Tuesday, May 5, 2009
above: images from Spring/Summer 2009
all images courtesy of Chrissie Miller and Sophomore
video courtesy of Dove
Chrissie Miller, a native New Yorker, draws inspiration from the city and her fabulous circle of friends to design easy contemporary sportswear for her youthful line, aptly named Sophomore. Miller, who was recently featured in a Dove ad campaign which aired during an episode of Gossip Girl, says she uses friends to model her clothing, which, in her case, happen to include "it" girls for her Spring/Summer 2009 lookbook: Alexandra Richards, Cory Kennedy, Harley Viera Newton and Lissy Trullie. Since Miller teamed up with a new design partner formerly at Proenza Schouler, you can be sure that Sophomore will continue to produce fashion-forward basics, including for Fall, edgy leather pieces. Read this interview with Miller to learn more...
Can you tell us about how you became a fashion designer? How did you decide to start Sophomore?
I went to art school and wanted to be a graphic designer. I made some T-shirts for some friends and my friend Charlotte Ronson sold them at her store. I started getting a lot of orders for them, so it became a job. Last year, I wanted to expand the line into a full sportswear collection. I met my partner Madeleine von Froomer, who was designing at Proenza Schouler at the time, and she was a perfect fit.
One of the first things Madeleine and I talked about was how there weren't a lot of contemporary sportswear lines out there that we wanted to wear. We went to lots of stores and researched what we felt was missing. We wanted to make clothes that are basic but have a fashion twist, and are also affordable. All the basic brands out there were either too girly, too cheaply constructed or ill fitting. A lot of the other companies were LA-based and there was really nothing available that we wanted to wear that came from New York. Now, Sophomore brings a New York vibe to classic pieces.
above: more looks from Spring/Summer 2009 lookbook
What inspires you as a designer?
I am inspired by everything around me, including the energy of New York City and my friends. Dove, the beauty brand, and I have a similar philosophy in that we both use real women for our advertising campaigns. I find it inspiring to use my friends and the people around me instead of models.
Is there an ideal Sophomore customer?
We try to design clothes for every age in mind- everyone from my sister to my dad!
above: Miller at work
Tell us about your latest collection. Can you give us an idea of what we can expect for Fall?
For the Fall 2009 Collection, we used leather for the first time, which is very exciting! We did leather shorts and an amazing leather skirt! A lot of the dresses have leather trim on them as well.
You started out originally as a tee-shirt line and have since expanded into a full sportswear line. Can you tell us about any other projects or collaborations on the horizon?
I'm really excited about this partnership with Dove to celebrate the launch of their Dove Go Fresh Burst Body Wash! Dove Go Fresh and Gossip Girl partnered to reveal real stories from four real NYC girls about growing up, surviving and succeeding in NYC in a video series called "GOSSIP GIRL: Real NYC Stories Revealed." Through this partnership, I am sharing my story to inspire twenty-something girls to overcome their fears, take risks and go after their dreams, like I did when I started Sophomore. My video is now available on www.dovegofresh.com.
above: a trailer for the Dove video collaboration
For more information on the brand, including stores and online availability, check out http://www.sophomorenyc.com.
BlackBook blogs about Chrissie Miller and Sophomore
Paper Magazine captures the scene Chez Miller
The Selby captures Chrissie Miller at home
Other Designer Profiles on Dream Sequins: