By  on July 9, 2012

On an oppressively hot June afternoon in New York City, Marissa Webb’s 11th Street studio is an oasis of calm and cool, so much so that she’s comfortable in a long-sleeve leather tunic. Just six months into her new venture, Webb’s setup bears none of the chaotic energy or ad hoc decoration of the typical new designer studio. Everything — chandeliers, a vintage typewriter — is in its place, and looks like it has been for years. Webb can’t help it. “My nickname is shark,” she says, sipping a Red Bull. “Sharks by nature will die if they stop moving.”

For spring, she’s launching the Marissa Webb Collection, with a presentation during New York Fashion Week. While this is her first independent line, Webb is not new to the business. J. Crew loyalists might recognize her as the former head of women’s design for the company, where she became increasingly visible as the face of the women’s collection. She joined the brand in 2000 and stayed through its transformation from sleepy prepster standby to phenomenon of the relatively accessible fashion world before she left in 2011.

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