Growing up, I watched my mother struggle to make ends meet, but she never failed to put food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our backs. I admire and love her so much for that and also because she never let me feel like I was missing out on anything. Since we couldn't afford nice things, we made a hobby out of window shopping at fancy stores. I love these memories. Standing in front of Robinson's May during Christmas time, just dreaming and scheming was the best -- just wondering what it would be like to actually go inside and buy something. The thought itself was almost as exciting as the reality.
When I was about eight years old my mom took a weekend job at Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
She never liked leaving me with a sitter so she would take me to work with her on the bus. At that time, the female theatre employees wore these beautiful red geisha costumes as uniforms. I loved seeing my mother in that red dress. She looked so beautiful … and so out of place in her gorgeous dress on an old bus. Everyone stared in awe. I’m sure seeing her like that sparked something creative in me. I always wanted to own clothes that helped me express my idea of beautiful; my own personal style.
My circumstances have changed but my love of a good bargain hasn’t. I'm always looking for great quality things without a big price tag. That may be why I love vintage clothes so much. I’ve found some of my favorite clothes in thrift shops. I’m also very lucky to have the opportunity to work with some of the best designers in the world.
Let me just say that the little girl in me, who stood in front of those store windows, has been more than a little thrilled to be given the opportunity to design a clothing line.
One important thing I’ve learned is that fashion and style are very different things. Style doesn’t come on a hanger. It’s a personal expression. Every woman should have the opportunity to feel beautiful in clothing that reflects her own personal style. That’s why I wanted to create my own line. I'm a girl's girl. I've had the same girlfriends since I was 12 and I've met some amazing ones along the way. Creating a line that they will love is inspiring to me. My line is about making style accessible not exclusive. It’s not about fashion on the runway; it’s about style on the run.
I'm grateful to have found the ideal partner in New York & Company. We share a similar philosophy. We want women to look great without a huge price tag. We celebrate every kind of women and offer sizes from 0-18. I love the entire design process, from concepts and sketches to seeing and touching and thinking and re-thinking the samples and now, I cant wait to see how to women will respond. This line is very personal to me. I hope that women love the way they feel and look in these clothes as much as I've loved designing them.