Find Out Who Are Best Friends In Fashion

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best-friends-in-fashion-op5BFFs—we've all got that one other steady who helps keep our Clergeries firmly on the ground, knows all our worst secrets (and still loves us), and, perhaps most importantly, speaks our inner style language better than anyone. No doubt, fashion is a bonding business. Yves and Pierre, Valentino and Giancarlo... yes, fashion and lifelong friendships are inexplicably linked. And because of that, we decided to go in pursuit of the industry's most adorable—and inspiring—pairings. From two crazy talented twin sisters to the three fashion-teers, read on to learn more about how these sartorial creatives keep company and remind us just what BFFs are for.




Lisa Mayock & Sophie Buhai, Vena Cava

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How did you meet?
Lisa: "Sophie and I met in the summer of '99 on a blind friend date set- up by our mutual friend Tini. We had a very awkward lunch at an Italian restaurant, and then discovered we loved the same secret thrift store up the street. After thrifting together, our friendship was solidified."

Was it love at first sight?
Sophie: "Yes, and now we are official life partners. We always joke that our partnership is like a marriage without sex."

Do you have any BFF-tricks you guys do like outfit-matching ESP?
Lisa: "We totally have outfit-matching ESP! It's usually funny and sometimes really embarrassing, like when we have an important meeting and show up in identical outfits. We also have weird references that only make sense to us, like when Sophie says 'Fiona Apple,' I understand that she means that we need more long-sleeved crochet pieces or something."

How do you guys collaborate?
Sophie: "We've been working together so long that we don't have to talk about our collaborative formula anymore. We both work on overall concepts and designs. Lisa is really involved with the color story and the fabric, and I tend to work more on the prints. In terms of business, Lisa handles the production aspects and I play accountant with our wads of cash...we really complement each other well."


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Dorkiest nicknames for each other?
Lisa: "Mine is Lisaface and Sophie's is Count Sophula."

What's the best gift you ever received from each other?
Sophie: "Lisa gives incredible gifts. One year she gave me an 'I owe you' to reorganize my kitchen, the next year she gave me a kanasta kit with an ashtray from the George V, vintage playing cards, and a nifty kanasta pen."

What's your dream project to work on together?
Lisa: "A store!!!"

Any tips for working with a bestie?
Sophie: "Make time for fun, trade shoulder rubs, go to steak dinners on the company card when you can."

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Sam Shipley & Jeff Halmos, Shipley & Halmos

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How did you meet?
Jeff: "We were both freshmen at the University of Colorado in Boulder and were standing outside of a dorm one night looking for something to do. I don't remember why we started talking, but we ended up having a very bizarre night, that's for sure."

Was it love at first sight?
Sam: "You bet is was. I could tell Jeff had a knack for fashion when we both did keg stands at a frat party the same evening we met."

Do you have any BFF-tricks you do, like outfit-matching ESP?
Jeff: "In the early days of S&H, we wanted to sport our stuff and definitely had some times where we'd show up to something wearing the same outfit. Doesn't happen as much anymore, but every-so-often we'll come to work in matching clothes."

How do you guys collaborate?
Sam: "Well, we're both very different people but when it comes to work, we are almost always on the same page. As collaborators we're both well-suited to pick up where the other left off."

Dorkiest nicknames for each other?
Jeff: "Douglas Quaid."

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What's the best gift you ever got from each other?
Sam: "Well my birthday was this weekend and Jeff just got me a Lego model of the Guggenheim in New York. It's friggin' awesome on so many levels, it's difficult to explain!"

What's your dream project to work on together?
Jeff: "Tough one. I'll go with producing/directing a romantic comedy starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. KIDDING! But a full-length film would be amazing."

Any tips for working with a bestie?
Sam: "Honesty. Working long hours with your best friend will no doubt take its toll at times. But if you are clear with each other and set goals, you'll be in great shape."

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Timo Weiland, Alan Eckstein, & Donna Kang, Timo Weiland

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How did you all meet?
Alan: "Timo and I originally met through Refinery29 New York editor Kristian Laliberte, back when he and Timo had a consulting company together and I had a clothing line called Epic Firm. We had a great deal of synergy and decided to join forces after a few months of collaborating. Donna and I met in school at FIT."

Was it love at first sight?
Timo: "I would say so. We definitely have a good time together. We are a small family and we know each others strengths and weaknesses very well."

Do you have any BFF-tricks you guys do?
Alan: "Timo and I have so many of the same clothes, we tend to wear the same coats as well as the same glasses. We are a bit matchy-matchy, which can be confusing but we just have fun with it."

How do you guys collaborate?
Timo: "The three of us divide and conquer design and business efforts. We feed off of each other exceptionally well."

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Dorkiest nicknames for each other?
Alan: "'Donut' for Donna, Timo's the 'Teems', 'Swedish Chef' or 'the skinny Zach Galifianakis,' and I am often called 'Waldo' from Where's Waldo."

What's the best gift you ever got from each other?
Donna: "I gave surprised Alan with Mos Def at Carnegie Hall tickets two years ago. Timo gave us DJ lessons last Christmas, which jump-started our little DJ career."

What's your dream project to work on together?
Alan: "Co-Creative heads for the revamp of a formally prestigious brand."

Any tips for working with a bestie?
Timo: "Stay focused (it's easy to get off track), be professional, and always have a great deal of respect for one another."

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Kathryn & Lizzie Fortunato, Lizzie Fortunato Jewels

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Do people ever ask how you two met?
Lizzie: "We used to look far more alike than we do now; In high school we could easily switch classes and get away with it. These days, with our different styles and hair-cuts, people often don't even know we're sisters! During Fashion Week, a buyer asked us when we met; I responded 'in utero.'"
Katherine: "In fact, I have the nickname 'bonus baby' because my parents didn't even know they were having twins until after Lizzie was born. When the doctor told my mom she had another baby in there, she said 'that's a terrible joke to play on someone after 24 hours of labor!'"

Do you have any BFF/twin-tricks you guys do?
Lizzie: "We often know what the other's about to say before she says it. And growing up, one of us would go in the kitchen and say something to my mom and the other one would then walk in and say the identical thing. We do a lot of 'JINXing' to each other! As young kids, we liked to believe we could read each other's minds...One of us would think of a number between one and one hundred and make the other guess. Once we actually got it right, but I think that was after about 450 misses!"
Kathryn: "By college, in Lizzie Fortunato Jewels' early stages, I would attend both Lizzie's and my classes so she could stay home and make jewelry!"

How do you guys collaborate? Lizzie: "We work pretty divided. Kathryn really manages all sales, finances, and business decisions, while I handle all of the design and production. When we're sourcing, we'll be in the garment district together, but I think she comes just to make sure I'm not spending too much money!!"

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Dorkiest nicknames for each other?
Lizzie: "Kathryn is Kabs. Since childhood. I don't know what it means, I think my dad started it."
Kathryn: "I call Lizzie anything and everything that rhymes with Lizzie ('Busy Lizzie,' 'Fizzy Lizzie,' 'Lizzie in a tizzy'). And I call her 'Elizabeth' when I am trying to get her attention, which is a lot."

What's the best gift you ever got from each other? Lizzie: "An amazing Tom Scott sweater last Christmas. That'll be a hard one for her to beat this year."
Kathryn: "Lizzie got me a beautiful photograph by Anna Wolf that I just love. It's the back of a cool old station wagon driving through the California red woods."

What's your dream project to work on together?
Lizzie: "I really have big dreams of creating craft workshops. As we've expanded the line, we've begun doing amazing embroidery in a fair-trade production center outside of Delhi and are sourcing woven material from artisans in Guatemala. I have visions of creating both domestic and international workshops where the craftsmanship and techniques that we so value are practiced and preserved. I have such trouble finding good resources for the embroidery, crewel, needlepoint, hand-beading, and couture-like hand sewing that goes into our necklaces (to the point that my grandmother ended up producing a good bit of our needle-point heavy spring/summer '11 collection)!"
Kathryn: "Ditto. We really want to build both 'high' and 'low' with LFJ and make sure we're building something that's sustainable 5, 10, 15 years down the road."

Any tips for working with a bestie/sibling?
"Headphones! No, I'm kidding ...I think it's important to have really delineated roles so that there's no confusion as to who's in charge of what. With us, there's no question of what each of us is supposed to do when we come to the office in the morning. And we really are able to get our own jobs done without too much interference from the other person. And then you just have to be able to be incredibly honest...honest and yet sensitive of their opinions—it's a balancing act! :)"



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