Name and Title:
Lindsey Berns - Founder/Creative Director
website: www.lindseyberns.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
My first foray into fashion was at my grandmother’s kitchen table. My grandmother, a former fashion illustrator and designer, collected fabric remnants for me from the seamstresses at work - pleated silk, beaded French lace, embroidered tulle - and taught me how to cut a pattern, turn and top stitch, and sew a button. Introduced to quality and craftsmanship at an early age, I launched my namesake collection in 2011, soon after my niece Rylee was born. She has been my little muse and model from the start, and the collection has truly grown with her. Today, Lindsey Berns has evolved into a burgeoning children’s clothing company, ranging in sizes 12 months to 8 years, and is sold to boutiques across the country and abroad.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
My designs are inherently artistic and labor intensive. By combining the practical with the beautiful, I inject a piece of myself into every single garment. For example, Fall/Winter 2013 was informed by my art history education and love for the Abstract Expressionists. Slouchy denim tunics were appliquéd with ultra-suede paint brushes and splatter paint splotches, mimicking a classic painter’s smock. Spring/Summer 2015 was inspired by the outdoor markets in Provence, the French region where I traveled and studied abroad. Oversized appliqué sunflowers and dancing bumble bees adorned country checked peasant blouses and sun bleached denim skirts. My current Spring/Summer 2017 collection takes a cue from the crisp cool scenery of Santorini and the Greek Isles - featuring bougainvillea flower appliqué, neon embroidery, and hand-cut suede tassels.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The funny thing is…I don’t consider it a “job.” In all honesty, it’s just who I am. I immerse myself in all aspects of my business. On any given day, I am creative director, fabric buyer, production manager, and distributor. From publicist to sales rep, it’s lovely to personally meet with editors and buyers from Chicago and New York to Hong Kong and Tokyo. Furthermore, I style my own campaigns and do all of my own photography seen on my website and social media. I truly do it all. Learning how to manage each and every aspect of my business has provided me with a deep understanding of the company that I am running, and ultimately brings me tremendous joy.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
I cherish the relationships I’ve created with the fabric suppliers in New York City. One of my favorite fabric wholesalers is located high above street level, away from the hustle and bustle of the garment district. They exclusively carry European fabrics, mainly from France and Italy, and specialize in one-of-a-kind prints, limited quantities and small-batch runs of the highest quality cottons, silks, and woven jacquards. I’ve found some of my most beautiful fabrics here and inevitably they are usually the first of my designs to sell out.
How do you benefit mamas?
In choosing a career in fashion design, it seemed only logical to take advantage of the resources close to home. This afforded me the opportunity to work with local pattern makers, seamstresses, and manufacturers, many of whom are women and mothers. These are the people who add value to my company and product. By keeping the entire process local and women-centric, I ensure quality, consistency, and integrity to my designs. In this way, my entire team participates in bringing my designs to life from sketchpad to finished garments. I am proud that this process gives back to the community and represents a true American philosophy.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
Nothing makes me happier than my little customers! I receive phone calls, emails and text messages on a daily basis from mothers, showing off pictures and telling me stories of their daughters wearing my designs. It’s extra special to see my designs passed down to the second and even third child. This motivates me to design children’s clothing that combines high style with ease, comfort, wearability and longevity.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
One of my dearest friends from college is Suzanne Price, founder and CEO of Sprout San Francisco. She started Sprout 8 years ago to help new families find the safest and most natural products for their children. She personally conducts extensive research and vets every product she sells, from organic cotton clothing to solid wood toys and cribs, to make sure it contains no materials that could be harmful. All of Sprout's products are adorable as well! Sprout has stores in Brooklyn, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and online at www.sproutsanfrancisco.com
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
Insecurities are loud, confidence is quiet. I like running a quiet business, steeped in the notion of slow fashion. Because I am confident in my talent and originality, I tend to keep a low-profile, work very hard, and let the product speak for itself. If you do not feel good about your product, no one else will either. I believe that confidence also stems from discipline. You must study your craft, establish a brand strategy, develop a signature, and listen to the marketplace. After all…even passions require plans.