LOS ANGELES — Erica Davies is finally getting a taste of what it’s like to fly solo.
After years of designing for several other fashion houses — including, most recently, co-creating Richard Tyler’s diffusion line, Tyler — the Welsh-born Angeleno is making the rounds in New York this week introducing the 20-piece designer contemporary brand she’s christened Davies.
“The response has been a little bit overwhelming,” Davies sheepishly admitted by phone Thursday, as she left one appointment with a fashion editor for another with a retailer. She’s already promised to send editorial samples to several major titles, and she joined the Atelier showrooms here and in New York this week.
In the eight years since graduating from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, Davies has designed back-to-back, and at times overlapping, collections for Sportmax and BCBG Max Azria Collection, along with collaborating with Richard Tyler on Byblos and his signature Couture and Collection brands. “When you design for other lines, you can’t help but have part of yourself come through. But this is really me. It reveals my true identity. I’d wear every piece.”
Light steel, shocking jade and raspberry color the first spring delivery of jersey, washed cotton and silk chiffon; muted apricot, washed plum and mushroom in washed silk, cotton piqué and voile are introduced in a later group.
“The line has an androgyny feeling of mixing the masculine and feminine — yet in an almost naïve way: the twisting of a straps, the off-center button,” Davies said.
Details like spaghetti straps knotted through a button hole; burnished nickel military buttons, nips and seams distinguish otherwise simple basics. “I always think I’m not going to do dresses,” she said. “But in the end, they give the line a more feminine sensibility.” Of course, she added nail heads to give them a masculine edge.
Pants wholesale from $110 to $115; dresses, about $120; tops, $50; jackets, $120. First-year sales for the self-financed line are estimated at $1 million.