BY: GIBSON JOHNS
At the intimate Navy restaurant in SoHo on the eve of New York Fashion Week, fashion's de facto first family celebrated one of its own: The Alana Hadid x Lou & Grey launch party saw Alana, Gigi, Bella and Mohamed Hadid mingling intimately with the line's designers, friends and press over cocktails and oysters.
I spoke to Alana ahead of the launch about the support that her and her sisters give to one another, so to see it in person made it that much more special. There was familial love in the air.
Lou & Grey, which is a lifestyle brand that combines classic design and unexpected ease, teamed up with Alana Hadid in what it describes as "a true collaboration between the LA based tastemaker and the NY based Lou & Grey design team." And the natural chemistry between their aesthetics was apparent earlier this week at the launch.
Clad in head-to-toe Lou & Grey (including her signature clutch and a show-stopping yet-to-be-released velvet jumpsuit), Alana talked to me about strangers wearing a sweatshirt with her name on it, getting hands-on in the production process and the importance of everything feeling organic, among other things.
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Check out my exclusive conversation with Alana for AOL below:
So great to speak with you again and see the collaboration come to fruition! Tell me a little bit about the products you're debuting.
What's really exciting about this part of the collection is we're doing the clutches, we have more bandanas, we have a sweatshirt that has my name on it. I had said to [the designers] before, you know, maybe we could do three-quarter-length sleeves on the sweatshirt, but then my boyfriend (who's obsessed with them) said, "Why don't you make them full-length and then just DIY the three-quarter-length yourself?"
And that's actually something that we got to do today, which was so much fun. It worked out really well, it looks so cool. I'm obsessed with them. And, yes, I know that it sounds weird to say that you're obsessed with something that has your name on it, but it's really humbling that people are saying they want one. I was afraid that I was going to put my name on the sweatshirt and nobody would want one. But people really do want it.
That must be pretty surreal!
Yeah! It's very surreal. I'm going to be the one who's like, "Can I have a picture with you?" and they're going to be so freaked out. It's a nickname my mom gave me as a baby, so it's so cool that it's stuck with me. She's actually here, along with my dad [Mohamed] who surprised me! I got teary when I saw him.
Tell me a little bit more about this clutch that you're holding.
We're doing a few iterations of this clutch. [In addition to the one I'm holding,] we're going to do a black one with disco hologram foil, we're doing a white one, a rose gold one ... It's exciting.
We actually traveled to Kansas City, MO to collaborate with 5 Points, which is a collective of artistic minds, and it was amazing because I got to connect so much more deeply with the clutches and now they really feel like my babies. It was so hands-on, and I got to help make them myself.
And that seems to be so important: Understanding the entire process from start to finish to gain a true appreciation for the product and everyone involved.
Exactly. I appreciate it, I know what work has gone into it, I feel so connected to it. It's such a beautiful piece, and knowing how many amazing people worked on one bag is so cool and makes me feel really great about it. It's amazing to see all of the behind the scenes work.
See the Alana Hadid x Lou & Grey products:
So you also mentioned that you're introducing another bandana. Can you tell me more about that?
Yes -- the new one has lavenders and army greens and grays in a really cool paisley pattern. Army green is like my color and adding lavender for a little something girly is super important, but they're also still kind of androgynous and fun. It harkens back to almost like an ascot with a modern twist. They've really let me pretty much run free on my ideas and inspirations. It's been the best experience.
We also have a few other things on the way that I can't really talk about, but just know that it's nothing to be just accessories.
Do you have any plans to distribute your collection to social influencers to get the word out?
The plan for me is to just have it on my friends who have all expressed that they really want them. I want it to be organic. I don't want to force it on anyone and be like, "Hey! Take an Instagram of this piece!"
I want them to do it because they want to. The social media savvy people out there know when something isn't real, so I want it to be real. There's been a genuine response that I'm excited about, and I hope that it continues.
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