It’s Thursday, and this is probably the post you’ve been waiting for — an interview with the designers of Guy French, whose blazers I’ve featured this whole week. Louisa Roeder and Christina Houghton are the kind of business-savvy, smart girls that the fashion industry needs, and I know they’re going to be a huge success (they just launched and have already been featured in Daily Candy and Women’s Wear Daily). And this blazer was quite possibly the most comfortable I’ve ever worn, and still totally chic. Scroll down for the questions they answered for Sugarlaws — enjoy!
Guy French blazer, Lauren Moshi t-shirt, Paige Premium Denim jeans, Jimmy Choo heels.
How did you get into fashion design?
We both came from backgrounds in the arts and considered ourselves to be creative types. We have strong opinions about fashion and had been making alterations to our own clothes for years.
What is your target audience for this collection?
Our collection is inspired by the women we know — they are intelligent, sophisticated women who often live in metropolitan areas and require classic, practical jackets that easily transition from day to night. The modern day woman is on-the-go and does not always have time to go home in between activities (work, cocktail parties, gallery openings, dinner dates). Our designs suit their lifestyles and hectic schedules.
Have you always wanted to be a designer?
We knew we wanted to do something creative but I don’t think being a designer was on the radar per se. I studied Fine Arts through college and have always altered my own clothing as a hobby. Although fashion design had appealed to me, I didn’t think of it as a viable career path until Christina and I started bringing our ideas to life (just a few months ago).
Who are your designer inspirations?
Armani makes fantastic jackets. We also like Helmut Lang, Richard Chai, and Moschino. Jeffrey Monteiro is a friend and a great designer.
What do you wear on a day to day basis?
We wear our blazers every day. Christina’s go-to is a pair of skinny jeans, a sleeveless blouse and a Guy French jacket. I tend to wear casual dresses or skirts over tights with boots and a blazer. A necklace or scarf is often thrown into the mix too. The great thing about blazers is they can be worn with almost anything.
Describe a typical day for you.
“Typical” isn’t often part of our day! Since Christina and I conveniently live two blocks away from each other, we usually meet at 8:30 or 9am for our obligatory morning coffee in the East Village. We then approach whatever task is top-of-the-list for the day — whether it be visiting our production team in the garment district, taking appointments on the Upper East Side, organizing our next trunk show, responding to emails, taking orders online, finding new fabrics, gathering ideas for our Spring collection, meeting with friends in the industry to get advice, reviewing our finances, developing a business plan …or conducting interviews.
If you could pick any celebrity to model your clothes (besides Katy from Sugarlaws, of course), who would it be? Whose style do you most admire?
We love Sarah Jessica Parker. She once said how much she values a jacket with narrow arms, which is one of our signature looks for the fall. We also like Rachel Bilson’s style, so it would be great to see her in a Guy French jacket.
Where do you see Guy French five years from now?
Good question! We will continue to focus on women’s jackets and blazers, but we hope to have a men’s line by then and start creating a few signature pieces to go with our blazers (mostly dresses and pants). In five years we definitely hope to have opened a Guy French store, so we can continue to manage the client experience. Customer interaction and exchange is so imporant to us — so even as we grow, it is something that will remain integral to the brand. We’d also like to have a more robust website and build up e-Commerce.
All photos by Kristen Trantezki.