If this is the first time you're hearing the name Jonathan Simkhai, well, it's a major coup that The Met Fashion House Day Spa & Salon on St. Armands Circle is hosting Jonathan and his spring arrivals—along with a preview of his Fall 2018 collection—this Thursday, March 22, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Simkhai's designs seek to embolden women and have an easy, modern versatility, achieved by his impeccable use of customized fabrics, romantic detailing, linear lines and contoured silhouettes.
Based in New York, Simkhai launched his eponymous label in 2010 after years of experience as a buyer and merchandiser. He honed his technical skills at Parsons School of Design (yes, he's a fellow New School alum!) and the Fashion Institute of Technology. The early success of his label propelled Simkhai into the CFDA fashion incubator program, and in 2015 Simkhai became the winner of the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.
If you'd to get style advice straight from Simkhai himself, he'll be at The Met from 12-3 p.m. Until then, here are all the details behind his line.
You clearly design for the modern woman who loves luxe ready-to-wear. Is there someone in particular who informs your design aesthetic?
It’s the strong women around me who inspire my collections! They include my friends, clients and amazing female colleagues within the industry. I’m always drawn to women who carry themselves with confidence and have a strong point of view.
What inspires you?
The desire to create something new that will make women happy is always present. Ever since I worked in the stockroom of a clothing store when I was 14, I've loved helping women put looks together and seeing how a great outfit fills them with joy. I want each piece I design to have that effect.
What experiences helped inform your craft?
Working in retail helped me understand fit and proportions. I honed my skills when I started my own line in a tiny office in the garment district; I worked closely with the pattern makers. Understanding the full process from start to finish is key, and after doing it for many years, I know what works.
How did winning the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2015 change your world?
The whole process was life-altering. They put you through so much and the experience makes you grow as a designer and a business owner very quickly. Winning opened a lot of doors for me, including the ability to expand my line to include eveningwear and swimwear. That being said, the hard work never stops and the experience still motivates me to this day.
What would you love to see more women do when it comes to their style?
It’s always fun to add a little texture to an outfit. One of my favorite fabrics is lace, and I love incorporating it into blouses, dresses and even knitwear. It’s those details that really make an outfit shine.