60 Seconds With The Sisters Mulleavy: Coffee, Little Women, & More!



mulleavy-280Kate and Laura Mulleavy are so laid-back, they didn't even flinch when we sniped them for a quick Q&A alongside the milk and sugar station at a Culver City Starbucks. Originally from Pasadena, the sisters hit up their old stomping grounds to pay a visit to their favorite spots (scroll down to be in the know), and to promote their latest partnership with the worldwide coffee chain. After we did some early holiday shopping (seriously, those mugs will make great stocking stuffers!), we sat down with the brains behind Rodarte and learned a whole lot about their love for L.A. and how Tinseltown continues to inspire them.

How did the Starbucks collab come to be?
Kate: "We're completely obsessed with the process of design and doing a project like this is really rooted in that. And, for us, it was really exciting to work with a company that's so established and has such a brand identity; To reinterpret that was a real challenge — it really pushed us to think differently. So, that was also our inspiration — we played with the brand's identity."

What's your go-to drink at Starbucks?
Laura: "We get the same drink! It's espresso over ice with soy milk, even when it's cold out."
Kate: "But, I usually get one more shot than Laura. And, towards the shows, you always end up drinking an extra shot on top of that."
Laura: "I just know I can't go a day with out my coffee! And, when we're in L.A. we visit the same places over and over again where the baristas already know what we want. But, sometimes people are like 'are you sure that's what you want?', and I get worried about my caffeine intake."

What are some of your fave places to visit when you're home in Pasadena?
Kate: "If we're even in town, we always reconvene with our friends at the Raymond Restaurant for brunch. We'll also go to the botanical gardens and the Huntington Library and venture to LACMA — there's always something good going on there! I want to see Ken Price while we're here. And, one thing we do in L.A. but not often elsewhere, is we go see movies. We just grew up in such a film-heavy town that we always end up at the drive-in or the ArcLight."

Where's your top shopping destination in L.A.?
Laura: "We always hit up our friend Wendy's store in China Town called Ooga Booga. We recently made a stack of Christmas presents that we need to pick up!"

What inspires you when you're in L.A.?
Laura: "What I think is most fascinating about L.A. is the combination of all these art forms — film, music... and developments in science. In L.A., you get to see all of these interact on a daily basis. I just remembered the science camp I went to at the Jet Propulsion Lab — that sort of stuff is very specific to this city."
Kate: "I also think that part of living here is experiencing the things that exist outside of L.A., like Joshua Tree and Death Valley. So, the relationship of the city to the extreme landscapes that surround it."

The whole focus at Starbucks this holiday season is "rekindle." As sisters, do you often find yourselves feuding or are you pretty much on the same page?
Kate: "I always wanted to have a memorable fight, but I'm pretty sure that kind of stuff only happens in Little Women."
Laura: "I was thinking that exact same thing — why can't we have fights like they did in Little Women? Our fights are more like, 'you're getting on my nerves today,' not so much, 'I don't agree with you.' Rarely will you find us disagreeing about something that is important and valuable to us."
Kate: "We definitely fight, it's a part of any sibling relationship, but we got lucky in the sense that we're very connected."

Thanksgiving is around the corner, what are you two thankful for?
Kate: "That the weather's cooler here in L.A. and we got to use our fireplace for the first time!"

What's your advice to readers who need help picking out gifts this holiday season?
Laura: "We always go to an antique shop — you can usually find something pretty personal that way. Plus, you can choose to spend a lot or a little."
Kate: "We have one friend who loves tropical things. It's good to remember little quirks like that about people."

Photo: Courtesy of Edelman