I love being able to interview my friends when they're doing something big. And I think starting your own label as a designer is HUGE deal. Carrie Morrissey has done just this with I Still Love You, a brand new line full of whimsical prints, lacy shorts, burnout leggings and so much more. I'm especially proud because, although we didn't meet until we were both living in Philly, Carrie is a fellow native Rhode Islander. We grew up living a mere 15 minute ride over the bridge from each other. Who would have thought?? Now living in New York City for the past several years, Carrie has managed to start a style blog, become engaged, and embark on her very own line (Taylor Momsen owns a pair of the lace biker shorts!) Hope you enjoy this little interview I did with her.
i am carrie morrissey. i’m a socially awkward dance-aholic with a clothing line and a strange sense of humor.
Growing up in a small-ish town in Rhode Island, did you always know you would end up in the big city?
i did actually. my mom is from new york, so i’ve been coming here since i was a baby. i almost came here for college, i was accepted to FIT, but i used to get in a lot of trouble, my mom said new york wasn’t ready for me. that’s when i ended up causing trouble in Philly for 6 years first..
When and how did you decide to get into fashion design?
well, like you, i’ve always been into clothing. and i was brought up by artists, so the creative field was always an option for me... i’d been going to RISD since a small child for classes, my parents were very keen on feeding my creativity. and i love women. i love dressing them. it was always just the right fit.
What is behind the name I Still Love You NYC. How did you come up with it?
the name came from a brief stint at graffiti-ing -- er, more like fashion illustrator writing on walls.. i would draw a figure or woman’s face and then next to it write ‘i still love you.’ the NYC part came from living here and wanting to remain connected to the city and country, even tho they had seemingly abandoned me and my colleagues in 2009. i feel like it is a very apt name to come out of the recession. haha, although when i’m feeling salty i joke about calling it “i like you sometimes” ha. maybe that will be the tee shirt line..
Briefly describe the process of starting your own line.
i was laid off from a corporate hell job in 2009, and i had been threatening my lady love Tina Nguyen for a while that i was going to come back to Philly to collab with her, so the moment i was fired i called her up and said ‘i’m coming over.’ i did a Holiday 2009 collection in collaboration with Topstitch Boutique and that was where I Still Love You NYC was born.. Now i have a great team for production here in Manhattan who i work with every step of the way on patterns, sampling and production... and all of the jewelry is made in my studio at home. Every step of the way is experimentation tho, for sure. i just keep following my gut.
What was your inspiration for the Spring Summer collection? How did you choose the fabrics/colors?
i tend to have some sort of idea of a feeling first, this last collection was based a lot on movement. undulating softness floating around hard line. then i go to the fabric stores, spend a lot of hours debating, picking and feeling, talking to myself... there are a lot of silks in this collection, their light, fluttery quality and iridescence really attracted me.. and i love print mixing, so of course i was picking lots of prints too. i was going for classic silhouettes reinterpreted. freshness and familiarity. and texture. i’m very tactile when i design, so i have to have an idea of what fabrics i am going to use when i start designing. design and fabric go hand in hand for me. the overall themes have to be translated into something really wearable too. i want women to feel effortless and beautiful in my clothes.
Who would you love to see wearing your clothing? If you could hire any 3 models in the world for a runway show, who would they be?
well, i don’t have intentions of doing runway, per say, any time soon. but i do love the idea of having a still life presentation of my works, kind of along the lines of what Mara Hoffman and Suno NYC have been doing. I also loved making the films for this season, so i am definitely interested in creating more visual vignettes. So, in that case i would hire: Abby Lee, Jessica Stam and that skinny bitch Crystal Renn.
How do you feel blogging/the internet has changed the fashion industry? Pros, cons?
i love the internets. i think it is really doing great things for the fashion world. it is such a snotty industry and there are so many bloggers out there who are like “We love fashion, but we also have a sense of humor, and that is going to come out in the way we express ourselves.” i think it is very liberating. i do feel tho that the internet is making fast fashion a requirement for a lot of labels -- we’re seeing more resort and holiday collections each season. its very hard to compete with as a small designer. but as the pendulum swings, so will what the consumer wants -- so there is a noticeable desire for ‘slow fashion’ on the internet as well..... small designers have more competition, but they also have a larger audience, and more avenues for success. it evens out the playing field a little. people want to feel connected, to trends, but also to people. the internet allows consumers to know more about the products they buy, as well as feeling a direct connection to the person/people making the them.
Describe an average New York day in your life.
each day is different. i work from home, and a lot of my day tends to be filled with (the always glamourous) emails and i’m always doing research, keeping up to date with trends and the like... i try to get at least one thing up on my blog each day. i try to go out and people watch, take street style photos, go to art galleries and music shows. i try to keep up to date with this city, but there is a lot that happens, you know? i just finished my website, something that if i had to do again, i would totally hire someone -- seriously better left to the professionals. i’m moving sales over to a new Etsy shop, so there is a lot going into that as well. oh and you know, im getting married so there’s a shit ton involved with that...
What advice do you have for me?
haha, what advice do i have for you? you’ve got an awesome house, a rad vintage shop, a super cool blag... um, come to my wedding. dress up in one of your amazing outfits. eat lobster with me. and duck salad any time you want it. girl, you got it. and if you aren’t happy with something, don’t be afraid to change it. jump right in, the water’s fine.