NEW YORK — The designers of Velvet, a Los Angeles-based T-shirt-driven collection, are dressing up for fall.
Graham & Spencer, the line founded and designed by Jenny Graham and Toni Spencer, co-designers of Velvet, blends the comfortable and wearable aesthetic of Velvet with luxe fabrics and sexy silhouettes resulting in a chic yet easy contemporary collection.
“We want it to be effortlessly glamorous,” Graham said.
“Jenny and I thought there was extremely beautiful and high-priced clothing out there, but that consumers wouldn’t wear them every day because they were too complicated,” Spencer added. “We wanted something stylish and glamorous, but that a woman could wear every day.”
Graham and Spencer experimented with the notion of designing a garment and combining more than one fabric. The result is a multitextured collection where silk habotai, a supersoft Chinese silk, silk charmeuse and laundered wool are contrasted with a lightweight cotton fleece.
“It’s unexpected and beautiful,” Graham said.
The collection consists of tops, dresses, tunics, jackets, coats and leggings designed to be mixed and matched. Spencer said consumers would probably look to Velvet for specific items, but she really wants women to view Graham & Spencer as a full collection that could often be worn together. For instance, laundered wool leggings could be worn with a delicate silk slip. The color palette, incidentally, was deliberately kept neutral. Colors for fall include chocolate brown, black, navy, heather gray and cream.
Wholesale prices for the collection range from $49 for rayon wool leggings to $189 for a silk and fleece coat. The collection is being shown to better specialty stores around the world. Graham said the wholesale volume for the brand’s first year would likely hit $4 million.
Simultaneously producing two lines can’t be easy, but Graham said the pressure sometimes helps to get everyone on the same page. “We have a fantastic team: From the design assistants to production to marketing, everyone knows the pressure we work under and everyone scrambles to get their job done. And,” she added, “we’re women. We multitask.”
Graham & Spencer will operate on a slightly different shipping schedule than Velvet. The new collection will ship five times per year. Velvet will maintain its 12 deliveries per year schedule. The collections are produced in Los Angeles.
“We can’t spend one hour getting dressed in the morning,” Spencer quipped.