Photo courtesy Katie Gallagher
Interview

KATIE GALLAGHER

09.14.11

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Katie Gallagher launched her line in 2009 after interning at Anna Sui and ThreeAsFour. Since then, The New York Times Style Magazine labeled her as one of its “Magnificent Seven”, and New York Magazine called her “a designer to watch.”

Interview

On the heels of showing your second collection at Milk Studios (your 5th since launching), you are heading to Paris for the first time. Where will you be showing your collection? In what way do you think the international buyer will approach your collection differently?

I will be showing the Spring/Summer 2012 collection with Stealthprojekt Showroom in Paris. I do already have some international stockists, but I’m definitely interested to see how it all ends up — my collections always look extreme as full looks, but as separates the pieces are really wearable! This will be my first time being in Paris during Fashion Week.

It must be such a load off being able to show at Milk. How did this come about? Is there a cap on how many seasons you can show there?

Milk is one of my biggest supporters in the city, and have helped me tremendously. I hope there’s not a limit to how many seasons a designer can show at Milk! I love being a part of the family over there.

Is there any one person or situation that you would attribute your success to?

I have a number of people to thank, and everything that’s happened so far has been because so many talented, passionate people have genuinely believed in our work. So far, I think the right people have been on my side.

Your work space/showroom/office is your unique apartment on the Lower East Side. Do you think that acts as a strength or weakness for your collection? Has it influenced the way you design in any way?

I love my space, and I think people love it back — it’s nice to not be too impersonal! It’s a bit too small for all of this though. I definitely need something bigger. Working on the floor of a one bedroom apartment is going to break my back someday. Making every single sample in every single show by myself lets me have complete control over every piece, so it’s nice for the work to have a real ‘home’. However, I think I’d like to stay in the neighborhood. This is the best spot to live in NYC!

Where do you do your production?

Everything is made here in NYC.

How long until you start designing the next collection? If you were to expand the line would it be through additional silhouettes, colors, fabrics?

I am starting now. There’s not a lot of time between Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. By the time I get back from Paris, I’ll have about 4 months to complete another collection. This is very hectic, especially because I make all the show samples myself. I think we’ll be making the collection richer, more textural – Fall/Winter is the best season for heavy, textured, structural textiles.

I’m working out my inspiration now. I do this through drawing & painting and collecting — this will dictate the silhouettes. From there, the color palette and textiles will start falling into place.

What’s your favorite part of Fashion Week in New York? How do you unwind now that the presentation is behind you?

The best part about Fashion Week in New York is being able to show my collections to everyone. Everyone is able to see what I’ve been slaving away on since the last collection.

I don’t really have time to unwind! Right now I am still working on getting production on track and shipping the Fall/Winter 2011 orders. Once those are settled, there’s no time to waste before I start designing and patterning the new stuff. Although, I’m headed out to Paris to work; hopefully, it’ll act as some sort of break. And I definitely always do something fun for Halloween!