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2 posts tagged "Stephanie von Watzdorf"

Exploring Figue, Nolita’s Latest Destination

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Steven Alan, Stephanie von Watzdorf, and Waris Ahluwalia at the Figue Boutique Launch“It’s a huge thing for a designer. Huge,” said Figue designer Stephanie von Watzdorf. She was referring to the opening of her first store—on Elizabeth Street in Nolita, no less—and she couldn’t be more thrilled. “Nolita has always had an independent, cool vibe. It’s perfect,” she offered at the boutique’s unveiling last night, which drew the likes of Waris Ahluwalia, Steven Alan, and Jessica Joffe. Indeed, it’s a “perfect” fit for her collection of luxe, bohemian ready-to-wear and accessories, which is inspired by her extensive global travels. And the guests that came to congratulate von Watzdorf, who was born in France to a German father and Russian mother, seemed to have traveled from near and far for the celebration—everyone praised the store in a different language.

The space itself is designed with whitewashed Moorish arches so the racks of handmade Bolivian fringed sweaters, batik tunics, and displays of Indonesian jewelry really stand out. Making the interior feel like an exotic market was part of the plan. “I like the idea of coming into a space and not knowing what it is, but you’re taken away for that moment,” said the designer. “It’s like a little discovery, a little journey.” Discovering one of Figue’s embellished military jackets, like the one von Watzdorf wore last night, is a journey many will enjoy taking.

Figue is now open at 268 Elizabeth Street in New York City.

Photo: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFAnyc.com

The Caftan’s New Champion

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“I kind of want to break some rules,” designer Stephanie von Watzdorf tells Style.com of her new line Figue. “The overarching theme in this is global dressing and that resort feeling, but you can wear it any time of the year.”

One look inside her expansive new loft space at 10 Crosby Street and that gypset vision becomes crystal clear. As the elevator doors open, you can’t help but notice the massive couch topped by oversized pillows, with Moroccan teacups resting on the coffee table nearby. “It’s set up kind of like a Moroccan-style tea salon; you also get a little Istanbul, Turkey, Italy—you don’t really know where you are in here but once you come in, you won’t want to leave,” the designer, who had stints at Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, and was the founding VP at Tory Burch, explained as she looked at her room full of wares from around the globe. But it’s not the tea (or that couch) that’s drawing editors to her bohemian showroom in Soho—it’s her collection of hand-embellished army jackets, caftans, and sweaters. And while she’s ready to break the traditional boundaries that come with the Fall and Spring collection seasons, she’s set a few rules of her own for the Figue DNA, too. “We will always have caftans in the collection. I think it’s essential to a story like this,” she said as she pulled a dramatic yellow caftan with intricate beadwork from the clothing rack. “I don’t put on a sweatshirt when my girls come over for a glass of wine—I put on a caftan. Also, tassels and the tuxedo shirt are staples here.” (We can imagine that Elizabeth Taylor, the Caftan Queen, would surely be an enthusiast of this line.) Almost every single piece in the collection is topped with delicate embellishment, ranging from the $125 T-shirts to the army jackets adorned with elephant and evil eye symbols ($1,200 to $1,600): “This is no joke, we take the sleeves off and send them to India, where the beadwork on just one jacket takes about three weeks.” You won’t find Figue in major retail stores just yet, as the label has been focusing at present on specialty boutiques, but you can shop the collection on Figue.com starting Tuesday.

Photo: Jeff Bark