Friday, September 20, 2013


Marissa Webb is certainly a designer who joins the ranks of designers I personally love.

Born in Korea and raised in the United States, Marissa Webb has always had an intimate and creative relationship with fashion. Marissa Webb dedicated 11 years designing for J.Crew — a span of time during which the mass retailer experienced a fashion renaissance and became a veritable style mecca — and last year she decided she’s going it alone with her own collection, showcasing her very personal aesthetic and approach to business. Unlike other reviews I've done this will probably have abit more focus on the designer. Below is an excerpt of the interview she did with Harper Bazaar just before showcasing her debut collection Spring 2013

Marissa Webb. I love her personal style which has greatly influenced her collections since she parted ways with J. Crew

The Interview:
Harper’s Bazaar: What was on your mind when you began designing the collection?Marissa Webb: I actually went through a very different process this season and I think that was because I was able to just do what I love to do — designing things that I really covet myself and want in my closet. It was a different way of starting because I didn’t have the extravagant mood board at the beginning as much as I was just sketching instinctively. My personal approach is about the play on opposites. I always call it a contradiction because at some level, the soft and the hard, the really edgy urban and the softer more feminine, contradict each other, but at the same time they complement each other.
HB: I know the last time we talked you were doing your final J. Crew collection and you had said that you were drawn to Greece, do you have a similar direct inspiration source for this collection?MW: I was more organic with it. I didn’t have to tell a story. It was actually a reflection of my life at the time because I’ve been going through gut renovations at my house and getting into architecture, furniture and different metals, different woods, while also spending time at the beach and in the suburbs. I just allowed myself to be influenced by what was around me.
HB: What has launching your own line been like in reality versus what you anticipated when you first left J. Crew?MW: That is a really great question. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. It’s been a really amazing experience. Thinking back to the day that I opened the door to the studio I was like ‘okay this is going to be my studio,’ and ‘I’m just going to come here every day and sketch!’ [laughs]. It hasn’t happened that way because of all of the unexpected buzz around the launch. It’s been really nice and humbling to have everyone interested in what we’re doing. I kind of like expected to sort-of slip back in gradually and just have a small little business and grow it slowly. The support has been really positive, even before anyone’s seen anything. It’s...heartwarming.
HB: You are launching with shoes, bags and jewelry. What prompted you to introduce these categories right out of the gate?MW: Well I did not anticipate starting with bags, really, or shoes, at all. But it was three months down the road and I was like ‘oh my god! What are they going stand in? What are they going to walk in? Where are they going put their stuff?’ I am a jewelry junkie myself so I asked, 'what can we do that’s brand appropriate, that we feel proud about, and that’s ours?' I think it’s really important for everything to come out being ours. Even if we were running at the last minute, my amazing team will get it done. So we were happy that we were able to actually get shoes here on time, get some jewelry here on time. There were a few handbags made, but it was not in the plans, at all.
Every day there’s a new challenge, every day there’s a new lesson to be learned, and I’m learning a tremendous amount. Don’t even get me started on social media!
HB: What has engaging on the different social media platforms been like for you? It really gives you access to your customer.MW: It’s kind of funny, but the people that tweet at me on a regular basis or people who write to me on our Pinterest boards or now on our Instagram, are almost more like my friends now. I like to respond and I think it’s important. And they’re obviously rooting for you, and supporting you, and I want to give that back.
HB: Were you surprised the personal fan base that you had just starting your own line?MW: I didn’t expect anything at all. In the honest truth, I thought I would start making a couple little items and going to each boutique, knocking on the door and being like 'Hello, [laughs] I have, a couple items I would love to share with you!'
HB: So you would have gone door to door if you had to?MW: That’s what I would’ve done!
HB: What are some of your favorite looks from the collection?MW: I love all the leather pieces. I really, really like the jackets. I think it’s one of those areas that we’ve been able to really explore and push. They start out as a very classic silhouette, each one then has something to it that give it a little extra design element and we can just exaggerate design lines and exaggerate the fits. It’s been really fun making each decision as it comes.

Marissa Webb Spring 2013: Sparkles at the Office . With this collection Marissa showed women how to shine at the office without blinding the boss

The coolness of this outfit would surely break any scale. I'd probably have practiced law if I could go to work like this. Marissa Webb Spring 2013
I usually hate suits but this one rocks! Marissa Webb Spring 2013
Like Marissa Webb, I love contrasts and the leather vest makes the sophisticated dress have an edge. Again if clients weren't too snooty perhaps I would still be a banker! haha
This outfit is not something i would wear but I love it's classic style. The shoes add just the right amount of pop.
Of course I love this outfit. The leather pants are just the right fit. I'm not too crazy about the shoes but the chiffon top with embroidered vest are a good soft contrast to the leather. Again this should be acceptable work wear.  Marissa Webb Spring 2013
I am sure most would picket at the thought of shorts being worn in the office but its just another limit we unnecessarily pout on ourselves. Obviously not everyone can pull this look but I think it looks fab. Marissa Webb 2013
'Nuff said!

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