Visiting showrooms can sometimes be a drag. I have to feign enthusiaam for so-so designs. Not the case at the Threads Showrooms. Last time I was there I connected with Lisa Kanouse, the Creative Director behind the fresh looks at Saurette. Lisa's designs reminded me of my favorite boutiques in Paris--but more wearble and more affordable.
Saurette was featured in Cookie's last issue, and I know we'll be seeing more of this exceptional brand. Without further ado, the Friday Close-Up:
What does the name mean?I fell in love with the way the S looked in this font and knew I wanted to end the name in ette. I filled in the middle and came up with Saurette. Of course later, I discovered it was a French last name.
How would you describe your style?My personal style and that of Saurette are pretty similar. Ive always preferred a hip twist to my look that set me apart from others. I never liked when you could walk down the street and identify a sweater or dress that someone was wearing and say Hey, that is a XX sweater
Who is your style icon? Ooh, tough one. I feel silly saying someone younger than me, but I love Megan Foxs style Its sexy and edgy. I also adore the way Joely Fisher dresses. Shes loves to pair a beautifully sexy top back to jeans!
What did you do prior to Saurette?I started my career in fashion working as a freelance Photo Stylist for the Chicago Tribune and Marshall Fields. Those positions allowed me creative expression mixed with a lot of hard work. I moved on to buying and eventually found Product Development where I stayed for over 10 years creating & producing womens collections for Saks Off 5th, Macys & May Company.
Where do you work and where do you get inspired?Im lucky enough to work out of my home office right now. It makes getting the kids off to school really easy and I can easily communicate with my Asian factories late at night. Im inspired by a lot of different things. I can see a painting and love the way the colors work together and use that as my inspiration for a print, or walking the streets of NYC doing some people watching. There are a lot of great details and personal styling that spark an idea for me.
Describe your family? I have two wonderful little boys, Dakota is 6 and Ryder is 3, and a wonderful husband of 13 years, David. The boys (including my husband) are silly and like to goof around a lot. Im a bit more reserved, but I love to sit back and laugh at them all. We like to have family dance parties when we break out the Michael Jackson songs and the boys put on their fedoras, then we all dance around together. So fun, and a great workout!
Favorite piece of clothing in your closet right now? I found an amazing grey ombre, one shoulder, floor length dress by Ter et Bantine at Century 21. I loved it so much I bought a second dress just like it with a different neckline that was one size too small. I can still squeeze into it though. I alternate wearing them at the different events weve been doing for Saurette.
Any advice to new designers? Budget and get interns! Its amazing how quickly the money goes when you are developing and promoting your own business. You really have to plan as if you were broke from the beginning and only rely on your loans or personal investments as if it were a last resort. Ive heard it takes 3-5 years before you begin to see a profit and you can easily spend $500,000 in that short amount of time. Also, interns are a saving grace. They work for free (I cover lunch and transportation costs) with the desire to learn about the business and get involved in all areas of development. Interns have saved my life!
Where do you live and what do you love about your neighborhood?I live in the Financial District of Manhattan. Its always busy in my neighborhood whether during the week with the Wall St. crowd or on the weekends with tourists. It has great transportation options, we are within a 10 minute walk to lots of great dining options in Tribeca and minutes away from great parks in Battery Park City for my boys.
Favorite place to shop in NYC?Some of my favorite stores in NYC are Topshop, Eryn Brinie, Kirna Zabete, Reiss & Opening Ceremony. For kids, I love Space Kiddets, Blue Tree, Babylicious & Arte Bebe who all carry Saurette!