Reformation Fans Will Love Scout Willis’ Fashion Line

A fashion line run by a child of Hollywood parents isn't a novel idea. One that's good, however, and seemingly poised for success, is. On Wednesday evening, Scout Willis, the 24-year-old daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, made her Fashion Week debut — in the least Fashion Week way. On the private and cozy third floor of Tiny's in Tribeca, there were no camera-wielding paparazzi, no angry doormen who are sure you're not on the list, and no style peacocks gawking at the chance to be spotted in their getups — the part of Fashion Week, and really, fashion in general, that has become almost too circus-like to be sustainable. So what was present? A barista serving up coffee and beer; Willis' friends stripping in the middle of the room, pulling pieces from the Scout's General collection straight off the rack and trying them on for themselves; and clothing that was so simple that it made us think in the midst of running from show to show: Finally, this is something I would actually wear.
Photographed by Angela Cappetta.
Consisting of silky dresses, easy-to-match separates in neutral hues (think black, navy, and cranberry), and an alpaca coat that was pretty much made for the current New York City temperatures, we're betting Scout's General is about to become the go-to for cool-girl basics. But how does a girl who self-admittedly wanted nothing to do with the fashion industry find herself launching her own line? After the presentation, we caught up with Willis and Harold Kuhn, her design partner-in-crime (and resident BFF and roommate), to chat about creating clothing people can actually see themselves in.

Let's talk about how this all began.
Scout Willis: “It started really casually, it was something [Harold] and I talked about a lot — the idea of having a fashion line, making the things that I wanted to wear, and finding vintage pieces that would look so amazing if only such and such was changed — like, if only this had sleeves, or if only this was just black silk. All that kind of excitement and interest gave way for us deciding to just go for it. In July of last year, we made a few pieces, which ended up turning into a 50-piece collection in two-months time."

Harold Kuhn:
"We did the small spring collection just to get some feedback from people, to see what they were into, what they weren’t into, and work out any kinks with production, because all of the fabrics we’re working with were really nice silks and silk chiffon that had to be sewn really well.
Photographed by Angela Cappetta.
SW: "And we were just doing it because it was fun. We were driving around together, going to all the factories going to get fabric, kind of messing around. Then suddenly, it became something really real and tangible when we had these beautiful dresses that people actually wanted."

Have things changed a lot from then to now?
HK: "With the first collection, we were straddling the line between something that was a little bit edgier and something that was a little bit more accessible and contemporary. The most expensive thing in the fall/winter collection is the floor-length alpaca coat, which is retailing for $850/$875. Plus, everything is produced in Los Angeles."

"It’s pretty comparable to Reformation. And everyone’s like, 'Oh, you could make it so much more expensive,' but I don’t want that. I want it to look and feel luxurious, but still be affordable."
Photographed by Angela Cappetta.
When did you first discover your love of vintage?
SW: "My mom has been collecting vintage my entire life. And when we moved to Los Angeles when I was in seventh grade — I was 11 — I remember being taken to the Rose Bowl Flea Market and my mind exploded. And high school, for me, was a time where I used clothes as a medium of self-expression, learning how to be okay with being weird and loving being weird after that. And [with vintage clothing], you can kind of figure out who you want to be that day — you can wake up and dress like a 15-year-old little boy and the next you can have a full ‘50s-glamour moment."
Would you say vintage is the biggest inspiration for your line?
SW: "It's the antithesis of what I'm seeing a lot of, which is really high-concept clothing. It’s amazing that people have access to knee-high pleather boots and see-through rain coats with glitter in them — and all of that’s really cool — but I feel like there’s a sort of lack of really simple, beautiful silhouettes in simple colors. I just want to make clothes that I want to wear."

"And we want to bring more of a high-end feel to a more contemporary price point, because I feel like a lot of contemporary designers, it gets flashy and trashy really fast. And I feel like there’s a lack of nice, elegant, simple things. You want to look like The Row but not...[Laughs]"

...Have to spend $10,000?
HK: "Exactly. And a lot of the pieces are seasonless. Like, the slip dresses you can wear all the time." For you, you’ve been to New York Fashion Week before, sat front row
SW: "A little bit..."
Photographed by Angela Cappetta.
— But you've experienced the whole circus-y aspect. And your presentation was basically the exact opposite of everything people think of when they think of Fashion Week.
SW: "I mean, even when I lived [in New York], I sort of avoided Fashion Week a little bit. It just gets to be a lot of egos, a lot of, 'Are you cool enough to sit here and do this and is your name on this iPad?' And I just wanted to show somewhere cozy where people could hang out, have coffee and drink, and see the clothes up close, because it’s a very sensual collection. It’s about the feel of it — and how the pieces would look on your body, not how they would look on a model; or not seeing them for three seconds and then everyone gets up and runs away. That's exhausting." Was it important for you to consider all body types while designing?
SW: "Yeah, that’s something we really thought about this season. I wanted to make pieces that weren't so hard to fit right. Like, we redid the slip, so even if you have a large bust, small bust, hips, or not, the way it flows around a woman’s shape is really special. All girls like their shoulders, even if you don’t like other parts of your body, so we have pieces that show that off. And the wrap skirts we did don’t have a hole that you have to thread through, because it’s always either too big or too small or not quite right, so you just wrap it around your waist, regardless of the size you are."
Photographed by Angela Cappetta.
Did you have any experiencing in creating clothing before?
"I did. I was lucky enough when I was a host student in Paris to go to a Jeremy Scott show. This was, way, way, way back. And then after that, I needed an internship and he needed an intern, so it coalesced — this was when he was still working out of his house in West Hollywood, so I was just cutting patterns for him in his garage. And then I got to work at Lanvin for a little while, mostly just sewing things."

You and your sisters all have such different personal style. How do you guys influence each other?
SW: "When we were younger, Tallulah used to just copy whatever I was wearing. And I've gotten to watch her grow into her own weird, unique style. And now I’m always like, 'Yo, I would never wear that, but that is amazing that you put that together.’ She’s so fucking stylish. And Rumer is amazing in a totally different vein. But you know, we grew up watching my mom wear all these cool clothes; she’d wear little vintage Levi’s overalls with a Gaultier mesh shirt underneath with two little panda buns. She looked like a blogger from right now. I’m always like, 'Oh my god, she is just nailing it.' It’s really inspiring. Her vintage collection in Idaho, where we grew up, was insane. I wasn’t even allowed to go in it for a long time."
Photographed by Angela Cappetta.
Recently, children with famous parents have seemed to infiltrate the fashion industry. Do you see this as something that is helping or hurting your career? For example, tons of people questioned Kendall Jenner's legitimacy as a model because of her family, rather than considering her as girl looking to embark on a career.
SW: "Well, I love that you just compared me to Kendall Jenner [Laughs]. That is hilarious. You know, it’s just sort of a fact of my life. At the end of the day, it’s just who my parents are, who I was born to, the vagine I came out of. And it wouldn’t be correct to say it doesn’t help. Obviously, I am aware enough of the climate of Instagram and social media to know a designer just starting out has to really work hard and pay for that recognition and that kind of press. That is something built-in for me. And there is an added element of scrutiny, too. But at the end of the day, if the clothes are bad, people aren’t going to like them just because my mom was in some cool movies."

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