With the launch of Rodarte X Universal Standard - a collaboration for all of US, as we are - we asked our founders, Polina Veksler and Alex Waldman, and Rodarte founders, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, to come together to share some thoughts on the collection, the industry, style icons, and favorite movies.
What was your favorite part of working together?
POLINA: The moment Laura and Kate said “yes” to the collaboration was very special. We were so delighted that their beautiful designs would be shared with so many women.
KATE & LAURA: Seeing the pieces come to life in the fittings.
ALEX: Seeing how Laura and Kate create. They are so brilliant! There is a flow there that is amazing to watch.
If you could describe this collection in just 3 words, what would they be?
KATE: fun, feminine, and empowering
POLINA: ALL OF US
We often talk about how special it is to share a brand with friends and family - to feel like you can shop together, maybe for the first time. How does that idea come alive for you as sisters, and across your family and friends?
KATE: We’re always so inspired by the many powerful women in our lives and within the industry. We’re excited to see how women with all different styles will wear the collection.
ALEX: Polina and I are a perfect example of this. We’re close friends, co-founders, and collaborators - she is a size 6, I am a size 20 - and we’ve never been able to shop together. Not only was there an embarrassing discrepancy in our respective assortments, there was a very discernible difference in our shopping experiences. That’s why we created Universal Standard, and why we’re so committed to cascading our mission to others by eliminating existing barriers.
What was your favorite piece in the collection?
POLINA: I fell in love with the dress the moment I put it on!
KATE: The red ruffled blouse and skirt.
LAURA: The pink ruffle blouse and skirt.
ALEX: I know this is cheating a bit, but for me it’s the skirt and blouse together. Those sleeves! That movement! They’re just really beautiful.
What’s one thing you want people to take away from this collection?
ALEX: That beautiful clothes are for everyone.
What’s your favorite part about the collaboration?
LAURA: We really wanted to bring our design aesthetic to life in this collaboration and to see the final pieces in finished form has been thrilling. We can’t wait for the styles to be available and for so many women to be able to create their own stories with them.
Why do you think this collaboration is important for the fashion industry?
POLINA: From the beginning, we wanted to set an example to the industry by showing that unifying fashion could be done beautifully across all categories. We are determined to bring a “new normal” into being - one that is inclusive of all of us, as we are - and we want to do it alongside brands that align with our vision.
Working together to provide access to beautiful, well-made clothing was not only a creative endeavor, but an important demonstration of what can happen when a joint mission is manifested. This collaboration proves
Who is your style icon?
POLINA: I’m a fan of Zadie Smith’s style. I’m a very casual dresser, so I always admire women with effortless style, who always look like themselves no matter what.
KATE: Jane Birkin
LAURA: Anjelica Houston
ALEX: I’ve always adored Tilda Swinton and how she presents herself to the world. I also admire Tamu Mcpherson’s style tremendously.
What is your favorite fashion moment?
POLINA: Most recently it has to be Rodarte’s return to NYFW. It was breathtaking!
ALEX: The Rick Owens 2014 Spring Show at Paris. It was a moment of pure power, strength, and togetherness.
KATE & LAURA: The costumes in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette starring Kirsten Dunst.
What are your favorite movies?
POLINA: Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. It’s an extraordinary achievement, and a beautiful story. I also love Pretty Woman and Coming to America - classics!
ALEX: I Am Love. Lost In Translation. Fallen Angels. A Room With A View. The Cake Maker. I could go on and on….
KATE & LAURA: The Wizard of Oz, Chungking Express, Wanda, 3 Women, Moonlight, anything by Agnes Varda or Ingmar Bergman…Vertigo