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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Chadwick Bell, Designer

Chadwick Bell met his future business partner Vanessa Webster while growing up in California. One of the first peers to recognize his artistic talent, she encouraged Bell’s interest in fashion. At seventeen, he designed, produced, and presented forty looks with Webster’s support. He had found his passion and inspiration.

Bell’s design talent was further nurtured at UCLA’s Design & Media Arts program. While there, he focused on color theory and established his own fashion curriculum. To supplement his education, Bell found retail work in women’s collections. Selling Dolce & Gabbana in Los Angeles and later Chado Ralph Rucci in New York help shape his sensibility and develop a keen understanding for his clients’ sartorial needs and desires.

The Chadwick Bell collection began when Bell and Webster defined a lifestyle for their ideal woman. From there Bell designed the first looks. In 2007, Bell (Creative Director) and Webster (Managing Director) co-founded the Chadwick Bell label with a Ready-to-Wear Fall 2008 collection. Private client orders encouraged them to expand, and Bell designed a Spring 2009 collection shown during New York Fashion Week.
Chadwick Bell’s designs have a sophisticated ease about them. Passionate about fine craftsmanship, Bell utilizes the finest natural fabrics available, carving elegant shapes from the textiles. Clean lines, a muted color palette and exquisite attention to detail are consistent hallmarks of every piece. Bell creates a sense of modern refinement that is both simple and sensual. Chadwick Bell is sold by private appointment and online at For additional information please visit

Peachy Deegan interviewed Chadwick Bell for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What inspired you to go into fashion?
Chadwick Bell: My love for the arts and beautiful things.

What did you learn in retail that helped you most as a designer?
Excellent customer service.

What is important to understand about color theory?
For me, the most crucial decisions come from color. It allows me to create a story with each collection.

What is your favorite item that you have designed?
The Lindsay dress, a quilted chiffon dress attached to a braided horsehair harness.

What are you proudest of in your career?
Selling my designs to people whom I respect.

What is your favorite place to be in NYC?
Mary Boone's gallery in Chelsea

What is your favorite shop?
de Vera located at 1 Crosby Street

What is your favorite drink?
Gin gimlet on the rocks

What is your favorite restaurant?
Most recently, Marlow & Sons in Williambsurg

What is your favorite thing to do in NYC that you can do nowhere else?
Riding the L Train is pretty entertaining.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Most underrated: Home Depot. Most overrated: Ikea.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I braided all of the leather belts in the Fall collection myself!

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
Through the website,

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