|I know I’ve been MIA since graduating, so to make up for it, I have the BEST post for you yet in the history of Street-Spotted—an interview with Deborah Lloyd, the Creative Director at Kate Spade! AHHH! What have I done to deserve this?
By our lucky stars, we were able to spot Deborah by this tree on the Ravensbourne campus (heh heh). Here’s what she’s wearing:
Customized Navy School Boy Blazer: Portobello Road, $50
Deborah Lloyd is the gorgeous Co-President and Creative Director at Kate Spade and has been featured on Harper’s Bazaar (check out the piece here), Oprah.com, and FabSugar. Before coming to Kate Spade, she worked at Banana Republic and then Burberry London, where, as they mentioned in Harper’s Bazaar, she “put Kate Moss in a sexy plaid bikini” and saw Burberry reach the height of its success (Go, Deborah!).
She currently lives in a Brooklyn brownstone with her husband Simon and takes the subway to work. And she looks fabulous while doing it all too. Below, our questions and her answers:
Let’s start from your roots. Where are you from?
Plymouth on the Southwest coast of England overlooking the Mayflower steps where the Pilgrims’ fathers sailed from.
Nice! Love the bit of history there. So you went to school for design. Does that mean you knew that you wanted to do Fashion Design from a young age?
Yes, at age 15. I stood up to ask a visiting lector from the local art college “I want to be a Fashion Designer, how do I do this”? He told me I was being very forward.
I ignored him and just did it.
LOVE IT. So then you went to Ravensbourne College of Art & Design, correct? What was your major there?
Naturally :) How did you stay fashionable in college? Were you a fan of vintage shops?
Vintage pieces that I customized. I was very good at winning. Bought my first Alaia piece – the professors joked I made more money than they did.
Bargain hunting is quite an art. I’ve still yet to master it. Armed with your vintage creations, how would you describe your style in your college years? How would you describe your style now? Has it changed? If so, how?
Eclectic and individual. I now am more aware of what suits me. Probably wore very baggy clothes when I had the figure and legs to get away with something more interesting.
How did you feel when you were graduating from college? Scared? Excited? Did you have a plan already?
Excited! Ready for the next big thing.
Yes, I was offered a job in Italy whilst still at college – the transition was easy.
In hindsight looking back – a little too fast! I wish I had taken some time off.
I think that’s a great message for us graduates. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have a job! Taking time off is definitely worth it. So since your college years you have now become Creative Director at Kate Spade. In this position are you in charge of actually designing the items or do you simply oversee them?
I have a fantastic team and we work very closely to bring the designs to life – my sleeves are rolled up and I touch everything.
Excellent! So you still get to do what you love. Speaking of things to love, I hear Kate Spade is coming out with an in-store student discount starting MAY 19th (squeals)! Other than giving students a hand with the price, is there anything design-wise that you are pursuing to attract more of the college market? (I know, personally for me, I love the edgier black pieces as opposed to the colorful ones, but maybe that’s because I’m in NYC.)
We’re always thinking of new ideas. For example, this past week we launched a concept store at our fifth avenue location. We’re offering free hula hoop lessons on Saturdays and redesigned the interior to celebrate the summer!
I’m so there. I have another random (and slightly selfish) question. I saw, in your interview with Oprah, that one of your favorite things is Macaroons. I LOVE MACAROONS! Do you have a favorite place to get Macaroons in NYC?
I love Laduree but in the mean time Fauchon’s sell them. That will suffice until Laduree opens in NYC in September 09 !!!
I didn’t know that! OMG!! Maybe it’ll be here for my bday, heh heh.
Last question! There are a LOT of students who are interested in a career in fashion. What advice would you give to those seeking a position as astute as yours? Do you think there are any particular steps that one should take?
Work hard, have a dream, the path may not always be as straight as you imagined or how you thought it would be. Things happen for a reason – go with it and enjoy the journey.