of the Council of Fashion Designers of America's (CFDA) {Fashion Incubator} program, designer Jonathan Simkhai set up shop at Louis for a trunk show last Saturday. Friday night we excitedly visited the W Hotel for his Spring 2013 presentation and discovered just how much depth his pieces have in person. Simkhai's work is at once cool and easy while also maintaining a flirty femininity within masculine silhouettes. With his enthusiasm and support from both the CFDA and a growing celebrity following, this emerging designer is set to make a mark on the New York fashion roster and beyond.

Tell us a bit about your Spring 2013 collection. What defines it? What was the inspiration?
The Spring 2013 Collection was inspired by the first skateboarders in Venice Beach in the 70s. The boys were all fighting for waves for surf-time and finally decide to start skating in empty pools. I also had just come back from Coachella during the design process and fell in love with the easy laid-back Cali attitude and really wanted to bring that vibe to a more fast-paced city girl. I referenced a lot of boyish sport details and soft beachy prints.

Pastels are a departure from your usual moodier color palettes. What made you pick them?
I never want to be too predictable in my designs. I wanted to add a softness to my vision and Spring 2013 was a way for me to experiment with prints and new colors that weren't necessarily what people would expect from me.

What do you consider your signature skill as a designer? Is it the menswear sensibility?
I think menswear sensibility with a sexy sporty twist is my signature skill. I love creating pieces that are not conventionally sexy, but make a girl feel effortlessly cool- which is always sexy to me. I also like to think my attention to detail sets me apart as a designer. I always make sure everything I create feels special.

How has the CFDA Fashion Incubator affected your business? What is the biggest perk of the program?
Being part of The CFDA Fashion Incubator has been an amazing experience; they act as such a great support system. They've definitely opened doors for me and provided so many essential resources. I think the biggest perk of the program is getting to work on a floor with so many other creative minds. Being surrounded by all the other talented designers is really inspiring.

Why did you select Bangkok for your CFDA/W Hotels inspiration trip?
Bangkok is a place I've always wanted to go, and I am so grateful I finally have the opportunity! I've always been fascinated by the unique culture, the colorful architecture and the amazing food. I imagine the city being literally one huge piece of art.

What makes Louis a good fit for your label?
Louis is such an incredibly unique store, with an impressive dedicated following. Their customer really appreciates construction and understands the quality of a garment. I take pride in my construction and attention to detail and love the dedication of their customers. What really sets Louis apart is the experience you get when you visit their store. Their sales people are extremely knowledgable and know how to dress their customers. It is really comforting to know that I am in good hands and that I have someone who understand who I am as a designer.

Finally, describe last month's Fall 2013 collection in one sentence.
Techno future ska-inspired tailored apparel.

· CFDA Fashion Incubator [CFDA]
· Jonathan Simkhai [Official Site]


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