Lexus Charleston Fashion Week will gain some extra attention thanks to designer Kate Connick, whose Grammy-winning father Harry Jr. and model mother Jill Goodacre will be in the crowd.
South Carolina is familiar territory for the New York-based designer, who attended Furman University in Greenville for 18 months before later transferring to New York University’s Gallantin School of Individualized Study. In between the two, the former collegiate lacrosse player tore her ACL and decided to take a gap year. While recuperating at home in the Tristate area, she decided to branch out beyond school and sports to plant a New York-born brand.
As was the case when she participated in Greenville Fashion Week, Connick hopes to speak with attendees afterward to get to know them a bit and to see what brought them to the event. Rings representing people and ribbons representing shared ideas that tie everyone together were the starting points for her company, which was founded on the ideas of intimacy and connection. Creating an entirely New York-made collection is encapsulates that.
“Growing up I just noticed how so many designers are making and producing their items outside of the U.S. because it’s cheaper. I just find it to be a little bit of a shortcut with all due respect. I think it’s better to make it within the U.S. especially in New York at the moment, because I love my country and representing. I have met amazing people within the U.S. so I don’t need to go outside,” she said. “It’s been great working with my factory in New York’s garment district and being able to go in and see the working conditions. Knowing there is no child labor or other issues is a good feeling. I can go to bed at night knowing the conditions of the factory.”
Kate Connick Collection is currently sold direct-to-consumer, and via a few New England stores and the Tampa-based subscription clothing service Jackie. Swimwear will be introduced at Friday’s show. A working model signed with Otto in Los Angeles and MMG in New York, Connick is spending the summer in Los Angeles to go to castings and recently booked Country Music TV’s new game show “Nashville Squares.” She also likes to model her own collection and often turns to her mother, a former Victoria’s Secret model, to review pictures, scout photographers together and for other aspects of the business. “She was so amazing and is still as gorgeous as when she first started,” Connick said. “Getting her feedback is always great. I talk to my parents about pretty much everything, which I am very fortunate to have.”
Connick is working on a unisex T-shirt and unisex basketball shorts, partially to offer travel-friendly items that her father can add to his wardrobe. “I don’t have a men’s collection but I am adding more unisex items,” she said. Growing up watching his acting career sparked an interest in acting especially psychological thrillers. Connick said of her parents, “I love their visions and their style. They really want me to follow whatever I want to do — whatever that is. Whether it was going to Furman, NYU, starting a business, playing sports — they ultimately want my happiness.”
Her parents and two sisters, Georgia and Charlotte, will be in the front row Friday night. “We are very close. We are the funniest family I know. All we do is joke around. And we all have the same sense of humor. I don’t know if that is seen from the public eye’s perspective,” Connick said. “I will get to see them for the first time today after a month so I’m really excited about that and having the show bring us all together.”