“New York Womenswear designer Stacy Lomman will be in Chicago to show her Fall/Winter 2013-2014 Collection at the Gold Coast Show Fashion Award Show on September 27. You’ll see that her dark, Goth-influenced collection — including unusual plaids provided by the original Harris Tweed in a special collaboration — hits all the trends the fashion press is promoting for the season.
Stacy launched her signature line in 2010. Since then, she has been featured in publications including Women’s Wear Daily, LIFE.com, and the Huffington Post. Stacy was a finalist for Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award in 2012, and she participated in the Gold Coast Show last year alongside Wes Gordon, one of Michelle Obama’s preferred designers.”
Jordhan Briggs of Chicago Hustles decided to do a do a mini interview to find out what motivates, moves and inspires Stacy Lomman.
Where are you from? And how has that influenced this collection?
Originally, I’m from Pennsylvania – near the Amish country! I wouldn’t say my roots influenced this collection, but it’s possible! Maybe indirectly — in some way, shape or form — it did!
How would you describe yourself to a stranger?
I wouldn’t. I don’t talk to strangers. But, if they had candy, I would describe myself as creative, stylish, smart, entrepreneurial, determined, focused, calm and kind. And I’m very serious, but also quirky and funny.
What does fashion mean to you?
I think for most people, fashion is an extension of who they are. Fashion provides an opportunity for people to differentiate themselves; it allows them to have fun and express their personal style.
What does fashion mean to us in everyday life?
For me, design is my passion and it’s always in the forefront of my mind. I am constantly looking, observing and absorbing. And it’s not just clothes; I look at all design whether it’s architecture, furniture, product packaging — I’m obsessed. To site an example: One day I was walking down Madison Avenue and came upon a man and woman peering into a store window. As I got closer, I noticed that the woman was wearing an interesting dress. I stared so intensely to try to see the detail that I didn’t realize the man with her was Steve Martin until he turned toward me, two inches from my face, and proceeded to walk up the block. I was so focused on whether there was a French dart or a seam on his wife’s dress; I almost walked right past one of my idols.
What was the first article of clothing you designed and when did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
After reading VOGUE for the first time at age fourteen, I knew that fashion was something I needed to do. I couldn’t put the magazine down; I read every word and studied it cover to cover. I tore out pictures and taped them to my walls. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was actually starting to discover my “point of view” as a designer based on the styles/designs that I was compelled to tear out of the book. The first thing I remember creating is a cropped jacket that I saw on a magazine cover in 1985. It was a part of a vintage, 1960’s Courrèges outfit and I fell in love. To me, it was the most perfect design in so many ways – shape, proportion, lines – it made such an impression on me. I still have that magazine cover today!
Describe the general process you go through when designing a collection/a piece?
I always start with a concept/theme and that becomes the driving force. Concept can help determine so many things like; fabric, color, pattern and trim. The theme can also steer the direction of silhouette. I’m extremely textile driven as a designer and fabric always serves as the foundation for my collections. Once I have the initial concept in mind, I meet with the most innovative mills to review their latest developments. Then, I gather all the swatches I’ve selected and start sketching. The design process is a like putting a complex puzzle together; I have to keep in mind color balance, proportion, textural variety and a diverse, yet cohesive selection of pieces while I create the collection.
What matters to you most as a designer? The clothes, the collection, the models, the music?
I’m such a control freak; everything is important! I’m a highly visual person and I tend to see the overall picture down to hair, makeup, accessories and even gift bag items before I ever put pen to paper. But, my main focus is on the clothes — that means fabric, innovation, details, fit and wearability.
How would you define your personal style?
Where do you find most of your inspiration?
I never have to seek out inspiration; I have so many ideas stored up that I’ve absorbed over the years on an unconscious or conscious level. The problem is actually finding the time and the means to be able to execute them all.
What are some of your goals in the fashion industry?
To quote Madonna, “I want to rule the world.” But seriously, I want to build an amazing brand that supports my vision entirely. I don’t ever want to compromise on fabric, workmanship or details. I’d like to find an investor or partner who supports the brands vision and integrity so that I can take my business to the next level.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Fashion, like a lot of creative fields, is an extremely difficult and highly competitive industry. You should be prepared to work a lot and sleep very little! Talent is not enough; there are loads of talented people in the world. You need to be dedicated and absolutely passionate. Experience is the most important asset you can have, so be humble and willing to learn. It’s helpful to be well-connected and imperative to be well-funded. But ultimately, a lot of it just comes down to pure luck!
Do you consider yourself an artist?
Yes, without question.
As an artist how do you define “hustle”?
“Hustle is like an amped up version of style. I think it’s being on the pulse of everything social and cultural — being hyperaware of trend, but not overly influenced. It’s having the confidence to carve out, embrace and preserve a unique identity.” –Stacy Lomman
Written by Jordhan Briggs