At 25, most young adults are fresh out of graduate school, or just joining the work force. Women’s wear designer, Wes Gordon, however, has managed to successfully start and rapidly expand his own clothing label. Establishing the self-titled company, Wes Gordon, came at no easy feat, though. Gordon took some time out of his busy schedule to bestow valuable information and advice to the large audience in attendance at the SCAD Style lecture on April 19.
“The only way to get into fashion is because you love it.” Gordan said, and from a very early age, Gordon loved fashion. Atlanta raised, and educated, Gordon’s interest in fashion started as a child and grew with time. After spending countless evenings helping a previous Russian couturier, Gordon learned the necessary skills to enroll into the prestigious school of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, located in London. It was during his higher education that Gordon had the opportunity to work with Howard Tangye, a greatly admired, and influential woman’s wear designer.
Central Saint Martins boasts an alumni of fashion legends, including John Galliano, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, and Alexander McQueen; Gordon’s 2009 graduation from CSM placed him within the ranks of these illustrious alumni. After landing internships with equally talented and famous designers, like Oscar de la Renta and Tom Ford, Gordon pinpointed the exact woman for whom he would design. At this point, Gordon knew starting his own label was his top priority.
“I wanted to have my own company. Life is short… I wanted to build a brand, and I wanted to spend every day working on pieces with a Wes Gordon label.” The young designer, though very successful already, made it obvious he had barely scratched the surface.
The Wes Gordon company, located in the heart of New York City, continues to strive for a quality product; looking to local businesses for all materials used when constructing every garment. “We continue to make everything in New York City, which, historically, has a fantastic garment district. It’s unlike anywhere else in the world.” Gordon’s label is about quality, over quantity; something that is hard to come by in an industry where “Made in China” tags appear on almost every product. Gordon stays true to his roots, saying that it’s “More than patriotism. It’s knowing, and trusting where the product is coming from… Producing in New York was the only option.”
“The clothes are quite sophisticated and elegant,” Gordon said, when describing the various collection pieces pictured on the slideshow presentation. With a focus on quality and detail in construction, it’s hard not to notice the sophistication in his designs.
Any good fashion designer knows that a good design is just half the battle, and Gordon stresses the importance of fabric choices in garments, stating that, “You really need to start with the building blocks of each piece and it’s fabric.” The Wes Gordon company is living every aspiring designers dream by having fabric mills deliver “suitcases filled with swatches” in order to pick the best fabrics possible.
Besides having a company to call his own that produces two collections per year, Gordon has also designed a collection for Jones New York. “The idea was to take Jones spirit of dressing the American working woman,” and creating pieces for the younger girl just starting her career.
Even though Gordon balances a great deal of responsibilities within his own company, he manages to maintain a very enthusiastic and positive attitude about all things fashion; a trait necessary to any one wanting to get into this cut-throat industry. “Being young today is so exciting. And to be in fashion at our age, where woman and men are doing amazing things, and willing to take such risks… It’s such a pleasure to be designing for people,” and by the final applause given to Gordon for his presentation, it wasn’t hard to tell that it was also a pleasure to hear him speak.Contact Katie Schliep.