The Kiwi womenswear designer discusses her spring 14 range and the challenges of keeping up with demand.
How has the brand been developing since your autumn 13 collection?
The Rebecca Taylor girl keeps evolving. She is definitely becoming more in touch with her sportier side; she wants to feel what I call ‘modern romantic’. We also have some collaborations in the pipeline - so stay tuned. In the US we have eight standalone stores and the label is now sold in 35 countries. We sell to about 27 stockists in the UK at the moment including Matches, Trilogy, Austique in London and Sue Parkinson in Worcestershire and we would love to open a store in England, but have not yet found the right location. We are working on it.
What does the spring 14 collection look like?
Spring is beautiful; it feels really modern and elevated. I love the simplicity of a crisp cotton poplin dress, but shown in an interesting silhouette such as a teacup skirt. We’re also working with organza, geo eyelet, crystal-encrusted lace and laminated knits.
What do you consider to be your design signature?
Leopard print. Also, florals, lace and embellishments.
How would you describe the Rebecca Taylor woman?
Strong and independent. She has a sense of humour and is up for a good time.
Is Europe different from the US in terms of buying? Do you tend to keep different markets in mind when you’re designing?
Absolutely. I feel my collection has a European sensibility so I don’t believe the buys are that drastic in terms of difference. I think the buys differ more with department stores and speciality boutiques in general, since the target customer sometimes differs.
Do you see the Far East as an important area for the growth of your business?
Yes, there is great opportunity in the Far East at the moment with US department stores that we are stocked in, such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, opening up there.
Is there greater pressure now to produce larger collections and more per year?
Yes. The customer wants more and they want it more often. We ship every month now.
Everything is moving so fast with the internet and fast fashion. We have to run in order to keep up with ever increasing demands. Coming up with the idea is the easy part - executing the volume we produce now is insane.
What makes New York Fashion Week stand out for you?
I think it’s really fun and easy to get around. It’s also at the beginning of the cycle so people are fresh and excited.
Which other designers do you admire?
Gaby Aghion of Chloe. She really perfected the minimalist look.
What is your favourite piece that you have designed?
I couldn’t possibly choose. That’s like asking me who my favourite child is.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
Keeping my sense of humour through thick and thin. Also, growing our company from so little to what it has become today.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Everywhere; books, interiors, movies, music, New York, London. I love coming to London and just hanging out and watching the street style.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
My family house in New Zealand. The wind blowing and the sound of the sea is magical.
What do you do for fun?
Drink wine. I love to dance and often have dance parties with my kids.