Monse’s Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia on Earning Your Stripes at Work

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One thing that you absolutely must know about new kids on the fashion block Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia is that their success didn’t happen overnight. The designers have been in the industry for a decade now, working their way up to the reputation they’ve earned as two of the most talented designers of this generation.

From interning at Oscar de la Renta to chasing Net-a-Porter’s Vice President of Global Buying, Sarah Rutson, on LinkedIn, Kim and Garcia’s story is an aspirational one – their brand, Monse, would not have happened if it weren’t for their motivation and hard work. Below, Savoir Flair talks to the design duo about their line, about taking your striped button-down from day to night, and about earning your stripes at work.

Photo: Courtesy of Boutique 1

How did you come up with the concept of Monse?
Monse is Fernando’s mother’s name. We were drawn to it because it sounds feminine and strong, which rings true of our garments that are feminine and yet strong at the same time. Monse, to us, has been a way to discover who we are. Exploring unfamiliar proportions, experimenting with unusual fabrics – a way to find what is new and exciting for us, and what is not already out there in today’s competitive market.

What has been your favorite fashion moment so far?
Christian Lacroix mentioning us was pretty major, as was Andrew Rosen saying we are talented. The icing on the cake is to be acknowledged by such different types of women, like Kate Young, Amal Clooney, Selena Gomez, Brie Larson and, most recently, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. This makes us feel like we are not just designing for one very specific girl.

Photo: Courtesy of Boutique 1

How many striped button-down shirts do you own?
We’ve never actually counted!

How do you take a classic button-down shirt from desk to drinks?
The button-down shirt is such a relatable piece of clothing for every woman from any walk of life. Wear it with a high heel or statement lip color to take you from day to evening.

You mentioned in an interview that Monse’s design aesthetic is inspired by “that girl in the office who looked like it only took her five minutes to get ready”. Can you name two things that you can do in under five minutes?
Kim: Eyeliner.
Garcia: Get dressed.

Photo: Courtesy of Boutique 1

What advice can you share on the following topics… networking?
Go to events and be yourself.

Interning?
It’s great to get your start as an intern and grow from there. Anything can happen!

Going the extra mile and putting in the time?
Working hard builds a strong career.

The Monse Fall/Winter 2016 collection is available at boutique1.com.

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