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Friday, April 3, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Rebecca Taylor, Designer

Rebecca Taylor’s sexy, kittenish clothing has inspired legions of loyal customers to indulge their feminine wiles. The native New Zealander moved to New York after graduating from the Wellington School of Design. While working for a leading Seventh Avenue designer, Taylor met her future business partner Elizabeth Bugdaycay, who encouraged her to launch her own collection. Bugdaycay balanced out Taylor’s creative skills with her background in economics and her business-minded approach. Together they forged an unstoppable team. Established in 1994, the two women now have one of the most sought after collections in the industry.

Feminine edgy, yet approachable designs have put their collection on the fashion map, garnering major editorial coverage as well as a nod from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, who nominated Taylor for the prestigious Perry Ellis Young Designer Award in 2000.

Taylor’s creativity and energy pours into her collections with inspirational references ranging from vintage mod books from the 60’s and 70’s to the words of music, art and entertainment. With an almost obsessive eye to detail and unconventional color sense, Taylor’s clothing flatters and enhances the women who wear them. Season after season, the collection surprises customers with perfect prints, great knits, and flirty dresses, which fit into any modern woman’s closet. Celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, Ashley Judd, Robin Tunney, Julia Stiles, Anna Paquin, Minnie Driver, Christina Applegate and Keri Russell are among the loyal fans that keep coming back for more.

With a flagship store in Nolita, stores across Asia and the Rebecca Taylor Collection retailing in all major department stores and top specialty boutiques across the country, Taylor and Bugdaycay will continue to keep their customers clothed from head to foot in Rebecca Taylor. Whom You Know is pleased to introduce its readers to Rebecca Taylor!

Peachy Deegan: What inspires you when you are designing?
Rebecca Taylor: Everything. The girls at work, movies, hanging out in the city. The Lower East Side has lots of cool people with effortless style.

How would you compare Manhattan to New Zealand, if at all?
I would struggle to find any point of comparison! I always need to be by water and in that respect there are similarities.

Of the awards you have earned, which are you proudest of and why?
I’m proud of the whole deal really. Beth and I have worked so hard and I feel really rewarded. I also feel proud that we have a wonderful vibe at the office. Very supportive and not bitchy at all.

What is your most favorite item you have ever designed, and what do you like about it?
I’m in love with the ballet slipper pink motorcycle jacket from the Fall 2009 collection. Its punky and cool and pretty all rolled up into one.

What designers do you admire and why?
Karl Largerfeld for Chanel- Genius!
Miuccia Prada- always challenges your expectations

How has this economy affected your line?
We have had to be more focused with what the customer wants, with offering them something that they never thought they needed!

What is your favorite place to be in NYC?
At home with my husband and kids. A big glass of wine is good!

What is your favorite shop?
Bird on 5th in Brooklyn and Tenement Museum bookstore on Orchard Street.

What is your favorite drink?
Pink champagne.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Frannies on Flatbush in Brooklyn.

What is your favorite NYC book?
The Alienist- Caleb Carr

What is your favorite thing to do in NYC that you can do nowhere else?
Have egg and cheese bagels for breakfast

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