Designer Wayne Lee launched her eponymous collection in 2007 and has been racking up the accolades ever since -- including the Ecco Domani Fashion Fund award in 2008 and as a finalist in the 2009 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. We chatted with the eight-months pregnant Lee at her Resort ’12 presentation -- her first time doing resort -- on her inspiration for the collection and how her spring line is shaping up.
What was your inspiration for Resort?
I was in the Caribbean -- it was my first time there -- and I was in Anguilla. I was really inspired while I was there. The trip was actually my boyfriend’s idea because he thought it would be our last vacation for a while. So we thought, "Okay, let’s just go somewhere super nice that's accommodating for a pregnant person." I was pretty pregnant at that point. While I was there, I was working on my resort collection. It was really nice to just be in that kind of environment working on resort. So that was my inspiration -- sort of French Riviera, stripes and cobalt blue. And there is also a lot of white in the collection.
How important is Resort to growing your business?
This is my first season doing Resort. I think it’s definitely a good addition. As weather patterns are changing and its getting hotter and hotter people are increasingly looking for seasonless clothing. Also, it’s an important season on the selling floor because it stays on the floor for so long.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on Spring right now. Finishing up all of the production. The summer is always a really busy time for designers. My boyfriend is like, "I am going to Cape Cod," and I'm like, "Wait, I can’t go!"
How has your aesthetic evolved in the last few years?
It’s gotten a little bit more minimal, a little bit more classic. I really want to shoot for longevity. Clothes that are quality, that are well made and that will last for a while. As I get older, I want clothes that I can wear all of the time, that have a certain value attached to them. I am trying to keep that feeling in the DNA of the line as I evolve it and make it more elegant and beautiful.
Give us a preview of what you are thinking about for your upcoming Spring collection, which will be shown during September Fashion Week.
I am definitely thinking about color. I am thinking about clothing that is lightweight – not featherweight, but I am using light fabrics. I want to put out something that is very positive and innocent.