Who is she:
Founder and head designer of Emerson Fry

Why we love her:
One of fashion’s leaders of relaxed sophisticated ready-to-wear, Emerson’s designs have been inspiring our wardrobes all year from fall to spring. We love how she can make a baseball cap sexy, a leopard print blazer understated and black leather leggings a year round must-have. Emerson captures the subtle relaxed beauty of the modern American woman, showing our European counter-parts that we too have style.

It is so exciting to have the opportunity to interview you! We have been following your designs for a couple of years and are always inspired by your point of view and the images that your team puts together. What’s a typical day like at Emerson Fry?

  • Fresh juices
  • Meetings
  • Fabric selections
  • Fittings
  • Scheduling
  • Reviewing shoots/shooting
  • Reviewing models
  • Line development
  • Things are fluid from week to week, the plan at the beginning of the month often is different from the plan at the end of the month.
  • Trying to find more time to focus on the creative.

The woman that you are designing for seems to have a very specific personality. How would you describe her?

She is the modern woman. She is the things that we all strive to be, decisive, strong character but is most importantly an individual. She embodies balance and is conscious and skeptical in the most forward looking and optimistic way. Focused and momentum based, she takes risks for what she wants and associates herself with genuine people. She is a highly successful individual whether in work or in motherhood. She loves fashion and invests in high quality clothing for the motivation of having things of quality, to reward and represent her hard work, and for its symbolic importance in her life.

Your pieces have a relaxed sophistication, what are the key elements to pulling off this look?

Pulling it off is about being conscious and present in this moment. When people are this way, they look beautiful. Getting dressed is another way to enhance the moment. When you wear what you feel your best in, that day/night/event is enhanced 100%. We strive to make it easy to communicate effortlessness- things that allow her to be in life fully, and look polished without trying. The most important thing is that when she feels like that, she can do anything she wants. The key to pulling anything off is mastering a feeling of both belonging and owning at once.

Who is your fashion icon or greatest influence?

That is very difficult question. I study the decades so I have many influences. I don’t have any icons per se, but I do have an appreciation for many artists over time. This ranges from film to music to fashion. If you merged Clint Eastwood and Martha Graham that might be nice.

What is one mistake that you see many women doing when it comes to style?

I believe that variety is good, so to each their own. I sort of prefer simple looks for myself but there are times you want to put it all on, you know what I mean. The most important thing is to accentuate as desired.However, I do think being conscious about proportions is very important. It is one of the most important things that people are sometimes not aware of.

How do you interact with fashion on a daily basis? What is your daily routine in the morning?

My interaction is a funny one. I sort of have a uniform I wear each day. But my basic principals are keeping it simple and understated for the normal workday. Lately this means our white leather slingbacks and coal jeans with a studded belt and Big R’s T. The uniform typically changes every quarter. And then on the days/nights off or for events, that’s a different story altogether. We have a line of all silk kimonos coming out later of which I have a pretty big collection that I wear at home. They are great for wearing in the morning/night and on weekends. Such a piece makes home life so much better and more comfortable. You can also wear kimono to have people over at night, put it with a good wedge/ankle strap heel.

It seems from your blog that you have a great team helping you achieve your vision. What is your philosophy when it comes to creating a good work environment?

Day to day work is very hard work. We have long hours and have to do a lot of problem solving.  The people who join our team have been carefully selected. So we have a very tight, close-knit group here.  People know they need to stand on their own. They are conscious, forward-looking individuals. There are too many problems to be solved and decisions to be made for hard work to be enough on its own. You have to know how to meet the wall, push past it or climb over it on a daily basis. So yes we have great people here and I am very honored to know them.

 How do you see Emerson Fry evolving over the years?

The last couple years have largely been about preparing for the future and the non glamorous things the customer doesn’t see, i.e. growing our team/activities and bringing every element in-house – pattern, sample making, sourcing, etc. The future is about bringing beautiful products to our customer in frequent releases and making beautiful art for her.