10 Minutes With: Leonard Gorski
December 9, 2016
Lavish furs have long epitomized a life of luxury and unparalleled style. Whether you’re jet-setting to a ski resort or attending an exclusive holiday event, completing your look with a fur takes it to the next level.
Designer Leonard Gorski of Gorski Furs is reinventing the look and feel of modern designer furs and outerwear. We had the opportunity to speak with the expert craftsman about his creative process, styling techniques, and how his reimagined designs exude elegance.
Neiman Marcus: Gorski has evolved immensely in outerwear and fur fashion since its launch in 1984. Can you speak to the brand’s success and growth over the past three decades?
Leonard Gorski: It is a fantastic journey working with Neiman Marcus—creating fashion furs and outerwear for the most fabulous women in the world. My collections are often born during my frequent store visits—my interacting, observing, and listening to special customers is likely one of the key factors to our growth. We listen, which enables us to anticipate, interpret, and create trends, and we are guided by the conviction that our customers deserve the best.
I am surrounded by some of the finest design, materials, and technical collaborators in Italy and North America. This enables us to create consistently evolving, cutting-edge, and successful collections.
Our collections are always modern, sexy, and versatile—adapting to our customers’ lifestyles. We view our collections as being integrated—together completing a refined, fashionable look whether day or evening, travel, or leisure.
NM: Who is the ideal Gorski woman? What kind of social events does she attend, and how is she dressed when she arrives?
LG: She is a savvy and discerning shopper. At different stages, she leads a busy career, is heavily involved in charitable and community work, supports the arts, and is committed to causes. She travels often to her winter and summer homes.
She is conscious of her well-being and appearance, and her wardrobe reflects it. She wears a rich dyed-to-match fur shrug over an elegant gown, a navy sheared mink to work, a down jacket with a sable vest for travel, and chic après-ski pieces in Aspen, St. Moritz—or just a fall or spring weekend in the Hamptons.
She loves life—she feels great when she looks great.
NM: What new design concepts were incorporated into the Fall/Winter 2017 collection?
LG: Our customers love effortless lightweight furs and fine outerwear. The designs are versatile, easily transition from day to night, and are great for travel.
Our down-filled “puffer” collection pairs a stunning fur vest with a puffer jacket complete with a fur collar. You may decide to wear the set, or sport the vest and puffer jacket separately.
Our reversible ultralight sheared mink is an updated look and a fashion must. For the holidays, we have a huge revival of shrugs in chinchilla, sable, and superb Zimbal® mink. Fox boas are also very popular in navy, wine, or other dyed colors to match the gown.
NM: Are there any new colors introduced in the collection that you’re particularly excited about?
LG: We love shades of blue, purple, berry, and wine, and how they play with blacks and browns. We love intarsia, colorblocked designs, and prints.
NM: Name one piece from your Fall/Winter 2017 collection that every woman should have in her closet.
LG: The holidays are a wonderful time to accent your eveningwear—creating a unique signature look. For a pop of color, try our fox boa and shrugs collection. Or pair your neutral designer dress with elegant jewelry and a colorful Gorski chinchilla, mink, or fox shrug to make it fabulous.
NM: What is your favorite part about holiday dressing?
LG: The holidays are the time for color, jewels, furs, and champagne. They’re the time to slow down, think of others, and accept that you too should reward yourself and allow others to pamper you.
Whether you’re wearing a stunning evening gown, jeans with a cozy sweater, or sporting an elegant dress for family festivities—throw on a fur (or cashmere with fur trim) to make an entrance wherever you appear.
NM: How would you suggest styling one of your furs for a day-to-night holiday look?
LG: Our fox boas create a versatile look—wrapped casually like a scarf for lunch, then open and draped over the shoulder for an evening affair.
NM: Who is the most memorable person you dressed recently?
LG: I love our clients and will go to all ends to create a fantastic shopping experience.
I truly view each interaction and order as memorable and important. Neiman Marcus dresses the most beautiful women in the world. No request is ever too big or detailed—we strive to make each shopping experience a perfect journey. Thus, we often serve the same customer again and again.
NM: How are you planning to reinvent your designs for the Fall/Winter 2018 collection?
LG: The creative process is ongoing with some fantastic fashion-forward designs for Fall/Winter 2018 already arriving at Neiman Marcus. My current visits to Neiman Marcus stores, where I meet and work with customers, are what inspire me when designing the new collection. Be it a fine tailored sable, a remarkable lynx, a plush chinchilla, or my sought-after ultralight reversible mink short coats—it is always the special Neiman Marcus customer that I have in mind when creating each piece.