Personally, I am a huge fan of headbands. I love them in all colors and all sizes, especially the large, unnecessarily flamboyant ones. After being inspired by so many brave fashion risk-takers in movies like Sex & the City I was beginning to wonder if that woman really does exist in real life. Meet Robyn English…Who are you?
“[Im originally from Indianapolis but I've been living here in Brooklyn for seven years now] The midwest is such a conservative place. Even as a child I never really fit in. I remember one day in highschool I wore these red and white striped pants with this floral babydoll top and the minute I walked into the cafeteria it became dead silent. People began snickering and commenting. However, I relished in the attention. I knew I was on to something. I love the fact that I’m very unique and I desire to be out of the box and stay out of the box. After moving here, I saw that vintage clothing was a huge market.Shortly after, I started vending in Williamsburg and the city selling all of these great vintage finds I would collect from Indiana when I would return home to visit. Then I decided to open my own vintage store in Brooklyn, jones and Ms. Johnnie. Most of my friends and family thought I was crazy. However, I was very serious and committed. I knew it would manifest eventhough I didn’t have any money or anyone backing me. After my store opened, I started dabbling in design. I was always more of a stylist, but I love being able to tear apart something old and create something new.”
Why do you make headbands?
“It was New Year’s Eve and my boyfriend and I were having our housewarming party. I wanted to create something fabulous for my girlfriends to take home (almost like a party favor). So I started making all of these different hair pieces for them to wear at the party. I made about a dozen and they were all different. They were very girly and festive. I recieved such a great response and said why not turn this into a full time business? The line is inspired by the late Isabella Blow (former fashion editor and muse of Phillip Treacy). She was so over the top with her headwear selections but there was something magical about her. How confident you have to be to pull off a lobster on your head. I design for a specific customer in mind. She’s very confident, sexy, and prides herself on the ability to be able to stand out in a crowd effortlessly.”
Is it hard?
“Designing the pieces come pretty natural. I’m self taught but because I’ve been emersed in fashion my whole life it’s allowed me to be surrouned by some very talented individuals who have and appreciate great style. I pride myself on knowing the history and culture of fashion not just being some fashionista. When I sit in my studio (aka my dining room) and begin to pull my trims and fabrics together the process just flows. Sometimes I just stare at a finished piece for a while imagining “now who’s gonna be the girl that wears this?” My advice to any young designer trying to break into the accessories business is to constantly work on your craft. You want to improve on your technique and the quality of your work as you grow.Accessories is a huge business right now especially with major rtw fashion houses. There’s plenty of room for everyone because not every customer wants the same thing. Be specific about who you want to create for. Also make sure you and your friends wear your designs. Thats the best way to spread the word about your new business.”
Lighting round: headband do or don’t?
Carrie Bradshaw wedding-band:
“do: carrie’s bird was such an homage to Isabella. I luuuved it”
Blair Waldorf bow-band:
“do: only if you’re in a private catholic school that won’t allow you the freedom to be fabulous”
Madonna’s 80s scarf-band:
“do: Marc Jacobs is amazing. I luv these. I actually just made something similiar for my fall collection. Watch out LV!!”