BARNEYS TEAMS WITH SEYMOUR: Stephanie Seymour is about to up her fashion status beyond supermodel to add lingerie entrepreneur.
Through a partnership with designer Casey Paul, the former Victoria’s Secret model will unveil the Raven & Sparrow collection at a “slumber soiree” at Barneys New York on Feb. 9. The pair took inspiration from Seymour’s personal archives and their respective mothers’ and grandmothers’ underpinnings. Working from the company’s atelier located at 336 West 37th Street, Seymour and Paul have created one-of-a-kind intricate designs such as silky lace-trimmed negligees and coordinating robes.
Having worked in fashion (particularly lingerie) for so many years, Seymour said Wednesday that she has “a unique perspective on style.” Still widely known for her Victoria’s Secret Angel-ship, she brings more knowledge to the category than the average executive. As an avid collector of vintage fashion, Seymour said she “has become very inspired by the workmanship of those historic pieces. Aware that the market was lacking in comparable quality designs, she said, “I feel that dressing for bed is a lost art form. It’s a ritual I find important in my own life.”
In terms of the actual process, she said, “Everything from fabrication to fit has been done with deliberation and care. It’s critical to me that each piece in the collection is something I want to wear myself.”
She started sketching her designs 10 years ago, recalling how transformative garments can be. She first applied for the Raven & Sparrow trademark in 2013.
While the all-black raven is intrinsically linked to Edgar Allan Poe, the entrepreneurs had something else in mind with the name. Raven & Sparrow’s aim is to create “haute lingerie as high art — bewitching and bespoke, impeccably draped and worthy of what Seymour calls ‘the divine ritual of dressing for bed.’ The label represents the dualities of femininity — the dark and the mysterious midnight raven, the light and innocent little sparrow,” according to a press release for the brand.
This isn’t Paul’s first go-round in design, having developed and sold a collection Speer and Paul with Kami Speer years ago when they first graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Speer is now pitching in with Raven & Sparrow, Paul said Wednesday. Paul has worked as stylist, having advised clients like Lisa Ling, Kelly Ripa, Parker Posey, Bernadette Peters and others. But Paul said Wednesday now all of her time is dedicated to Seymour and Raven & Sparrow. In 2011, Paul and Seymour first teamed up, sharing an interest and appreciation for vintage fashion and couture craftsmanship. Their 18-piece lingerie collection will retail from $200 to $950 with the average item retailing between $500 and $600, Paul said.
Intentionally planned to launch before Valentine’s Day, Raven & Sparrow will be sold at Barneys Madison Avenue store and its Beverly Hills location, as well as the retailer’s e-commerce site. Raven & Sparrow expects to unveil its own site in the next week or so, but e-commerce will be added at a later date, Paul said. With their launch party set for the first night of New York Fashion Week, they are still figuring out the final guest list, she added.