Not so "New Kid" on the Block

 
 

New Kid is a super-cool fashion label based in Florence under the helm of Rachel "Rach" Beagley. The company produces an astonishing number of items that range from footwear to accessories to women's and men's wear. With a small but powerful team and a network of local family-run artisan businesses, New Kid sources and produces everything in Tuscany. Which is not surprising that Italian design tradition is engrained in every piece they conceive, but always with little twists, drawing inspiration from pop culture.  

We asked Rachel to answer five questions for us to get a little bit more of a behind-the-scenes insight into New Kid: 

Tell us about your journey to Florence. How did you end up here and why did you decide to start New Kid? 

As a young traveller I fell in love with Italy... the old folks are so amusing and the majority dress incredibly well. After working with China for many years I was unhappy with not only the quality of production but the entire process. I wanted to be apart of every step. To start anything you need connections and I was super fortunate to have some here. 

Describe your experience of producing clothing in Italy. 

We have only just started the clothing side of New Kid. We have made footwear since 2004 and since 2009 production has been based here. The key is to be present everywhere, the more the different factories see you the more likely they will get things done. This is very true for Italy, most the time an email or a call won't do anything. 

What is your favorite part of the design process? 

Collecting the components... like leathers and fabrics is always fun.  I really enjoy seeing shoes come off the line, it is nerve-racking as random things can go wrong at any point. 

What is your current inspiration? 

 For me inspiration questions are weird. I just get ideas doing mundane things like driving and walking my dogs or cleaning. I don't really have a process and really don't look at many things to find ideas. The collections just evolve, I try to keep moving forward and be a bit innovative when developing materials. For example, we have been flocking suede for the last two collections... you can get some pretty rad colour combos! 

What's new with New Kid (no pun intended) this month and what should we expect later this year? 

Currently, right this very second we are dying fabric... this is new to me, but Leti ["the youngest and fairest of all the New Kids"] is helping us realise our gross colour desires. It is a lot of fun, and it means we will have many varying shades this summer as we learn how to replicate colours we like. 

We will also hopefully have more retail events in Firenze and maybe other cities in Italy over the rest of the year. 

Finally, we are shooting images for another zine, called 'pausa pranzo'. As factories close for lunch we tend to have a couple of lunches a week in the countryside, we want to celebrate these places for the specialities they have.

 

Pitti Uomo - Rebels without a Cause

Pitti Uomo took place in Florence, Italy, last week. Every year, thousands of dapper men (and some ladies) descend upon the Renaissance capital to spot the latest trends in men's fashion. We were there. 

And a major trend spotted on the streets was men wearing coats over their shoulders. Practical? No. Aesthetically gorgeous (when done right)? Yes. 

Below are some selections of our favorite coat lovers from the 87th edition of the world-renowned trade show. 

Images via GQ UK and W Magazine. 

Gucci for Kiddies

Back to school is well under way! And with most little devils back in their seasonal jail cells by now, adults everywhere can rejoice in regaining the free time to sip on lattes at ease.

Everyone knows that kids are best appreciated only once full adulthood has been reached, so we may as well as start dressing them as adults from the very onset. We picked two looks we loved from the Italian powerhouse Gucci's current season, which would make a crying child much, much more tolerable.

Check them out below; all available on Gucci.com

Girl's Look:

  • Multicolor star jacquard short sleeve dress, $470
  • Cotton blend ribbed tights, $95
  • Leather chain wristlet, $365

Boy's Look: 

  • Stretch piquet polo shirt, $185
  • Stonewashed stretch denim skinny jean, $250 
  • Kid's suede fringed horse bit loafer, $380 
  • GC imprimé backback, $850 

5 Questions With: A Brazilian Femme Fatale

Gabriela Lenzi was born in a small town in the Santa Caterina province on Brazil. With a penchant for travel and innate sense of style, the young, bright-eyed natural beauty quickly found herself in Europe studying a master's in fashion design. Drawing inspiration from travel, and the beauty of the world around her (gastronomy, architecture, art, etc.), the force to be reckoned with is currently living in Salamanca, Spain, finishing up a Doctorate in design. 

And because she doesn't have enough to do, Gabriela also manages an eponymous line featuring unique, vintage-inspired bridal, evening wear, bespoke designs and hats that has drawn the attention of a number of highbrow fashion editors. Yours truly included. 

Check out her interview below, followed by some images of her work modeled by the Italian media personality, Francesca Romeo.

Your passion is style. How did you get started in the fashion industry?  

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved fashion! I started creating my own designs when I was about 5 or 6 years old. When I was 16 and needed to choose a university major, the answer was without doubt: fashion.

Already at 17 years old, I had my first internship, working as an assistant in a very traditional textile shop near my hometown in Brazil. 

Where do you go to get inspired and design?

From within! Although of course, everything around me influence my actions. Travel, experiencing new things, simply seeing… But none of this is important without feeling. I think of myself as a filter: I see - feel - create - materialize.  

Tell us about the story behind your latest creation/item of clothing you made. 

Since I primarily work on bespoke projects, the story of every article of clothing I create is mixed with the story of every client.

Recently, I had a bridal client whose wedding gown I literally dreamed up. And it's not the first time that this happens. One entire collection I showed in 2011 was made up of many of the outfits I "designed" in my dreams. This is my favorite way of designing! 

You go constantly go back and forth between Brazil and Europe. Does your design point-of-view change when you are on either side of the ocean?

My creation process will always evolve! Once I have seen, lived and felt, I'll never be the same again and the same can be said for my creations. This is why for me, it's so important to travel, see, and feel. I really feel that every little thing in the world both around me and inside me are so deeply personal and transformative in a number of ways, including translating itself in the form of a dress or a hat. 

If you were a prisoner on death row, what would your last meal be?

I love to eat! And this is definitely the hardest question. But my grandmother makes a killer Brazilian-style rice from an old family recipe handed down from 19th Century Italian immigrants.

Painting the World Red

New York City based Marcela Gutiérrez is the true definition of a global artist. An unstoppable force in the fashion and entertainment industry, the Florida-born, Guatemala-raised, Mexico City, London and Paris educated artist has made a name for herself with her stylish and energetic works of art.

With countless highbrow brands seeking out her stunning, seemingly effortless work, the artist has collaborated with the likes of Bon Marché Rive Gauche, Beyoncé, Vogue Spain and even created wallpaper designs for Prada's Los Angeles and New York flagship stores.  

Check out our favorite illustrations below and countless others on her portfolio site