by alexandria geisler | March 7, 2013 | Style & Beauty
Deborah Lloyd in her boldly patterned office.
Brad Goreski and Lloyd relax at the Kate Spade New York studio.
Some of Lloyd's favorite things adorn her office dresser.
Belle Fleur bangle ($148).
Embellishedcollar Bradie dress ($448).
Actress Kerry Washington in Kate Spade.
Bay Terrace Leelee handbag ($358).
Kate Spade New York’s latest collection delivers the 20-year-old brand’s beloved hallmarks—think bright stripes, florals, and oversize bows—through a retro-1950s lens. With Brad Goreski as brand stylist, President and Creative Director Deborah Lloyd has envisioned A-line skirts, shift dresses, and printed cropped denim, paired with cheeky accessories such as clutches in the shape of cat’s-eye glasses and open-toe, saddle-shoe stilettos. The result: a line that is at once flirty and feminine for the Washingtonian woman. In other words, inimitably Kate Spade. Here, Goreski sits down with Lloyd to reflect on the brand’s vibrant legacy, while also discussing her latest inspirations and the label’s promising future.
BRAD GORESKI: So, Deborah, did you always have a desire to work in the fashion world, or did you take a quirky path getting here?
DEBORAH LLOYD: I have always loved fashion. I remember staying with my aunt for the first time when I was a little girl, and I was allowed to [choose] what I wanted to wear to school. I picked a tartan skirt and a pink flowery shirt and put them together. The Kate Spade New York aesthetic was in me from the start!
BG: So wonderful! Tell me then about how you got involved with Kate Spade New York.
DL: I had heard of the brand years ago when I was living in London and working at Burberry. I thought everything was done with such style and grace. I loved the photographs, the details, and the overall spirit of the store— it was how I wanted my house to be. There was no clothing [offered by the company] at the time, and that was my core competency. I wanted to do something different and work at a brand that had such an amazing DNA that I could bring to life in my own way. I cannot believe the brand has been in existence for 20 years. Time flies when you’re having fun.
BG: That is so true. How about the Kate Spade New York girl? Has she changed over time, or do you think she’s still the same individual who started with the brand 20 years ago?
DL: I think we are still capturing that same [spirit] but I think there are certainly more Kate Spade New York girls out there now. I also think it’s not about an age. It is about a personality. We like to say that she’s quick and curious and playful and strong. I know “girls” of any age who fit that description— it’s who we attract, and also who we love.
BG: I’ve always pictured her as someone who has a similar sense of style as I do—she’s me, but in girl form! The brand DNA is still present, but she’s evolved into a modern woman who loves to stand out in a crowd. Speaking of which, all the collections I’ve styled have such a strong sense of brand DNA, but they always feel new. How does the idea behind a collection start for you?
DL: Every season is different, though so many of my ideas come from my travels. I took a recent trip to Rio de Janeiro that sparked all sorts of great ideas, from details in the pavement to the waves on the beach. I love working with colors, fabrics, prints, and pulling them all together. This year, for the 20th anniversary, each month is inspired by “things we love” at the brand: a pop of color, a well-placed bow, bold florals, and picnics.
BG: And I loved it all. My favorite piece from the collection is the white lace Franny coat. Do you think the clothing speaks to the women of DC? Have you visited the Georgetown shop?
DL: Yes, I have. We have a tiny gem of a store there, and Georgetown is such a charming place. It’s so rich in history, and there is so much intrigue around the political core there. I think the Georgetown woman is very savvy and smart; Kate Spade New York is perfect for her wardrobe.
BG: From my experience, the women in DC love it, and they wear it well. Let’s discuss the future, though. What do you see coming up for the brand?
DL: I think we’ve just scratched the surface. I was just in Paris, and we do not have a store there yet, but I took a trip to Giverny to see Monet’s gardens. I was on a bus with eight other people, and six of them had Kate Spade New York iPhone covers! It’s so exciting to me to see how a small brand has such a global presence. Next time, I want to see them in our handbags and clothes. There’s no stopping, and we’re excited to see where we go next.
3061 M St. NW, 202-333-8302
photography by eric ryan anderson (lloyd, goreski); getty images (washington)
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