Considered one of the most talented young American designers working today, Wes Gordon is known for creating luxurious and sophisticated clothing with a modern edge. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Gordon studied fashion at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, famous for such industry alumni as Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Phoebe Philo.
After graduating in the summer of 2009, Gordon presented his first show at Fall 2010 NYC Fashion Week, and his collection was promptly picked up by both Harrods and Saks Fifth Avenue. And starting this fall, Denverites will be able to find his line at Lawrence Covell.
I had the pleasure of chatting with the 24-year-old designer while he was in town Wednesday to show his fall collection.
Georgia Benjou: For the women who are still getting to know you, how would you describe your style? Who is the Wes Gordon woman?
Wes Gordon: I think the primary goal of the pieces I design is to make “luxury” fresh and relevant to modern women. Our aesthetic is one of sleek, tailored elegance rather than frilliness and silliness. I want to make the coat that you’re going to wear and love for the next 10 years!
GB: What was your inspiration for designing the fall collection?
WG: Fall 2011 was about feminine, special items done in an amazing palette of textures. We used hammered cashmeres, panné velvets, satins, and hand-embroideries; we (mainly) kept things very linear and close to the body, with a major exception being our leather-trimmed wide-leg pants. I was inspired by cinematic icons like Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, and Charlotte Rampling, and tried to interpret their timeless chic for a woman in 2011.
GB: What are your fall 2011 must-have items?
WG: Definitely a great coat; on a per-use basis, it’s the best investment you can make for your fall wardrobe. We have some fantastic options this season, ranging from a very cool black leather and navy wool swing coat to a super-luxe forest green cashmere and silver fox double-breasted coat. Also, so many designers showed wide-leg pants this season, and I think it’s a great way to add a little drama to any fall ensemble. I happen to be particularly partial to our high-waisted pair, offered in black, forest, navy, and charcoal (but I’m a little biased)!
GB: You apprenticed under two fashion-industry icons: Oscar de la Renta and Tom Ford. What did you take away from those experiences, both in terms of business savvy and design technique?
WG: I’m so grateful for the time I spent apprenticing with these two masters. From both, I learned that building a long-lasting, sustainable brand is as much about making beautiful products as it is about creating an organized, viable business. We design, sell, manufacture, and distribute a product and, if you focus solely on the first step (design), you’ll be a total “flash in the pan.”
GB: What’s exciting to you in fashion now?
WG: Fashion today is so exciting because women today are so exciting. Women are now dressing with so much personality, mixing high and low brands with both new and vintage pieces. The modern woman wears so many different hats and needs a wardrobe that’s going to keep her looking her best at all times, wherever the day may lead.