Interview by Natalie Shukur
How did you get involved with the Reformation?
It was around for about a year before I started working for the company. I was really good friends with [brand founder] Yael, but I was doing styling and I was not happy. I like clothes, but I don't like shopping, so she said "Come work with me and see if you like it."
What were some of the first pieces you designed?
When I very first started I was only doing designs for our [first] collaboration with Urban Outfitters, and then after a month I started designing for the rest of [the brand]. I was doing a lot of jumpsuits. It was a really amazing time, because we were small enough that I could do completely one-of-a-kind dresses, but it was literally me and a seamstress in a little office in the back of a small store when it started.
What items of clothing would be your desert island essentials?
Oh, I know this because I always help people pack! And I also don't own a lot of clothing. Desert island is very specific because you'd want all warm-weather clothing, like good shorts. But basically, whenever I'm packing, it's two skirts—a really good leather miniskirt and some other kind of miniskirt—a good black skinny pant, a good leather pant, a good jean...those basics. Mainly, I own a lot of dresses of every kind. That's my favorite thing to wear.
Do you shop a lot of vintage?
Recently I realized that I own almost exclusively all vintage or Reformation. I'm at a point where I also have a few coats, fur coats, but they're all vintage.
Can you share your vintage sources?
Well, I'm not going to give up anything for us, but I love to shop vintage and my favorite store is—well there's two—Malin Vintage, which is in Williamsburg. I think she used to be a stylist. She's this amazing Swedish woman, and there's gorgeous, gorgeous stuff. The other place is called Ritual Vintage [in New York]. They have the most beautiful Victorian stuff I've ever seen. I always try to get them to give up their sources to me and they never will! I have no idea how they find it. They have beautiful furs as well, but any time you want like, a 1920s pajama set that's hand-embroidered, they have that.
The Reformation is known for its sustainable approach. How does that translate for you?
For me, Reformation—not just the sustainable aspect of it but the whole way they approach fashion in the company—is really lovely to me. It's not really like a cult company, it's not about being obsessed with the latest trend; it's very much organic and just who we want to dress, who our girls are.
And who would you say the Reformation girl is?
Someone the other day said my favorite thing...an interviewer called it "It Girl" clothing, which I thought was really great. It's just clothes for cool girls. And the way people wear it is completely different. All my friends wear it in different ways. They never look like they're wearing the same styles, even though they're wearing the same pieces. We want the end result to be sexy.
The best party in New York is whenever and wherever Bad Girlfriend DJs. When I go out dancing I like to wear comfortable shoes: lately I really love long backless dresses with sneakers. I'm a happy girl if the DJ plays Bo Diddley, The Source remix of Candi Staton's You Got the Love. A good sound system always gets the party started. My ultimate party outfit consists of showing off your best assets, without sacrificing comfort. Oh and currently I am really into wearing suits at night. When I go out I always carry keys, id, credit card and lipstick. I would love to party with Prince, but in the era when he was wearing ass-less pants. If I was born in another era, you would find me dancing the night away at Studio 54 or the Mudd Club. My party partners in crime are my band. Trouble makers the whole lot of them. It takes me sooo long to get ready. My idea of a good time is seeing live music and dancing, if that can't happen karaoke is my next best thing.
What was the starting point behind your latest collection for Urban Outfitters?
I was looking at a lot of pictures of Warhol's factory. A lot of Edie Sedgwick, but also Candy Darling. It's really funny when you look at them, because Edie's this great, cool mod thing and then Candy is like this beautiful 1940s girl [so it was about] mixing the two things. And then it was just a tangent off that stuff, because I was also looking at a lot of Nan Goldin's photos. I love the way that everyone looks kind of smeared.
Your pieces have such a great dynamic between this very feminine sensibility and a little badass edge...
Yeah. We want to make sustainable clothing and we want to make it in a responsible way, but we don't want it to look granola. You wanna be hot. Sexy clothes for sexy girls. And that's who our very first customers were, just babes around the Lower East Side.
When did you first come to New York?
I came to New York for Parson's 11 years ago. I love living here. It's a really inspiring place.
What are some of your favorite things to do in the neighborhood?
I really love going to eat Mexican food, which I wish I did less. I go to Cake Shop a lot for coffee. I love going to see shows at Mercury Lounge. I love that venue—I think they do a really good job with sound. We play there sometimes [with Brianna's band Bad Girlfriend]. Good sound is important.
How and when did your band Bad Girlfriend start?
One of the girls and I had been playing music together in some form or another for nine years. I think we just got focused and serious about it like a year ago. We were like, Okay, let's actually do this.
How would you describe the band's vibe?
Oh, we're all insane. We're all crazy people. We're all complete crazy people, but it's really fun.
Do you strive to hit a particular sound or mood?
We just finished our first full-length album and it's pretty lush. We wanted it to sound like 2013 Phil Spector. That was really our goal. It's really like, loud. It's full.
When does it come out?
To be determined. We just finished mixing it, and I think we're happy with the mixes, but then we have to get it mastered. And we have to get the artwork. So probably the beginning of next year.
The best party in New York is I'm more of a sleeper than a partier, but the best party is anywhere my friends are. When I go out dancing I like to wear my Nikes. I'm a happy girl if the DJ plays Solange, Beyoncé, old Lauren Hill... Oh and Blood Orange, duh! My ultimate party outfit consists of a blazer day or night, clean face and dark lips. When I go out at night I always carry the lipstick I'm wearing and a perfume roll-on. I would love to party with Tom Ford and Stevie Nicks. It takes me 15 minutes to get ready. My idea of a good time is all my friends under one roof with a lot of snacks. At the bar, I always order tequila on the rocks, two limes. Chips and salsa Is my favorite midnight snack. The best hangover cure is coconut water, Midol and peppermint tea.
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Sneakers. For my birthday my friend and I were like, Let's go get sneakers, because I haven't owned a pair in probably ten years. Like, I don't even do exercise in sneakers, it'll just be barefoot exercise. I was really obsessed with Birkenstocks. Those and sneakers are the easiest way to wear a scandalous, backless dress. If you put on a sneaker or a Birkenstock, it's like, It's fine that I have my entire back out!
Do you think the Birkenstock trend will carry through to next summer?
I hope so. It was really hard to say goodbye. I had a friend who yelled at me for it. It was freezing outside and I was still wearing my Birkenstocks and she yelled at me from across the street and said "No more! You have to put those away!"
Your Instagram is great and you have a pretty big following...
Well, I'm really OCD, and so a lot of it comes from the fact that I have an image search problem. I have all these images and no place to put them. And then during the day, I'll be like, Let's take a break and do something stupid for ten minutes, so a lot of it is stupid moments.
You have perfected the art of the Selfie. Any tips you can share?
Natural light is very important. I can tell you what people like: Natural light and a lot of good backgrounds. Clear photos--no blurry photos. Even though I do blurry photos all the time because I don't care. And for me, too, I've noticed people don't want photos of men on there, but I do it anyway.
The best party in New York happens on Bad Girlfriend DJ nights at Niagara. When I go out dancing I like to wear my red suede boots. I'm a happy girl if the DJ plays soul! "Real Wild Child" by Iggy Pop always gets the party started. My ultimate party outfit consists of tie-dye everything or a little black dress with piles of jewelry. When I go out at night I always carry Ruby Woo by MAC (it's the ultimate red lipstick). I would love to party with Marc Bolan. If I was born in another era, you would find me dancing the night away at Max's Kansas City. It takes me 20 minutes to get ready. My idea of a good time is playing music with my girls. At the bar, I always order a Paloma! Tacos are my favorite midnight snack.