CHICAGO — Rebecca Taylor whisked through Chicago last Thursday to promote her spring collection at Neiman Marcus while giving shoppers a preview of her upcoming resort collection.
“It came off the machine and I was like, ‘I’ll take that, thank you very much.’ I can never wait,” said Taylor, wearing a navy printed blouse, the first finished piece from her resort 2017 collection, over tea before the Cusp event at Neiman’s on Michigan Avenue. “I’m very excited about prints, color and femininity that has a coolness and edge to it. I think that’s what women are looking for at the moment.”
Like her spring collection, it’s safe to surmise that her resort line will also feature prints, within reason. “I don’t do prints for prints’ sake,” Taylor said. “I’m fascinated by prints and I love piecing prints to create a new fabric. Maybe there will be some printed bottoms, printed denim. I’ve got to get back to New York to finish that up.”
Taylor, who was just in Chicago last October for a retail event, said she enjoys making store appearances and does about two or three a year.
“It’s a nice opportunity to come out and support Neiman’s and also see what’s going on at the stores,” said the designer. “It always makes a huge difference when you actually get to a store, you know? All the information in the world never quite sums up what it’s like, as I say — boots on ground, in the market, seeing what’s going on and seeing what the customers are reacting to. It’s just like really getting more familiar with who the customers are out here.”
Taylor said the industry today is much more about customer-facing — whether via social channels or making connections in person.
“It’s very much marketing geared toward direct leads to the customer,” Taylor said. “You have your Web site now and you have so many different outlets that you can use to promote your brand. Those outlets see a lot more people than a [fashion] show does.”
More than 100 guests attended the Cusp event, and customers gravitated toward Taylor’s printed looks, such as a printed maxidress retailing for $495.
“The audience adored her look, her personable personality and feminine flair,” said Caroline Maguire, contemporary fashion director at Neiman Marcus. “The shoppers loved her prints and print ensembles — what she is known for.”
The Cusp event also featured fashion blogger Kelly Larkin, from Kelly in the City, “Chicago’s Best” TV Host Brittney Payton and SoulCycle instructor Jaclyn Mitgang.
But don’t expect Taylor to become a SoulCycle regular anytime soon.
“I don’t think I could,” she said. “I’m trying to get someone to start a class in New York that’s set to classic disco music, Eighties music and Nineties house. I need more disco. I’m like a disco girl. Almost like a wine club/workout. It’s kind of like you go to a bar, but you don’t have to wait until 11 at night, then we have a trained professional there who takes you through a lot of moves that are all dance-inspired, but you have a glass of wine.”