Amy Claire is a California native whose namesake label has earned itself a loyal fan-base all over the globe. I became very intrigued not only by the collection, which is said to be inspired by “travel” and “classic Americana”, but also the designer herself when reading through her bio. It was in Italy, where Amy was studying, where she was inspired to create her own clothing collection.
A portrait of the designer.
Although New York Fashion Week is only a little over a week away now, Amy was so kind enough to take some time out of her schedule to answer some questions I had for her. The main focus of all of the questions was to understand both the designer as well as the intentions of her collection on a deeper level.
AoF: Do you have a muse? Or a particular person in mind when you are designing your collection?
Amy Claire: I would say I have many muses. My close friends are all very intriguing, hard-working women. They work in various fields (from publishing, finance, to being a mom), but all have an appreciation for art and fashion and have their own personal style. I think of their personalities and whereabouts when I create.
AoF: I read in an interview you had with Sense of Fashion that you “don’t really like to follow trends.” Considering much of a brand’s success is based off of creating trends, how do you accommodate that personal trait of yours when you are designing?
Amy Claire: I like to come up with original ideas rather than following trends. We develop the color palette and designs without firstly looking at the trends so are not persuaded by what is “in.” I do look to see what is being forecast for the following season to be sure we are focusing on the demand of our customers after we get started, however I like to keep to more classic silhouettes.
AoF: Each season you collaborate with a different artist to develop the original prints for your collections. What are the qualities you look for in your collaborating artists, and how do you find them?
Amy Claire: After we have come up with the inspiration for the season, I look for an artist to work with. It could possibly happen the other way as well, sometimes looking through blogs and art books I am inspired by the work, but typically it is the reverse. I look through a lot of blogs, magazines, zines, you name it, until the right person comes along. What I am looking for depends on the inspiration – we have worked with all painters so far both water color and acrylic.
AoF: Do you think there is a clear reflection of the influence from your native of California, your former residence of Italy, and your current residence in New York City in your collection?
Amy Claire: I do. Every place I have lived or spent time in my life is a part of me and reflects in my work. For instance, the theme of our Fall 2012 collection has part to do with work of Edward Weston. I first became aware of Weston in high school, as he once lived and work in Monterey where I went to boarding school. Monterey has its great aquarium, and I love Marine Biology, which lead to another aspect of our Fall ’12 theme. Not just the inspiration, but the silhouettes are also a reflection of coasts.
AoF: Out of all of the pieces you’ve created, do you have a favorite?
Amy Claire: That is a tough question, but I do, at the moment at least. I love the new version of the backless lace dress we have coming out for fall. I like the texture of lace. It is so fun to work with, and I like how the dress feels both elegant and sexy.
Check out the rest of her collection at AmyClaire.com