I was at an event to celebrate Keyboard for Blondes held in conjunction with designer Karolina Zmarlak, who showcased her Spring 2010 collection at the PsPr-hosted event when I spotted a girl in a top that I later found out was from an up-and-coming label called Stone Cold Fox.
Started by two childhood friends — Dallas Wand and Cydney Morris — the label is based in California, where each piece is carefully handmade. Said to be inspired by taxidermy stores, Native American culture, soft fabrics, and Jane Birkin, there is a distinct vintage feel to the collection. I had the chance to ask the designers behind the line a few questions, including where their line’s provocative name stems from….
Q: How did the two of you meet and decide to work together?
A: We met in 2nd grade in Indian Princesses. Our dads hit it off, and so did we, and have been best friends ever since. We were inseparable through high school, and then in college we parted ways to San Francisco and Los Angeles. When we both graduated and moved back home, we didn’t want to start doing the 9-5, so we decided to start our own thing. We have very similar styles and feed off of each other’s ideas, and it makes things stronger. Working with a best friend is great because we get it if one of us has a bad day and we are there for each other to help pick up the pieces. We both want to help each other out and become successful.
Q: How often do you come-out with new pieces?
A: We are going to try to do at least 3 small collections a year. Right now we have been adding onto the debut collection, while currently working on a brand new spring line. We’re constantly thinking of new ideas, but its hard finding the time with starting up a new business and keeping things generating quickly.
Q: What’s your best-seller? Personal favorites?
A: The Chateau Blouse, Godard Dress, the Shawls and Antique Blouses are the most popular. Our favorites tend to be those as well, but we also love the Birkin gown and the Libre jacket. The new collection that is being worked on is in its beginning stages, but we’re really excited about it.
Q: What is it about Jane Birkin and foreign films do you find so inspiring?
A: Jane Birkin is more of a muse, you just have to watch her or other women in old films and you will know what we’re talking about. They capture something that women don’t carry today. The designs are inspired by Native American cultures, taxidermy stores and delicacy in fabrics. The way the fabrics feel and drape are always a major starting point, and I always stick close to our muted color palette. We like to think it’s a little Victorian, a little western, and a little hippie. A collection of our inspirations or things we are enjoying at the moment are at Cydney’s Blog, ViciouslyCyd.blogspot.com
Q: How would you describe your clientele?
A: I would describe our clientele as a free spirited gypsy girl who appreciates delicate items and has a good sense of style. She likes to have a good time and enjoys old tunes, she’s self aware and doesn’t try too hard with the way she dresses.
Q: If you could dress any celebrity, who would it be?
A: Vanessa Paridis, Kemp Muhl, Georgia May Jagger, Joy Bryant, Dree Hemingway, and Lara Stone.
Q: You make every piece by hand, which is incredibly impressive. Is it your goal to keep it that way?
A: Cydney is educated in pattern making, design and construction, so when our clients specify what kind of fit they want, she can adjust it to their liking. Those skills take time, so when a client orders, depending on how busy we are, it can take a few weeks to get the item. Now we are starting to get orders from stores, so we have to hire sewers for larger orders – but doing personal and custom orders is something we will continue with.
Q: Being a small company, how do you go about generating awareness for your brand?
A: Dallas has been educated in marketing, and has done a great job at getting our name out there. Networking with people in the industry, having friends wear the clothes out to events, and being featured in magazines or blogs has really helped let people know about our company. People have responded to the company very positively. I think people like that it’s a new look and an original type of company that is very personal.
Q: I love the name of your line, where did the idea for it originate?
A: We are big fans of Sophia Coppola’s film, The Virgin Suicides, and when Josh Hartnett puts his arm around Kirsten Dunst in the movie theatres, he whispers, “You’re a stone cold fox.” And then he gets up and walks away. It’s a very 1970’s saying, and it’s the girl you become when you wear the clothing.