10 Minutes With: Jonathan Simkhai at NYFW
March 8, 2017
Designer Jonathan Simkhai was inducted into the CFDA Fashion Incubator program in 2014 and went on to win the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2015—with our very own Fashion Director Ken Downing as one of the judges. Today, Simkhai continues to create alluring designs each season, from breathtaking gowns to must-have ready-to-wear pieces.
Watch his NYFW Fall 2017 backstage chat with Downing below, and read on for his post-show interview.
Neiman Marcus: We were so excited to see you at New York Fashion Week! What were the weeks of preparation leading up to the big day like for you and your team?
Jonathan Simkhai: The weeks leading up to the show were very fast paced. My team and I worked very hard to present the best collection possible. It can be hectic at times, but there is a lot of great energy, and the result is very rewarding.
NM: How does this collection compare to your Pre-Fall 2017 collection?
JS: Pre-Fall 2017 was light and a little undone. By comparison, Fall 2017 is more grand and formal.
NM: Tell us about the inspiration for your Fall 2017 collection.
JS: When I was developing the collection, I was thinking about how to make the Jonathan Simkhai woman look regal and powerful. Nineteenth-century Spain knew a few things about how to visually elevate a person through dress and extravagant embellishments. I used those ideas to develop a collection that would be relevant to the modern woman.
NM: What colors were you most excited to use this season?
JS: Midnight blue, burgundy, and cream.
NM: What is your go-to textile for fall?
JS: Lace threaded with shimmering metallic or studded with grommets.
NM: What new design techniques did you incorporate into the fall collection?
JS: Soutache on leather, velvet, and denim. We also used knitwear woven with feathers and sequins.
NM: Name one piece from this collection that every woman needs to own.
JS: A pair of embroidered denim stovepipes!
NM: What are your styling recommendations for fall?
JS: I love styling a beautiful cocktail dress with a cozy, crystal-embellished cardigan. Or a cropped, tailored jacket with slim, high-waisted trousers.
NM: If you could bring any trend back, which would it be and why?
JS: Honestly, I’m really excited with what’s happening in fashion now. There is such a range of how you can dress! At any given event, you can go super formal or casual, or contrast the two.
NM: In January, you released a 16-piece activewear line alongside Carbon38. Why did you decide to take on this project?
JS: Doing an activewear line felt relevant to the Simkhai woman and her lifestyle. From its inception, I was thinking about what a woman is wearing when she’s not in our ready-to-wear or evening pieces. She’s on the move, whether she’s picking up her kids from school or going on a run with her friend. She may be wearing leggings and a sports bra, but her appreciation for good design and stylish details never diminishes.
NM: What is one fashion rule you love to break?
JS: Wearing denim everywhere!
NM: What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
JS: I love working out and going on hikes! It helps me stay grounded and focused.
NM: If you had to give women one piece of advice, what would it be?
JS: Wear everything with confidence.