NEW YORK — Dorian May isn't just another well-to-do Upper East Side mother dabbling in fashion. The new designer comes at it with a wealth of experience.
May studied journalism at New York University, and did a stint at Parsons Paris School of Art & Design. During graduate school, she landed a job on CNN's "Style With Elsa Klensch," followed by work on fashion and lifestyle segments for Fox and "Access Hollywood," before successfully branching out as a personal shopper. She decided to launch her own collection, she said, after coming out of the "big school of hard knocks, being in dressing rooms seven days a week."
"I have dressed so many women, and different body types," she added.
May's spring collection strikes a preppy, uptown note, with little dresses that have a vintage feel and details such as faux snakeskin necklines, and cozy knitted cardigans. "This season, I called it 'That Girl in Paris,' because that's how I feel," May said, during a recent presentation of her line in her home with extensive city views. "You think of Marlo Thomas, infused with a little bit of Jackie [Onassis] and Lee [Radziwill], but in Europe."
That said, she even has dresses named after her two daughters: a little pink number that oozes occasion and preppiness called Lilia, and a dress with faux snakeskin details called Athena, because "she's a little foxier," May said.
Dresses wholesale from $480 to $795, while knitwear wholesales from $200 to $360. The spring line has already been picked up by Kirna Zabete here, Hirshleifer's in Manhasset, N.Y., Stanley Korshak in Dallas, Jamie in Nashville and Hugo Nicholson in Toronto. For the first year, wholesale sales projections are close to $500,000.
"My idol is Diane von Furstenberg," May said, adding she even went dressed as the designer for Halloween last year, teaming a vintage DVF python-print, two-piece ensemble, a black wig, hat and oversize glasses. "Her clothes are sensible, and women who wear them are not undermined by the dresses. They stand on their own." And, she added, "I won best costume."
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