UPDATE: This story was originally published on December 27.
When we gush about a designer, it's because they are truly talented (here we go again…). But the swooning accolades (from us and every other industry contemporary) couldn't be more true than in the case of New York's own Tanya Taylor, a womenswear newcomer who, in just two seasonal deliveries, has become a "one to watch" in every column of every fashion insider's little black book. When we last saw the budding seamstress, it was fresh off the heels of her spring '13 presentation at the MoMA where punchy floral prints, coral hues, and soon-to-be-everywhere head wraps carved their way into the hearts (and soon, closets) of New York Fashion Week's difficult-to-impress attendees.
So, it's only natural that we would circle back with the designer-on-the-rise for an exclusive tour of her studio (and the outfits that she rocks to work). And what we found really didn't come as a shock: a bright and welcoming space filled with vibrant swatches, Taylor's own enviable wardrobe (chock full of killer shoes), and quirky sketches of her next big ideas. You can go ahead and style-stalk her outfits all you want, but as for that designer genius? Well, no one likes a copycat.
Photographed by Nina Westervelt/MCV Photo
Your spring '13 show made such a positive impression, tell us a little what the preparation was like.
"The preparation for the spring '13 show was surprisingly calm. We were extremely excited to be showing at the MoMA, one of my favorite places in NYC, and we had an amazing team helping with the production. The show
was styled by Natasha Royt, creatively directed by LT+co, and cast by Mark Aguilar — all of whom were awesome to work with and really helped pull it all together. We had the collection completed a month before the show, so the real mayhem came on the day of the show when we had to get models through hair and makeup, fish swimming in fish bowls on the check-in desk, and drinks passed in a little over an hour."
Tanya Taylor Sweater, Kenzo skirt, Stella McCartney pumps, Maiyet bangle, vintage Chanel necklace.
How has your brand grown in the past few years?
"Since we launched for fall '12, the collection is now sold in 11 stores
domestically and internationally. I feel the brand has grown so much in this
past year in terms of understanding its customer, market, and aesthetic, and
we keep aiming to push the creative concepts behind each season."
How has your design aesthetic developed?
"Over the past two seasons, my design aesthetic has become more fearless
and experimental. Since fall '12 we have added knitwear, embroidery,
fur, and leather. By adding these new techniques and categories I feel we
can further develop a stronger point of view, and really tell a story of what
we are thinking of each season."
What are your favorite accessories to pair with your clothing?
"Lately, I am really into minimal cuffs and necklaces, which I wear with my
Delfina Delettrez bumble-bee earrings. I am also a shoe addict — there are
at least ten pairs in the office at all times."
Do you have any funny office moments?
"Something funny happens daily in our office, it mostly revolves around us
having to do fittings in an office where our mirror is in direct view of the
door. UPS men sometimes get a surprise. We also have very eclectic taste
in music, and mixing Dolly Parton with A$AP Rocky can get humorous."
What about any office traditions or routines?
"On most days in the early afternoon, there is the same extremely loud
group of people that hang out on Crosby Street and argue, so we routinely make
it a priority to take a break and watch them. A lot of offices across the
street end up watching too, so it ends up being a neighborhood tradition."
Thakoon sweater, Tanya Taylor pants, Walter Steiger booties, Chanel bracelet.
What are your favorite stores and restaurants in NYC?
"Too many to list, but some of them are: Greenwich Letterpress for
stationary, Ovando for flowers, Leo Design Antiques for manly presents
for my fiancée, Owen NYC and Five Story for a great selection of
womenswear and jewelry, Blick Art to get inspired, Café Cluny for a
breakfast club sandwich, and Westville, always for late-night dinner delivery."
What advice would you give new NYC designers starting out in the
"Never be afraid to ask questions! I think it is so important to surround
yourself with people and mentors who you can learn from."
Vintage T-shirt, Céline trousers, Nicholas Kirkwood pumps, vintage necklace and bracelet.
Where are you looking for inspiration right now?
"I am loving Pinterest! I usually get inspired by travel or film, but this season
I have found some amazing inspiration from different artists' and graphic
designers' pinterest boards. It's really cool to see how people edit their
What other contemporary designers do you look up to?
"I really love the most recent collections from Ostwald Helgason, Calla,
Michael Van der Ham, Jonathan Saunders, and Erdam."
What is one thing you remind yourself every day?
Balenciaga sweater, Tanya Taylor dress, Chanel bangles.
What is your proudest design moment?
"Watching everyone come in to the MoMA last season to see the spring '13
collection. I was so happy."
A close-up of these fabulous Balenciaga booties.
If you could have one celebrity wear your clothing who would it be?
What is your favorite piece you've ever made? Any least favorite you
wish you could take back?
"My favorite has been the Read Dress from spring '13 because it is hand-
painted and embroidered, and was a really fun piece to create. We have a
closet full of least favorites that won’t make it out for a while."
Equipment blouse, Tanya Taylor pants, Balenciaga platforms.
What is one thing we'll never find in your collection?
"Never say never."
What can we expect from you moving forward?