Photo: Courtesy of Neiman Marcus
First things first: Do you know what you're going to be for Halloween?
“I love Halloween! It’s one of my favorite holidays. I'm a huge fan of Tim Burton, and I always get really reminiscent about The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is one of my favorite movies. Last year, I was Pee-wee Herman and that was really fun. This year, I think I’m going to go as Sid Vicious, because it’s such an easy costume. I can even wear some of my own jewelry.”
“It's really fantastic. My friend gave me a really detailed list of things I need to do while I'm here. So, I got off the plane yesterday, dropped my stuff at the hotel, walked through Chinatown, up to the Spire, and looked over the bay and saw the Golden Gate Bridge. I was texting all my friends about what a beautiful city San Francisco is. I'm totally enraptured by it. I went and ate at La Taqueria. I had an amazing burrito and really fantastic guacamole. Walking through the Mission at night was really fantastic. I saw couples with their children who were dressed really cool. People are mixing vintage with something new and I like that. I went by a place in Chinatown last night and I found this little store, Al's Attire, that I've been texting everybody about. The guy is basically a cobbler and it's a made-to-measure store. A bought a pair of shoes there that I really love. Then, I'm going to go meet a friend in the Castro tonight."
We hear you've never been to San Francisco before. What do you think so far?
S.F. is obviously a huge tech hub. Are you tech-savvy?
“No, not at all. It took me a really long time to even get my head around the iPod. I have a vinyl player at my house, so I play a lot of records. From a branding perspective it is so incredible, and without technology and without the internet, we wouldn't have that type of outreach. To ignore it as a young brand is really irresponsible, I think.”
What gadgets do you use?
“I have an iPod, of course. I have a Blackberry which I'm constantly battling. It's like, I love it and I can’t stand it at the same time. We all work on Macs in the office, which is great. That's about it. I don't have an iPad. Like I said, I can barely use my iPod!"
You grew up in Atlanta. What's it like there?
“It's so fantastic! I'm a really big believer in kindness, politeness, and manners, and I feel like every time I go to Atlanta I'm reminded about how kind and polite people can be. There's a true southern charm that exists in Atlanta, which I think is not common in most cosmopolitan areas. There are people opening the door for you, opening the door for a lady, and making sure that people are treated in a respectful way, which I think is fantastic.”
Would you consider yourself a southern gentleman?
“I remember when I first moved to New York, I had a bit of a southern accent, but that’s kind of gone away. People used to say how nice I was when I first moved to New York, which I always took as meaning that I was from the South, but people don't really say that anymore, so now that I kind of think about it, I might need to question how polite I am these days. I try to be!"
Atlanta has a huge rap scene. What hip-hop artists do you listen to now?
“I'm a huge fan of Lil' Kim, I love Notorious B.I.G, and then I love all of the '60s soul music that inspired those artists as well. I think there's a correlation between the songs of The Temptations and maybe songs that Sean Combs is now producing. And I like that. I love hearing old music in new music.”
We know you’re friends with Christopher Kane. Do you have any other fashion besties?
“I wish I was closer to Christopher. I've met him a couple of times and I'm a huge fan of his. I also love Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein — he's been such a huge supporter of mine from the beginning, and someone I've been able to bounce ideas off of. I love Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy. How he's reinvented that brand is so fantastic. I'm also really closer to editors like Kate Lanphear, who’s the style director of Elle. And Keegan Singh, who’s an editor in New York. I feel like without those people saying to me: ‘You need to start your own collection, and we'll support you. Just do it.’, I wouldn't have done it. It's made me fall in love with New York in an entirely new way because of how connected I feel to our community there.”
How do you usually bond with your fashion pack?
“We love to dance! We always watch music videos from the ’90s. We all love music so much, so I feel like that's a huge tie for us because as much as we work, we play hard as well. So, we go out and find little new places in the city and dance.”