Simkhai On The Prize
Two years after starting his namesake line, 27-year-old up-and-comer Jonathan Simkhai is hitting his stride. His Spring ’13 collection, which put a Venice Beach twist on urban essentials, earned attention from key buyers (he’s currently carried at Barneys, Louis Boston and Matches in London) and helped him grab the attention of the CFDA (in October, Simkhai was accepted into the Fashion Incubator program). At last week’s 12-12-12 concert, Kristen Stewart was snapped in a sporty neon green look from Simkhai’s pre-fall lineup. Just days before K. Stew wore his graphic button-up shirt and checkered track shorts, Simkhai was busy dressing models in those same pieces at the historic Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, where he shot his new pre-fall lookbook. “I loved the contrast of showing luxury pieces in an unpretentious setting with history,” Simkhai told Style.com on set. “My customer is equally at home in a dive bar or out at an event. She’s laid-back, fun, and has a rebellious streak.” Simkhai’s previous collection was inspired by surfer and skater culture, but the designer shifted to a punk-rock vibe for pre-fall, decorating his mood board with black-and-white pictures of bands like The Clash. Accordingly, chartreuse-colored jacquard separates were printed with a micro-checkerboard pattern reminiscent of classic Vans, while flirty leather skirts and flared dresses had feminine bits of organza peeking out from under the hemlines. Novelty sweatshirts and varsity jackets rounded out the offerings—they’re just the kind of nonchalant items a girl like Stewart would wear from her morning errands to an afternoon press conference.