His accumulating was one of the surprises of the abatement division at Los Angeles Appearance Week. It wasn’t addition jeans-and-sweats fest. Instead, it was absolutely in footfall with what was activity on in Europe, and abounding of fall’s new accommodation — a atramentous airship sleeve anorak beat belted over leggings, a anorak top cinched over a absolute high-waist pencil skirt, and a bubble-shaped, black-and-white checkerboard accouterment alveolate Balenciaga.
But back David Meister came out to booty a aerodrome bow, it was the aboriginal time abounding bodies had anytime laid eyes on him. No newcomer, this artist has an 8-year-old, $40-million business that bears his own name. You ability alike accept a book dress of his blind in your closet appropriate now, bought at one of the 400 food that backpack the band nationwide, including Saks, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus.
But aloof who is David Meister, anyway?
For starters, he’s one of alone 18 designers this year to be arrive to accompany the celebrated Board of Appearance Designers of America based in New York. Acceptance, afterwards a arduous appliance action acute belletrist of reference, sketches and more, is a arresting that a artist has arrived, and an befalling to arrangement with top bodies in the industry.
Still, appropriate now, if he’s accepted at all, it’s for “better dresses.” In appearance chat that agency his $300 to $400 styles aren’t expensive, but aren’t bargain either, and they chase trends, instead of starting them. In stores, his clothes adhere aing to those of added faceless labels like ABS and Theory.
“There are some bodies who appear to Neiman Marcus back I accomplish appropriate appearances, but abounding added don’t apperceive me,” said Meister, 43.
At a contempo editors cafeteria at the Chateau Marmont, he wore brittle biscuit pants, a T-shirt and a horse-bit belt — able and in control, except for his half-bitten fingernails. He is not as acquisitive to allocution about himself as some designers, which is a nice thing. And he cast to laugh, a acute laugh, which he lets out back abandoning a few agrarian canicule at the University of Cincinnati.
Meister aloof about chose architecture academy over medical school. He has been accepted to leave himself articulation mail letters back afflatus strikes, and he says the seminal moment in his artistic development came at age 8, back “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour” aboriginal aired.
“At the end of the credits it said ‘Cher’s accoutrement by,’ and it fabricated me apprehend addition did this for a living.”
He launched his band in 1998, afterwards designing for Laundry and Danskin. Now, he’s acquisitive to body a affairs cast with licenses for sunglasses, shoes, swimwear, and his own boutiques.
The aerodrome appearance was a acceptable alpha — about all black, on trend, and sophisticated, afar abroad from the floral dresses that are a Meister signature. “I’ve consistently been about avant-garde and abundant appearance and it was aloof demography it to the aing level,” he said.
Though he affairs to appearance his bounce accumulating at L.A. Appearance Week in October, this ages is about the Emmys. It’s his aboriginal attack into the celebrity bathrobe d — “some appealing big people” is all he would divulge. But he’s acute about activity too Hollywood, or too aerial fashion.
“It’s aces back you see a accumulating and it’s aloof abounding with ideas,” he said. “But in reality, that doesn’t sell. I appetite to advance it as far as I can but still be astute to my customer. It’s about authoritative a woman feel acceptable and attending good. It’s not about the clothes.”
Besides actuality accepted to the architecture council, his band was best up by Canada’s Holt Renfrew, and a few added specialty stores, he said.
“I appetite bodies to apperceive I’m a absolute person, that I accept a affection for what’s avant-garde and adult and pretty,” he said. “I appetite them to apperceive I angle for fun and I’m not this serious, uptight, ego-driven designer.”
Meister commutes from a streamlined, mid-century avant-garde abode in the Hollywood Hills to his offices in the City of Industry. He is allotment of the Kellwood Co., one of the arch accoutrement marketers of mid-priced brands such as Phat Farm, Baby Phat, Democracy and Sag Harbor.
On a contempo visit, he showed me about the characterless bottle building, a bewilderment of duplicate corridors and staircases. The barn is aeroplane aerodrome huge, abounding of clothes accessible to be shipped. The architecture offices for the altered brands attending the same, cubicles with accouterment racks. On one arbor hangs a atramentous D&G about-face dress, for afflatus perhaps.
Sales accept been able for fall, said aggregation admiral Gail Cook, and licensing is on the horizon. But accepting Meister’s name out there is the aboriginal priority.
“Once you get to a assertive point it doesn’t matter,” Cook said. “Ellen Tracy is a 50-year-old aggregation and she was there for 45, so her abrogation didn’t awfully affect cast recognition. But in the aboriginal stages it’s like a grass-roots political campaign.”
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