Wow, I am so psyched! So, I managed to get an interview with Adam Lippes, the designer that did my coat for Homini Emerito! (Mango)
Adam Lippes is a New York-born, American designer, praised and followed by a growing crowd of editors and celebrities alike for his fresh take on american sportswear. Vanity Fair described him as «one of the most important young designers in USA.» And I got an interview with him… Yey! To mention just a few of his merits: Polo Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta
Adam actually called me when we had planned, but I was out driving… Quite embarrasing for me! So, he called me back 10 minutes later.
My first impression was great! He is very calm and targeted, meaning he knows what he wants to make of his future.
Okay, let’s go!
Q: What made you go into fashion?
I always wanted to be a fashion designer. I grew up with a family of lawyers, doctors, businessmen, so going into fashion wasn’t the most likely choice. I went to study psychology at an Ivy League university, Cornell. I went to Paris in the junior year, and met everyone worth knowing in the fashion industry, such as Jean-Paul Gaultier. (me: wow!) Paris really got me involved in fashion, and I realized back than, that fashion actually was a business worth the while.
When I came back to New York, I had an intership in an investment bank, working on finishing Cornell University. Really, I was doing anything in fashion, to get my foot in the door.
I later got a job working for Ralph Lauren. I was the assistant to the store manager in the largest Ralph Lauren store, so really, I was the assistant. This experience tought me a lot, and when the store manager left for Oscar de la Renta, I joined.
Working for Oscar de la Renta was great. He is very old school, and working with his was great. He was some kind of a tutor, and I was the apprentice.
Q: Who/what are your inspirations?
My personal style, really. My mother gave me this, so an inherited style, that Oscar de la Renta refined.
I also get my inspiration from other designers… There are so many! Definitively Dries van Noten and Eldar Aldez
Q: What mark do you hope to leave in the industry?
I am trying to create a lifestyle brand. It’s not just about the clothes, it about a way of life. I am trying to reach those 30-something boys or girls, whos worklife and paylife is the same. It’s about the fun, traveling the worl, the art, the culture, the charitable. So, a fun and interesting life. Sum it up, and I want to create a modern lifestyle brand like Ralph Lauren did. I am not trying to be the trendiest designer, but I am making wearable pieces. Pieces we can all afford, pieces that we can all fit. These are all pieces we can wear season in and season out.
Q: Where do you see your career in ten years?
In ten years, I hope to have developed this lifestyle brand, out of the ordinary. I want to work in other medias, such as Internet and television, on multiple platforms. Accessories, beauty and home, all directly home to the consumer.
Q: Is there a signature look, design or concept you have in mind for yourself, that you would like to be known for?
You know, the company and I are known for the t-shirts. Beautiful t-shirts in the best fabrics. The perfect t-shirt so to speak. In the business I am in, there are really just two important things. Jeans and tees, and we make the perfect t-shirts.
Q: Who do you idolise within the fashion community?
Wow, hmm, idolise is such a big work.
I really respect any designer, as long as it’s original and creative, and I respect designers that are able to do it on a long term basis. There are a lot of designers that make it a few years, that are trendy and creative, but anyone that can make it in this industry, has my respect.
Q: What is the three most important events in your life so far?
One of them, is certainly being on the Oprah show.
Another one is the first presentation of fashion. You have to realise we only started with t-shirts.
Another key moment, is when we sold part of the business to Richemont, the luxury goods company that owns Chloé and Cartier.
Q: Can you tell me about the time with Oscar de la Renta? You accomplished something major, didn’t you?
It was quite something! He allowed me to learn, allowed me to grow, so I give most credit to him for what I’ve accomplished. He supported me a lot!
Q: Do you do charities?
Yes. It is a very important part of what I do. Our next t-shirt collection will be part of an «Adam Gives» program. Each t-shirt has a different color, and each color gives to a different charity.
I personally support a foundation for my mother, fighting womens cancer.
I am also the chairman of the young board of the Whitney museum in New York, and I am very involved with dogs.
Q: Where are you going, and what are you doing this Christmas?
I am going to Rio de Janeiro with some friends, just to relax on the beach and have fun!
Yes, it’s beautiful, isn’t it? We <3 Adam!
I am very grateful for that Adam took the time to do this interview, and to Alexandra, the assistant who took care of everything! Merry Christmas, and Adam, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Enjoy Rio, and get a tan for me.
Just a little Christmas song from me to you!