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July 10 2014

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4 posts tagged "Ally Hilfiger"

For Father’s Day, Two Second-Generation Designers Remember Growing Up With Dad

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Following your father into the family business isn’t a given these days, as it once was. But for fashion-world progeny, a lifetime spent in the studio and at the show can lead to a fashion career of his or her very own. In honor of Father’s Day, Style.com checked in with two second-generation designers to hear about the good old days and the lessons they’ve learned—and given—dear old Dad.


Ally Hilfiger debuted her shirtdress-based line, Nahm, with co-designer Nary Manivong in February, but her schooling in the business began years ago at her father Tommy’s headquarters “I used to go to Bring Your Daughter to Work Day with him when I was little and I would sit in all of his design meetings,” Hilfiger tells Style.com. “They would always give me flats to color in with design markers and that’s when I started my color sense.” Those play days at the office became official work days when she signed on to intern with dad, joining him in business and design meetings, trips to factories in Hong Kong, and sample shopping. “Whenever I was asked for my opinion, I would give it, and he valued my opinion very much,” she explains. She’s not slow to share her opinion on his line, either, along with her sister and stepmom. “We’re like, ‘Dad, you have to make those heels a little higher,’ ” Hilfiger laughs.


Like Hilfiger, Moises de la Renta spent his childhood at his dad Oscar’s design studio, toiling in tulle and the rich fabrics that define the de la Renta name. “My father’s office was like Santa’s Workshop,” he tells Style.com from London, where he’s currently traveling. “The most wonderful fabric and colors everywhere—colored pencils, watercolor pencils, and there was an in-house chef. It was like our own secret club because in those days it was a small, tight knit group of people and it was like a family, we all ate together… people were cool, man.” Like Hilfiger, he’s also moved from youthful internships in fashion—at ODLR and at Phat Farm—into his own clothing and accessories line, MDLR. Don Oscar has offered guidance over the years, as well as plenty of style tips to his son. The most valuable? “How to wear a suit well,” Moises says, “and to keep one’s hands manicured.”

Photos: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images (Hilfigers); PatrickMcMullan.com (De la Rentas)

What’s In A NAHM?

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No surprise to hear that the garment trade is in Ally Hilfiger’s blood. But while, she says, she’d always kept being a designer in the back of her mind, for years it went no further. “The front of my mind was thinking, I want to be my own person, I want to do my own thing. I don’t want to be categorized as being in the same business [as] my parents,” Hilfiger said by phone from her Garment District studio. “I did many different things”—styling and acting and the ubiquitous foray into reality TV among them—”and it helped me grow independently as a business person. But it’s in my blood to be in this business. I feel like I’ve been in school for this for my whole life.”

When fashion did come calling, she started by consulting on her father Tommy’s collections. “I definitely rolled up my sleeves and got my hands quite dirty,” she assures us. Her graduation comes this season with NAMH, the new line she’s debuting with designer Nary Manivong. (NAMH is Nary Ally Manivong Hilfiger; Manivong’s namesake collection is being put on hold to focus on the new venture.) The collection is based on the shirtdress (like the one at left)—”taking the classic and twisting it,” Hilfiger says, turning out versions in wools, silks, and specialty fabrics. “I really believe in perfecting the art of these shirtdresses. They’re so wearable, for so many types of women.” Designed, patterned, and produced in New York, they’ll debut at the line’s presentation during New York fashion week. And while there are probably some skeptics out there waiting to be convinced, proving naysayers wrong is another family trait. Let’s not forget there were more than a few people asking “Tommy who?” when that infamous mid-eighties Times Square billboard put the future mogul’s then unfamiliar name up there with Calvin, Ralph, and Perry Ellis.

Photo: Courtesy of NAHM

Minnie’s Getting Major

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If you’ll recall, SoCal-via-U.E.S. socialite Minnie Mortimer Gaghan started her label quite organically by running up a few things that she (and soon her friends) wanted to wear and couldn’t find. Her second full collection for Spring 2010 has preserved that guiding principle, thus explaining a first foray into evening. “I have four weddings next year,” she said last night at a dinner in her honor hosted by Olivia Palermo and half-brother Peter Davis at the as-yet-unopened East Side Social Club. (It’s the new venture from Employees Only and Macao Trading Company restaurateur Billy Gilroy, with Patrick McMullan as a partner.) Still, the gown in question—a bright one-shoulder column—is cut in a jersey that Mortimer Gaghan says can be thrown in the bottom of a suitcase and worn with the ease of one of her printed T-shirt dresses. “I want black-tie that costs less than $500,” she proclaimed. Mortimer Gaghan’s progress from informal provider of clothing to her chic coterie of pals to full-fledged designer appears to be moving steadily forward. In addition to creating her own patterns and original prints, she’s considering showing during New York fashion week in February—emphasis on considering. “I’m designing the collection as if I’m showing, but we’ll see,” she said. Still, we did distinctly hear the words “Bryant Park” tossed around. Amid guests like Carlos de Souza and Ali Wise, Mortimer Gaghan’s fellow young designer Timo Weiland reported that he and partner Allen Eckstein will likely be showing their menswear in Paris this January. And aspiring designer Ally Hilfiger cautiously mentioned her plans for the capsule Fall 2010 debut of her label Alexandria. We couldn’t help flashing back to our obsession with Hilfiger’s addictive reality show Rich Girls, which now (particularly in the presence of Palermo) seems cannily prescient. Would she ever consider another? “No way,” she said, underlining the sentiment with a vigorous shake of the head.

Photo: Billy Farrell / Patrick McMullan

Meet Alexander Berardi

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When we first heard of Alexander Berardi, the name sounded incredibly familiar, so we had to ask—any relation to Antonio? “No, no, my family is horribly American!” So much so, in fact, that Berardi’s third collection, which he presented last night, was inspired by a photo of family friends sailing on Martha’s Vineyard. Working with all-natural fabrics, Berardi showed pretty silk chiffon tiered dresses and draped scarf-blouses for the uptown girl on the go. He kept the nautical references to a minimum; they came out mostly in subtle details like drop waists and contrast piping. The most promising pieces were sparkling sequin halter dresses and bed jackets that exuded a Marlene Dietrich mood without being too literal. Berardi, who hails from the Upper East Side and studied at Parsons, has been busy building a loyal fan base—Ally Hilfiger and Bee Shaffer, included. That will surely expand when the line hits stores come spring.

Photo: Courtesy of Alexander Berardi