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TRENDER: Fashion Designer Kate Brierley

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


"Rhode Island is totally classic. I love it. It's authentic and beautiful..." --Kate Brierley, designer.

Who are the Rhode Islanders leading in arts, fashion, food, and style? They're Trenders, and GoLocalProv offers glimpses of the people you most want to know on the scene. Eco-conscious and classy, Kate Brierley’s designs have made her both a renowned fashionista and this week’s trender. Kate studied fashion at FIT in New York and the Rhode Island School of Design before starting her own label, Isoude. Many-a-celebrity has donned her made-to-measure designs, which have appeared in publications like Vogue, New York Social Diary, Style Boston, and WWD. Kate divides her time between Boston, New York City, and her farmhouse in Jamestown, RI.

1. Were you always interested in fashion?

Always. I grew up riding horses, and that uniform and construction deeply carved my view of fashion.

2. How would you define your own style? Are there any times in your life that you look back on and think “what was I wearing?”

My own style, I would say, is classic with a touch of bohemian. As for regrets, not really—I don't think in those terms. Fashion and change go hand in hand so some things were right for that time. I will never let go of my worn-in Levi's.

3. What is your most recent fashion purchase? Number one coveted item?

If I were to be honest, it is the embroidered tulle and lamb skin dress from our ss13 collection. My most coveted item is my custom Vogel boots.

4. Which designers (past or present) inspire you the most? How do they influence your own design?

One of Brierley's classic but thoroughly modern Isoude pieces.

Past: Vionnet, Chanel, Balenciaga, Mainbocher, and Phoebe Philo.

5. What caused you to make the jump and start your own label?

I believe in the power of expression. It is important for each person to share what is in their heart.

6. What is your favorite piece in your current collection? What inspired this?

Our ss14 collection is all about prints. We are loving them but you'll have to wait for fashion week for the details!

7. If you had to given women three tips on acquiring a quality wardrobe, what would they be?

Know who you are, get clear on what looks good on you, and finally, invest in quality pieces that are great for you. Sometimes you need to find designers that work well for you and build your wardrobe with them.

8. Why did you choose Newport as the location for your flagship store, when the nearby New York is such a famed fashion city?

I just wanted to do something fresh. I love how much the community in Newport appreciates what we do and our windows. It is a rewarding connection to a community.

9. What’s the best thing about working in Rhode Island? The most challenging?

Rhode Island is totally classic. I love it. It is authentic and beautiful. The challenge is the lack of industry here, so we need to travel to grow the business, but we enjoy that. It feels like a tribe of women and it keeps growing. 


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