I know you've seen the posts I've done recently featuring Annie Griffin's Fall line, and I was able to have a little chat with the designer herself about all things AGC. If you haven't seen the line, you're going to love the easy easy easy to wear shapes and fantastic colors and prints. The most appealing part is the versatility: I have worn one of their blouses to work in the office all day, then tossed on jeans, heels, and jewels and felt good about going out. I find that very few parts of my wardrobe are capable of playing both parts so seamlessly. On to the good stuff: it's so fantastic to see a young (mom-to-be) taking on the fashion industry from such a focused perspective! Read on to learn about what makes Annie Griffin tick, sisterly love, and her take on fashion!
Q&A: Annie Griffin Collection
What inspires you when designing a new collection?
My inspiration is really everything around me in my daily life. I am inspired by nature, interiors, my closet, architecture, my travels, you name it...I am always looking for things that catch my eye.
How did you decide to take the leap into designing your own line?
Looking back, I’m not sure where the courage came from. It was very trying at times being out there by myself when I first started. Design is what I love, but learning the ins and outs of how to run a start-up business were by far the most challenging aspects for me. When my sister started working with me things became a lot easier, as she was the sales person I desperately needed. Trying to do it by myself was too challenging, and Robin was great at networking and making sales!
Speaking of, you work with your sister Robin (who manages AGC's marketing), how is working together?
Robin became a partner last year. Being partners, as well as sisters, certainly has its challenges, but for the most part our personalities tend to compliment each other in business. Robin has never met a stranger which plays out beautifully in sales, and I'm a bit shy and love to design. It’s been great having her here to offer advice during the design process & to get her feedback from sales.
You girls are native Memphians (I hope that's a word), do you plan to keep Annie Griffin's operations based in the South? Is it inherently Southern?
Yes, we will definitely stay based in the South. Robin and I have both had brief stints in NYC and have appreciated our time there, but being in the South is where we love to be. As for the boutiques that carry our line, I'd say we are primarily in the southeast and east coast, but are picking up a nice following in the Midwest and West Coast.
Who is the "Annie Griffin Girl"?
She is youthful, luxurious, and current. She has an appreciation for classic American style, and is always looking for the best option for a day to night wardrobe. *
*see she thinks so too!
Who are your style icons?
I have grown up following Milly by Michelle Smith. I love how she has created a lifestyle brand that has a very devout following. I remember when you could only find her clothes in boutiques, but now I see the line at Neiman's, Saks etc. I love how she waited for the big stores. I want them to be knocking down our door before we head in that direction. I am inspired by her patience and her desire to grow organically. She grew as her company grew, and I believe that is why she has such a great following. *
*I absolutely love her philosophy on growing a brand
What has been your biggest moment as a designer?
Showing at our first fashion show in New Orleans and participating for the first time in the ENK Coterie Trade Show have been extremely exciting moments, but I'd have to say my biggest moment as a designer is receiving the reorders. It’s very validating to see stores sell out and order more. Also, today we received some exciting news! Our Rebecca dress was featured on Gossip Girl’s, Alice Callahan, on VOGUE.com. (!!!)
Top 5 Wardrobe Must-Haves from the AGC girls:
Right now, I am loving the structured fit of the Chelsea Skirt and the Lela Ruffle Dress from Fall. I plan to pair my Chelsea Skirt with my white Kirin Blouse (all from Annie Griffin). I will wear both with ribbed, black tights and pumps. I am loving my new Lela Suede Wedge Pumps by Rosegold*, and my Falke Elegance Ribbed Tights.
*I want to co-sign these pumps. You need them. EXCELLENT style and price.
Right now my favorite pieces in my closet include my black Annie Griffin tunic, Hudson light wash flare jeans, Rag and Bone Booties, my white Annie Griffin Lucy blouse, which is a MUST HAVE, and my staple necklace from Grayling*. It makes every outfit I wear that much more fabulous.
*Get Rag & Bone Booties. Any of them. They will fill any wardrobe void. Be SURE to check out Robin's Grayling necklace, it IS FABULOUS.
Such a fun sister-duo, and best best wishes to Annie, who is expecting soon! Check out their website to see who carries AGC near you. If you're in Raleigh you can find them in Charlotte's!