Jeffrey Monteiro went from under-the-radar editor's darling to mainstream talent seemingly overnight when he was chosen to lead Bill Blass into the next decade. He told us, however, he's still focused on his own nearly two-year-old line, and even plans to expand the Jeffrey Monteiro line so many indie gals have grown to love by including knitwear, accessories, more.
The first shipment of his latest collection -- which bears more than a few influences from stints at Derek Lam and (personal favorite) Jane Mayle -- hits Barneys in February, not long after the designer will take the reins at Bill Blass, and the designer took time from his new busy schedule to give us a few insights into his signature line and some of his less-well-known passions (who knew he collected vintage apothecary pieces)?
What are your plans for Jeffrey Monteiro in 2010?
In 2010, I’m working to further expand the Jeffrey Monteiro brand by experimenting more with knitwear, footwear and accessories.
How would you describe the style of the line, the woman who wears it?
The style of the line is a mix of eclectic ease and sophistication. The Jeffrey Monteiro woman is strong and confident in her personal style; she gravitates toward easy designs fully functional for her daily lifestyle and the choices she makes.
What are your biggest influences -- both conceptual and brick-and-mortar?
I am inspired by life. I love to walk around the city and notice people; how all of our realities oscillate and leave impressions on each other. I thought this was beautiful and very poetic. Other main influences are Art and Architecture -- I love the work of contemporary photographers such as Hendrik Kerstens and Robert Polidori and the egalitarian profoundness of Diller, Scofidio and Renfro. I can't wait for the Jean Nouvel projects to be finished in the city -- first the West Chelsea building then Brooklyn Bridge Park pavilion for Jane's Carousel and -- if it ever gets built -- the new MoMA Building.
I am also inspired by Dia: Beacon for the collection and the reuse of space at its best, and Moss to escape the in pure indulgence of design. Also Penine Hart Antiques -- I am always looking to make additions to my collection of vintage apothecary receptacles.