Design Entrepreneurs NYC Spotlight: Astrid Brucker of Astridland

Can you tell us about your line?

Astridland is a contemporary women’s apparel brand that strives to dress the modern woman with flair, providing innovative, original but subtle pieces that are minimal yet bold. Our collections transcend seasons and can be worn day to night and year after year.

When did you start it?

We launched Astridland in 2008 when we did a Supima fashion show at Gotham Hall.

Why did you start it?

We worked in the fashion industry and designed costumes for movies. When Astrid needed a dress for a movie premiere she created her own and then added tops, tunics, and jackets to round out the collection.

Can you give us three words to describe the brand?

Minimal, bold, timeless

What’s your brand signature?

Our Denim Goddess gown has been widely featured and gets a lot of attention but our Issa top is our best seller!

What your favorite piece in the collection?

The Isis dress.  It’s loose, yet has a defining shape and it’s affordable and comfortable.

Why did you apply to DENYC?

We started a business plan but never completed one and needed guidance on how to grow the business.

What do you get out of the program?

We learned how to better structure the company, and understand how to implement changes in regards to marketing, finances, sales and public relations.

What’s the best part of being a NYC designer?

Astridland is made in NYC because we have access to so many resources here; skilled craftspeople, a great assortment of suppliers and the best trade shows.

Can you tell us a fun fact?

Astrid Brucker loves classical ballet and enjoys taking classes. While moving through each position, she often thinks of fluid silhouettes that accentuate the body. Ballet and fashion design have a common theme: it’s all about the line.

Learn more about the brand at Astridland.

Design Entrepreneur Spotlight: Jacqueline Stone of Salt + Stone

Our latest interview is with design entrepreneur Jacqueline Stone of Salt + Stone. Learn more about her company, why she likes being a New York-based designer and check out her fun fact!

When did you start Salt + Stone?

We finished production on our line in May and will officially launch the collection on our website, www.saltandstone.com in July.

Why did you start it?

We wanted to offer fashion forward fine jewelry that was available to our consumer at a reasonable price point. While we do have some high priced items, we believe that true design is priceless. We want our consumers and our fans to rethink fine jewelry and to start to fall in love with it again. We also recognize that behind every fine jewelry purchase is a story. Whether it’s a graduation gift, baby gift, wedding band, engagement or something beautiful for yourself, we want Salt + Stone to be the brand that helps you create that story.

What are three words to describe your brand?

Sophisticated, classic and whimsical.

Salt + Stone Diamond Castle

Why did you apply to DENYC?

Jewelry is our number one love, our passion. We understand that fashion is a business and in order to pursue this craft to our utmost potential we also need to be business-minded. We applied to DENYC to gain a better understanding about marketing, sales, public relations and finances. We wanted to help Salt + Stone grow.

What do you hope to get out of the program?

We hope to make new friends, write a killer business plan and have a stronger vision for where the company is headed.

What is Salt + Stone’s signature?

Our owl rings get us noticed, but it is our celestial chain necklace that achieves the most sales. We can’t keep it in stock!

Salt + Stone Owl Rings

Do you have a favorite piece?

The Celestial Bracelet. It is beautifully constructed and is reminiscent of the starry night sky. It’s a perfect example of our use of clean lines and chaotic stone placement. Beauty lies in the world’s imperfections and we hope to capture some of that magic in our work.

Salt + Stone Celestial Bracelet

What’s the best part of being a NYC designer?

It’s all here! There is more talent concentrated in this city than anywhere in the world. We are blessed to work with some of the most talented goldsmiths and silversmiths on the street (Diamond District).

Can you tell us a fun fact?

The company was started after our lead designer, Jacqueline Stone, came back from a life changing trip to Buzios, Brazil in 2007. This small beach village was made famous in the 1960s as it was a favorite destination of Brigette Bardot. There is a statue of her in the middle of the town. Jacqueline was inspired by the colors, creativity and the joie de vivre of the Brazilian people. She tries to incorporate that spirit in her work.

Learn more about Jacqueline Stone at Salt + Stone. 

Behind the Scenes With Between The Sheets

Layla L’obatti, Arden Leigh and Treacle Tart from the Lingerie Addict

This week we had a chance to meet up with Between The Sheets, an effortlessly sensual and no doubt comfortable line of lingerie that’s Made in New York during their market week. We got a preview of their spring/summer 2013 collection, sat in on an editor appointment and learned more about the label.

Here are some fun facts about the brand and their new collection:

  • Between The Sheets began as a fashion show event that Layla L’obatti founded while she was a sophomore specializing in intimates at FIT. The show ran for three years and was covered in Women’s Wear Daily and drew an audience close to 1000 people during its final season.
  •  Every Between The Sheets collection uses some sort of clever combination of the word play (e.g. Airplay, Venus in Play) and is stamped on their label. Spring 2013 is all about shades of heather grey, ambrosia, and olympian blue in draped jersey knits that are soft, easy and are perfect to lounge in.
  •  Their premium line, Layla L’obatti for Between The Sheets uses silk rolls, lace folds and velvet bows for their Arabesque collection. You’ll see delicate bralettes and tap pants, gorgeous robes and surprising versatile stretch velvet garters (you can wear it as a belt too) that will make you want a new wardrobe!
  • Both of their collections are made in two separate facilities in NYC, one that specializes in cut and sew knitwear and one in silks. The sewers and workers at each of these facilities are highly specialized in their handling of these specific materials.
  • Each piece of lace in their Arabesque collection is meticulously hand cut. The tap pant & gown has six pieces and the wrap robe has eight that need to be cut to exact angles for each size in order to fit on the body of the garment. These pieces are then stitched together with zero tolerance because they have to form a perfect miter, then appliquéd to the silk, and finally the silk behind is cut away to create the cut-out design. They hand cut hundreds of pieces of lace between our fall/spring production of these styles.
Learn more about the brand at Between The Sheets.