Like something straight out of 50s Los Angeles, Chelsea Hansford is one of those designers that is both inspiring and inspired. As the head of Simon Miller, she has taken the brand in a new artistic direction with a womenswear and accessories collection focused on "playful luxury", an aesthetic she embodies with pride. Interview.
MONNIER Frères: From your first steps in fashion to your current adventure at Simon Miller, what is your story?
Chelsea Hansford: I grew up in fashion really. I went to school in New York, at the Fashion Institute of Technology, then at about 17 years old I landed my first internship at Opening Ceremony. I worked in the showroom, where I had great mentors, like Olivia Kim. From there I got really immersed into fashion and just started growing in my career. I then had an opportunity to launch a brand called Black Denim (BLK DNM) with designer and creative director Johan Lindbergh. This exposed me to all the different aspects of starting a brand from scratch. It was a really great experience; the brand grew fast and we had lots of great exposure. From there, I decided to join the men's jeans brand Simon Miller where I developed a collection of womenswear and my husband designed the bags.
M.F. : You live in Los Angeles; did you get your inspiration from your city?
C.H. : Yes, for sure! It's extremely important to me. For me Los Angeles is so inspirational, from the mid-century architecture, but also just for things like the signage in the street. It's very specific, it has a lot of grit and personality. And also, just the sun and the energy in LA is definitely an influence in everything I do.
M.F. : Do you think you would create the same collection if you lived in Paris?
C.H. : No, I don't. I lived in New York before moving to LA, and I really see a shift in my designs.