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New York Called Stephanie Waldrip

Stephanie Waldrip"Some kids grow up with hopes of becoming a cop--I always knew I wanted to be a designer," Stephanie Waldrip told me as we sat down to conversation. The young fashion designer may be a fairly new kid on the block but her collections are mature--in a sexy kind of way. I immediately fell in love with Stephanie as she enthusiastically spoke about her charmed life in New York City.Stephanie WaldripStephanie was born in Georgia and attended SCAD in Atlanta. Her senior year Stephanie was mentored by well renown designer, Rachel Roy. Stephanie's kind words led me to believe that Rachel's gracious and calm energy further motivated her to pursue design. By the end of her senior year, she was offered an assistant position to a designer living in New York City. She excitedly took residence in Manhattan and quickly began making contacts in the Garment District.Stephanie WaldripAfter working as a designer's assistant, Stephanie decided to start her own label. After all, her previous position had her well prepared with contacts and experience. The most important part was finding the right fabrics. She now sources the finest European textile mills. The history of the mills combined with the origination of fabric are part of the story behind her collections.Stephanie Waldrip"I'm infatuated with the mills that have been around for 200+ years--some of which run the towns in which they're located. People need to know these things. That's why we put tags on our garments with messages about the history of the fabric."Stephanie WaldripThe brand is only two years old, with the first collection released in Fall 2012. You could say Stephanie's met success thus far--moving to New York, starting her own line, getting picked up by Shopbop, designing a custom dress for Lady Gaga, and meeting her boyfriend (yes she met him on a night out in the city). Stephanie is grateful for the opportunity she's had and optimistic about the future. She's making beautiful and classic silhouettes with unique fabrications that really are investment pieces.Stephanie Waldrip"You have to work hard and treat people right, especially in the Garment District," Stephanie explained. And I'd agree that a sense of entitlement will prevent others from supporting you. Instead Stephanie takes the time to speak with the mills and build valuable relationships that positively affect her brand. Take the skirt above for example. inspired by an ariel view of the Great Barrier Reef, the print was exclusively customized for her collection.Stephanie WaldripAlthough Stephanie seems to work round the clock, she still has time to enjoy those New York moments that make living in the city such a pleasure. She mentioned that sigh of relief New Yorker's take after passing through a crowded Times Square, finally reaching the next, less crowded, neighborhood (which is only blocks away). She also mentioned her love for the simple things--like her mashed potatoes from Raoul's, a restaurant favorite in her SoHo neighborhood. These New York traditions are important parts of everyday life. They keep you motivated and energized while giving you something to look forward to at a long day's end.Stephanie WaldripI loved chatting with Stephanie about her experiences in New York and her brand in general. She is a sweetheart and someone I plan on following closely in the industry. Her current plan is to continue expansion into retail stores. Stephanie's Fall 2013 collection is inspired by The Wild Horses of Sable Island Gallery in New York City, where she was captivated by Roberto Dutesco's photos of wild horses on Sable Island, a small area of land in the Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia. You can see the collection here.Stephanie WaldripMake sure to follow Stephanie Waldrip on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and see more on her website here.

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