Sarah Easley, who founded Kirna Zabete in the late 90s when Soho was void of luxury retailers, knows a thing or two about fashion. She's been in the industry for years, and recently sold her share of the store so that she could focus on her new retail concept MasionMarché. We sat down with Sarah to talk about her favorite trends and designers and get her predictions for New York Fashion Week.
You've been in the fashion industry for a long time - what are you excited about this fashion week?
SARAH EASLEY: I am looking forward to the Marina Moscone show. Last season was a tribute to “unconventional” women of the 60s such as Natalie Wood and Penelope Tree. No idea what her current muses will be!
To be honest, however, there have been so many challenges with fashion and retail and the whole runway cycle that the main part of Fashion Week that I love is getting together with so many of my industry friends from all over the world. We get together in NYC around NYFW shows and brainstorm how we can help brands and retailers and reach clients. All of these conversations have helped me so much with my own MaisonMarché Retail Revolution.
What trends do you see on the horizon?
SE: Mixing fashion decades, combining colors that “hurt” (marigold and hot pink…), sequins for day and faux fur all year long. And sneakers are here to stay (hurray!).
It's freezing in NYC right now - what are your best tips for looking good while staying warm?
SE: I have really embraced the beautiful new faux-fur brands that launched this winter. I have a beige bathrobe coat from Maison Atia and a cropped black “teddy bear” shrug from House of Fluff that have changed my whole winter game. I layer the shrug over a gray hoodie for the gym or wear it after six, cocktail-style. The beige bathrobe reminds me of that trend from a few years ago when everyone started wearing silk pajamas out to dinner. I love my faux-fur bathrobe more than a real robe.
Vintage Dior shades and a fuchsia lip can also perk up a wintery look.
What designers are you loving right now?
SE: I love Demarson’s new jewelry collection, the two designers created knitwear for Ralph Lauren for over a decade and yet their very modern jewelry is a major departure from that whole classic American aesthetic. I mismatch their earrings almost every day. Patricia Padron is a new ready to wear designer from Venezuela making very special, timeless eveningwear that looks like nothing else.
Andrea Gomez and Sclarandis are my current go-to brands for shoes and my new Spring bags are by Lutz Morris (modern-chic) and Gelareh (fun and cheeky).
What's an investment piece every woman should be shopping for?
SE: A beautiful Spring trench from Michelle Waugh is the investment piece I am suggesting to all of the MaisonMarché clients. If you already have a tan and a black one, go for the floral. The fabric and silhouette are perfect and can really elevate whatever old pieces you wear underneath. I call that a “polisher piece” (like my “robe"!).
What are you most excited about fashion-wise for 2019?
SE: I am seeing consumers shop so many different ways. Fashion rental companies like Armarium and The RealReal are changing what is available and accessible to shoppers. A savvy client is able to mix all decades of fashion and all price points. I am excited about the increasing globalization of fashion. My clients care about where and how a product is made. As a result, we work harder to offer more special, artisan-made pieces. Mixing these unique pieces with a vintage or pre-loved luxury piece and something you fall in love with for no reason all becomes a very signature style for each individual. I don’t think we are seeing just “music-festival” or “luxe bohemian” or “minimalism” as definitive trends any more because we are all becoming mix-masters. This is my favorite fashion direction for 2019 and beyond.