Contributing Monkie G Monkie
Published on June 7, 2009
Todays exclusive interview is with fashion designer and stylist Kate D’Arcy. Kate started the Toggery Collection to combine the idea of sustainability with her innate sense of style.
G Monkie: Kate, when you decided to start a new fashion line, what previous experience did you have with fashion?
Kate: I have a background in styling which has given me an amazing understanding on what fits and looks best on most body types, how to style and accessorize different pieces (old and new) to make them work best. Most importantly what shapes and styles are truly effortless, seasonless, classic…the kind of styles every woman needs in her closet to help make everything else wearable.
G Monkie: Which designers or companies in the green fashion space have inspired you and have they influenced your business model?
Kate: I’m not sure there is any one company in the green fashion world that I want to model my business after…in fashion in general I would love to model my company after DVF with more focus on being sustainable and eco friendly by keeping my production in the states and being aware of how are items are packed and shipped.
G Monkie: Who are your favorite designers in the fashion industry as a whole and what makes them special?
Kate: My top three designers are Chanel, DVF, Marc Jacobs…all have such distinct style yet they are not over the top in your face/how do I actually wear this? fashion…For me it’s all about classic bodies and amazing accessories…I love jackets and costume jewelry from Chanel, wrap dresses from DVF and the colors and fit of MJ.
G Monkie: So far, what has been good about taking this path and has anything turned out to be more difficult that you expected?
Kate: What has been great about going down the green avenue is that you are able to set an example for consumers that a brand can be more than just a great looking product…there should be substance and thought behind a company’s strategy…for instance being made in America, choosing to use sustainable fabrics w/out having to sacrifice good style!
Teaching people that the words organic, eco-friendly and sustainable can mean chic style has at times been lost in translation and very difficult…but it gets better with time, and obviously as soon as they see a collection it clicks!
G Monkie: How do you think the state of the economy will effect the green movement?
Kate: Toggery is vibrant colors, great bodies, amazing fit, a blank canvas for any woman to try on and transform to reflect her personal style. Toggery is beauty and brains at price points you can’t pass up (most of the collection is under $100).
G Monkie: One of the biggest elements in G Fashion is the focus on what types of fabrics are used in the clothing. How important is the fabric for your brand?
Kate: Fabric is essential in clothing…it might look good but if it doesn’t feel amazing on, what’s the point and why would you come back to buy from my label. I always say give me the chance to get on your back and you’ll be hooked…The fabrics we choose feel so good you just want to live in Toggery!
G Monkie: How important are the designs?
Kate: The shape and design is what makes everything else come together and proves that sustainability and style are not mutually exclusive.
G Monkie: When you design clothing how important is the final price point for you?
Kate: My goal in presenting Toggery to consumers is to show that chic and green doesn’t mean it has to be overpriced. I want consumers to rid their minds of the thought that organic/sustainable means more money and less style.
G Monkie: Your company Toggery is focused on sustainable and organic fashion. Does the concept of living "G" bleed over into your personal life?
Kate: I think most of us could tweak certain areas of our lives…I recycle, don’t litter, try to conserve my carbon foot print…and I feel good about doing what I can…It’s not a test to show who is more green, it’s about trying to incorporate and be consistent in areas of your life that where you can, we can all do our part.
G Monkie: When creating your designs, who do you have in mind as the perfect customer for your fashion line?
Kate: I design for the woman/girl who loves wear clothing and not let the clothing wear her.
G Monkie: When you started your company, what was the objective?
Kate: The sky is the limit! I foresee us becoming a lifestyle brand. A brand consumers can turn to with confidence for good quality, smart, eco living. Stay tuned!
G Monkie: With all the bad news about the economy, global warming and just the endless dramas playing out on the news, do you have anything that just makes you feel good or have a laugh?
Kate: People taking themselves too seriously!
G Monkie: Do you have a favorite place or city you love to go to?
Kate: Dare I say…this is the fashionista in me…two of my favorite places are Neiman Marcus and Barneys…I see beauty and art in fashion so being in either of those two places is like a whirlwind for my senses! My favorite city hands down has to be NYC…I get such amazing inspiration by people watching, and absorbing the energy of the city…
G Monkie: How important is traveling for you? Do you like to travel and does traveling influence your designs in anyway?
Kate: Who doesn’t love to travel…although there is nothing like being able to make a cup of tea and lay in your own bed…I’ve been working a lot but Australia is beautiful and so laid back…it’s a great place to go and get your head on straight. There is this particular beach town called Caines…so far removed from fashion but like I said it’s a nice place to get your head on straight…
To see more of Kate’s designs and the most current collection, checkout her site at Toggerycollection.com
Video by Kate D’Arcy showing off her holiday collection: