Tag Archives: studio tour

Loeffler Randall

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I was recently out in Brooklyn visiting with a girlfriend who works in fashion PR. These girls always know what’s cool and true to form she walked in the door and I obsessed over her shoes and bag. “Where are they from?” I asked, “Loeffler Randall“. Of course they are.

It seems almost every time I love a New York girlfriend’s shoes they are Loeffler Randall. I myself am a fan girl… I’ve worn them to the beach, at southern mansion cocktail parties, and over coffee in L.A. They are easy and cool. Quality and comfortable. Or, as the founder and designer Jessie Randall puts it, “understated, elegant, effortless.” I stopped by their Soho studio to see what’s new this summer, what I will be lusting after like those red strappy heels above… UGH sooo good. And to talk with the beautiful designer herself only to realize, the products are good because the soul of the designer is too…

10 Questions with LOEFFLER RANDALL‘s President and Creative Director Jessie Randall 

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If you could give advise to yourself 10 years ago when you started Loeffler Randall, what would it be?

JR: Hire a merchandiser. Stop being so hard on yourself!

Above, Jessie wears Arbella Platform Sandal with Drawstring Tote in her Soho office. 

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Where do you find inspiration? 

JRI find it everywhere – especially in craft techniques and doing crafts myself, art, furniture and I love love love ceramics. 

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What one famous person has worn your shoe where you had a holy-cow moment? 

JRRoz Chast

Above, Drawstring Tote & Flap Bucket bag // Below, Bo Tassel Wrap sandal

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Jean Pierre Soalhat

Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat

There is an incredible history to the village of Lacoste – with buildings dating as far back as the 12th century, tales of medieval battles and debauchery, a reputation as being the former home of the infamous Marquis de Sade  – so it makes sense that it would need an incredible historian.

Enter Jean Pierre Soalhat: historic preservationist at SCAD Lacoste, professional mosaicist, and a genuine Provençal man. One of the many amazing qualities about SCAD is the amazing people, staff, students, and professors it attracts. In Jean Pierre’s case, a man whose family has – for generations – been a part of this community, he has become a pillar of support for SCAD Lacoste through his historic knowledge of the area, his all-around ancient-building handyman skills, preservation teachings and even artistic workshops with the students. I had the opportunity to visit Jean Pierre at his studio in Caseneuve where I could see his artwork. I was impressed by his mosaics – some pieces containing shards of ancient Roman pottery he finds in riverbeds and fields – but also amazed by the fact that Jean Pierre doesn’t own a cell phone (jealous).

All around the SCAD Lacoste campus you’ll find Jean Pierre’s artwork, from La Residence to outside shopSCAD, at Maison Basse and even in the President of SCAD’s home, Paula Wallace. AND…if you’re ever hanging out with Russell Crowe or Sandra Bullock you might notice it in their personal collections, too….

When we visited, Jean Pierre said he was “dreaming of fish”, which reflected in his work…but I know I shall sleep dreaming of archaic fragments coming together to create beautiful everlasting works of art.

Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat (more…)

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Tia Cibani

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Recently I was delighted to meet designer Tia Cibani at her work studio in the Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, a lovely little corner studio that overlooks the beautiful cobblestone intersection of Gansevoort and Greenwich Streets. It was one of those beautiful spring days, the kind where, if you live in a walking city like I do, you opt to take the long walk home because it’s so beautiful out, and I was wearing (finally) my new spring dress designed by Tia. It reminded me of Audrey Hepburn dancing around Paris in Funny Face…but updated with its asymmetry and MoMA-esque quirk.

I was excited to meet the designer – having been born in North Africa then raised in Canada before living in China for a decade, I knew she had a true worldly palette to pull from. So here is a lovely afternoon spent in the design studio of Tia Cibani and her thoughts on fashion, designing, traveling and where her inspiration comes from…

PS- from her spring collection my favorite pieces are this for a cocktail party / this for a lunch date / or this for everyday forever and ever (so my new mantra).

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What is your background? Do you think it influences your design?

Well, I was born in Libya, but my family moved to Canada when I was 6 years old. I haven’t been back to Libya since…I’ve been to different parts of North Africa – Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco – but not to Libya. I do have some childhood memories, but they are very, very faint.

I think subliminally, it definitely finds its way into my designs. I’m drawn to that part of the world. I love the food, I love the music, I love the color, I love the history. It’s a part of me, and I’m drawn to it.

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In the Studio With…

I have always loved Prabal Gurung’s understanding of the modern woman in his designs (and so have some incredible modern women!), and his spring/summer 2014 collection was no different.

Prabal stated that his main muse for this collection was Marilyn Monroe – the perfect choice for a designer so focused on femininity. To bring her into the modern era, however, was a challenge…and one Prabal took on fun, bright, edgy way.

Marilyn was represented in the elegance, glamour, and curvy silhouettes of the collection, but the punchy colors, abstract florals, and plastic harnesses made sure she felt at home and in vogue in the fast-paced 21st century.

“It was a celebration of women,” Prabal explained. “I was thinking about preserving elegance, but making it modern and right for now with the right amount of danger…I like the idea of femininity with bite.”

I’m sure Marilyn would have approved.

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