For Kate Ciepluch, one surreal fashion dream has become a carefully crafted reality. Two years ago she gracefully left her post as Shopbop's fashion director in favor of starting Laveer, her own line of must-have blazers that now — in an uber-chic "Circle Of Life" kind of way — appear on Shopbop's homepage. And though the world of swatches, stitches, and shipments may still be new to Ciepluch, you'd never know it from the calm-under-pressure vibe she exuded when we invited ourselves over for a tour of her Dumbo pad, located at the gorgeous 220 Water Street (a fantastically remodeled 19th century manufacturing building featuring airy loft residences). Yes, the laid-back blonde was busy (as any new designer would be), but with fabric rolls propped up comfortably in one corner and a window-facing laptop emitting throwback tunes in the other, it seems she's got this whole thing down pat.
So, we needed to find out just how the seamless transition from director to designer was made... and obviously how she manages to keep her place (and her ensembles) so effortlessly cool. The answers were so refreshing! While some of her contemporaries have managed to claw their way to the top of a notoriously venomous industry, Ciepluch has done it by being friends — genuinely — with buyers and professionals others may have considered "the competition." Though it would be easy to envy Ciepluch and Laveer (Barneys has already gotten behind the brand with an exclusive launch!), it's even easier to want to hang and chat. Which is why, later on, kicking back by her lobby coffee shop, discussing favorite restaurants, hair salons, and, of course, fellow New York designers, we couldn't help but consider ourselves part of the Ciepluch wolf pack, too.
Click on for an exclusive tour and meet this on-the-rise designer.