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September 27, 2023 38 mins

Fashion designer Wes Gordon has had a big month: he just presented his fifth collection as the Creative Director for Carolina Herrera at New York Fashion Week, and published a book that celebrates the brand’s obsession with color. At 36 years old, Wes is just getting started. He joins Martha to talk about what’s happening in fashion today, how he ascended to the top of one of America’s most iconic fashion houses, and how he finds beauty everywhere in life.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
People I often ask what's your favorite celebrity moment, And
I'll be honest, My favorite moments are the non celebrities.
My favorite moments are the strangers. To be in a
taxi going through New York and see someone on the
sidewalk wearing a piece magic, Yeah, that to me is
always the most humbling. I'm finally at a point where
I don't chase her down to introduce myself and give

(00:21):
her a Hoggins say thank you.

Speaker 2 (00:27):
Here in New York City, one of the September traditions
is Fashion Week. The city buzzes with runway shows and
parties as the fashion houses present their collections for the
following spring and summer seasons. Today, I'm talking to one
of my favorite fashion designers, Wes Gordon, the creative director
for Carolina Herrera. He presented a gorgeous collection of clothing

(00:51):
at the Whitney Museum. He also helped to launch a book,
color Mania, that highlights the importance of color to the
Carolina her brand. And I'm so happy that you're here, Wes.
This is very exciting and such a busy time for you.

Speaker 1 (01:07):
Thank you so much for having me. I'm so happy
to be here. It is a busy time. But if
ever there was a good moment to come here, it's now.
Right after we finished our collection. Market week is going
on right now, and I'm not terribly helpful during that.

Speaker 2 (01:19):
You're not.

Speaker 1 (01:20):
I'm not. When people ask me the price of something,
I either mistakingly go way low or way high, so
they keep me as far away from market as possible.

Speaker 2 (01:27):
Okay, Well, you have another big thing. I mean, coming
out with a book like color Menia is a big deal.

Speaker 1 (01:33):
Well for me, it was a very big deal. But
I think I just read that you're doing your one
hundredth book.

Speaker 2 (01:38):
Yes, this is your first, this is my first. Well,
good luck, thank you. You never know what happens in
a life.

Speaker 1 (01:44):
Okay, Well, now.

Speaker 2 (01:45):
You're only thirty six years old. I was going to
say thirty six effing years old, and I'm so jealous,
and uh, you have a long, long time ahead of
you should be as productive as you've been in the
last thirty six years.

Speaker 1 (01:57):
Well, thank you.

Speaker 2 (01:58):
I think you're an extraordinary and Vogue said very nice
things about you and your show.

Speaker 1 (02:03):
You did your homework.

Speaker 2 (02:04):
Oh yes, look at this the Vogue runway on twenty
twenty three. His biggest show so far at Carolina Herrera.
It's been five years since he took over from the
brand founder. There wasn't any big to do about an anniversary.
But it's no small accomplishment to hit the five year
mark in today's fashion industry, when designers are moved in

(02:26):
and out of creative director positions so regularly, and even
superstars are shown the door. So hats off to him,
thank you, and hats off to you, really, Wes, it's
quite an accomplishment, Thank you so much. And the clothes
were gorgeous. I loved that you started the show with
the white blouse that Carolina Herrera trademark. I've known Carolina

(02:48):
Herrera for quite a while and the last time I
had her at my home she came in Maine. She
came with her family for our traditional popovers, and you know,
this wasp waisted woman eating a popover. It just makes
me laugh because then we started to talk about the
size of one's waist. Can I tell you what she

(03:10):
said about the waste? Okay, well, she pointed out that
a woman's waist should always be the circumference of her head.
Oh my god, so my head is a twenty two
and a half inch head. Okay, my waist has not
been twenty two and a half inches for about sixty years.

Speaker 1 (03:30):
I think you look great. She's full of She is
the queen of the witty one liner. She has a
lot of good ones.

Speaker 2 (03:36):
Yeah, and we measured took I took out a tape
measure and I made her measure her head at her
waiting game. Hut. It was so fun. It was so fun,
and hers was exactly the same.

Speaker 1 (03:47):
Really, Yes, she's fabulous.

Speaker 2 (03:49):
She is a fabulous, beautiful woman. But that white shirt
is iconic, and you have managed to change that white
shirt so much. Well, let's talk about your current fashion
a little bit after we get a little bit of
your background, because I don't really know your background. I
don't know where you grew up, where you went to
high school. Tell us a little bit about that.

Speaker 1 (04:11):
So I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and I grew
up going to a very conservative private school where boys
didn't grow up to be fashion designers. So I kind
of kept this passion a secret. And I think you'd agree.
But I think figuring out in life what you're passionate
about is one of the greatest blessings. A person could have,
because then all the decisions that come after that are

(04:33):
so much easier. Where you want to go to school,
kind of internship you want to have, what kind of
work you want to do? And I realized early on
that I love clothes. I love the power of fashion.
I think I was four years old sitting in my
mother's closet telling her what she'd have to wear to
work every day?

Speaker 2 (04:48):
Did you?

Speaker 1 (04:48):
And now, being a father, I understand how accommodating she was,
because when my son tries to do that, I ignore
him completely. But then I grew up in Atlanta. I
studied fashion in londonchool.

Speaker 2 (05:00):
Well, now, how would you find your way from Atlanta, Georgia,
which is not the most sophisticated place.

Speaker 1 (05:06):
It's not for our Atlanta listeners. It's a very sophisticated okay.

Speaker 2 (05:10):
A very sophisticated place, but you know what I know.

Speaker 1 (05:12):
But also it was a different time.

Speaker 2 (05:15):
Who advised you to go to the central Saint Martin's
in London, the fashion school that produced John Galliano, Stella McCartney.
How did you find your level.

Speaker 1 (05:26):
Of prep is extraordinary, Martha. I found it on my
own because the world is very different that now. If
you're interested in something. Social media has made everything much
more accessible. At that time, Atlanta didn't have a fashion community,
and I was reading biographies of designers that I loved,
and I kept coming across these words Central Saint Martin's

(05:48):
and it became my Hogwarts. It became my north Star.

Speaker 2 (05:51):
I know your parents said, Okay.

Speaker 1 (05:53):
Which is amazing, right, Yeah? I never even visited it
any siblings. I have a younger sister and did she
was the first one to go off to school.

Speaker 2 (06:01):
Wow.

Speaker 1 (06:01):
And my parents let me pack a bag and go
to art school in London for four years.

Speaker 2 (06:04):
And had you been to Europe before?

Speaker 1 (06:06):
I'd been to Europe before, but everyone else in my
school was going to traditional four year college. So really,
I think every time I tell this story, how extraordinarily cool.
My mom and dad are amazing. And then I spent
four years in London. While I was there, I spent
my summers in New York with Tom Ford and Oscar Delareenta.

Speaker 2 (06:26):
And was Tom what was he doing? Then?

Speaker 1 (06:27):
Tom was doing his Men's War and mister Delaurenta was
alive at the time and making beautiful collections. And I
think I spent every penny in my savings account on
my wardrobe for Oscar, so I was the best dressed intern,
broke but very well dressed. I would have to take
the subway to work every day standing because I didn't
want to wrinkle. When I got to the office. And

(06:50):
I got to be I think partially I'll credit my wardrobe.
I got to be his intern, so I'd stand next
to him all day handing him pins, which was very
nerve wracking. He wouldn't turn his head to look to
see where the pin was coming from. He would just
put out his hand and I would try to have
to anticipate, and it was magical, and it was the
magic of American fashion, you know, at this amazing time.

(07:12):
And then after graduating, I thought, oh, as a twenty
two year old, I'm qualified to start my own company,
which no one lets you do if you graduate law school,
but no one seems to stop you if you graduate
fashion school. So I put together a very small collection,
coming from a live work studio space in the Financial District,
and started just holding up pieces in.

Speaker 2 (07:33):
Market your own company, Yeah.

Speaker 1 (07:37):
But small small. I had an inflatable mattress that I'd
have to deflate in the mornings before an intern arrived.

Speaker 2 (07:45):
But who bought your clothes? Then?

Speaker 1 (07:47):
Well I was very lucky. I managed to sell to
some amazing stores like Sachs Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf, Goodman, Herod's
under what label? West Gordon?

Speaker 2 (07:56):
My Gordon? Was your name? Always West Gordon exactly?

Speaker 1 (08:00):
Yes, that's my full that's my names or Weston wes
w E sto.

Speaker 2 (08:07):
So I like West.

Speaker 1 (08:07):
Weston Marshall Gordon, Wow, dramatic, right.

Speaker 2 (08:11):
So West Gordon a very good name for fashion. Thank
you and knowing what you know? Now, what advice would
you have given your younger self.

Speaker 1 (08:19):
I wouldn't change one thing. No, I think I don't
know if you agree, but I think all experiences are
super important. I think your success is your failures all
impact you and your future and make make you who
you are. So I managed to do this company for
eight years, which I always tell someone to think of
fashion careers and life spans in dog years, right, because

(08:43):
it's a terrible business seven to one, seven to one,
So like fifty six years, I had my company right
seven times eight? Yeah, you know, I met amazing people.
I did things that I'm so proud of, and I
developed my own taste and I learned what I liked
and what I don't liked. I learned a lot about myself.
At the end of that time, I received a phone

(09:04):
call that missus Herrera, who you know, with a waste
the size of her head, was in the early phases
of retiring and they were looking for someone to kind
of come in and potentially be hers.

Speaker 2 (09:17):
So you were a prentice at first.

Speaker 1 (09:20):
I was a consultant.

Speaker 2 (09:21):
Consultant so I came in, which is sort of like
the old fashioned apprentice.

Speaker 1 (09:25):
The beautiful thing about a consultancy is you get to
go have the fun and if something works out, you
can kind of smile with pride that you played a
part in it. But if it doesn't go well, you
can kind of put your hands in the air and
say it wasn't me. So I had a great year
with her. I worked on two collections. And you have
to remember, I grew up in Atlanta, so American fashion

(09:46):
to me was at the epicenter of what I knew
about this industry. And to grow up in America as
someone who loves fashion, you know, these grand American fashion
houses hold a place of real important to you, and
we don't have that many anymore. We don't it's Oscar Carolina.
There are very few.

Speaker 2 (10:05):
Left right, and a lot of the upstarts like Donna
Karen and they just seem to have sort of like
eased away.

Speaker 1 (10:12):
And America unfortunately has a terrible tradition of a brand
surviving beyond its founder. It's a very difficult conundrum in
the States. So we wanted to be the exception this
time with her era and I remember at the end
of the year she called me into her office and

(10:33):
said to me that, you know, she would like me
to follow in her footsteps, and they're very difficult footsteps,
and they're very small Manolos, So of course I could
never do it exactly well, size foot is I don't know,
but whatever, if she's listening to this, it's the perfect
size foot And I started doing my first collection there

(10:53):
and it was a dream. It still continues to be
a dream.

Speaker 2 (10:56):
So in thirty six you've been working there, how many years?

Speaker 1 (11:00):
Five years from one six years, one consultant.

Speaker 2 (11:03):
Having amazing fashion shows that all The last one I
saw was the one at the Plaza Hotel, that is
a beautiful one. The one before that was down at
the World Trade Center Park, Battery Park, Battery Park. How
beautiful that was. And this year at the iconic Whitney
Museum downtown in the meatpacking district, what a beautiful spot.

(11:24):
How did that go?

Speaker 1 (11:25):
It was? It was great.

Speaker 2 (11:26):
I wanted to get there. I was working that.

Speaker 1 (11:28):
Day story it was there'll be another one. That's the
beauty of fashion week. I loved it. You know, it's
a beautiful building. It's that Renzo Piano, gorgeous building and
for anyone, for you know, I'm sure you know. But
there are four real fashion capitals in the world. There's
New York, London, Milan, and Paris, and they each have
their fashion week and a brand will show at one.

(11:50):
New York goes first. And you know, New York is
having a funny moment right now with its fashion week,
where a lot of brands have left, some are showing
in Paris, some are choosing not to show. I really
believe in New York. I believe in American fashion.

Speaker 2 (12:03):
You showed in Rio de Janeiro.

Speaker 1 (12:05):
So we left and showed in Rio. But that was
the main runway season. So for our main seasons, we
will always show in New York. And I really wanted
to double down on a fab show and a venue
like the Whitney kind of helped us do it and
say we're here, we're.

Speaker 2 (12:22):
Probably it's the art on exhibit right now with the Whitney.

Speaker 1 (12:24):
It's an exhibit called Inheritance by Rue. But we were
on the ground floor, so not with the art. But yes,
we just did something called a destination show where we
took our attilier, we took our clothes and traveled nine
hours to Rio de Janeiro to put on a fashion
show same times, about as far as you can go
and still be in the timestaing and it was fabulous.

(12:48):
We did this in June. It's become a very popular
thing for brands to do and it was magical. I'd
never been to Brazil, so I think selfishly a part
of it was choosing event that I wanted to go to.
Amazing it is, but the most fabulous thing about it
are the Brazilians. There are just nice, happy, beautiful, wonderful people.

Speaker 2 (13:09):
To use Brazilian models.

Speaker 1 (13:11):
We used exclusively Brazilian models, exclusively Brazilian talent for hair,
makeup production, you know, all the components that make a
fashion show happen, and that was something that was really
important to us. You know, I think it's it's we
were going to someone else's home, we were going to
their community. We didn't want to just replicate what we
do for Herrara in New York. We wanted that Brazilian

(13:33):
point of view.

Speaker 2 (13:44):
Well, now that you've assumed the creative direction for an
established brand, Carolina Herrera, you had to really approach learning
the brand's legacy, but reclaiming and keeping your own vision. Now,
how hard or how easy has that been?

Speaker 1 (14:02):
It's been easy for me because I'm lucky to work
at a house that I love. You know, I think
you see examples of a creative director going to a
house where there maybe are not in sync with the
heritage of that brand, and you see the struggle. I
love her Era, I love the house. I feel grateful
to work there. But I'm also a thirty six year

(14:24):
old male, a very different person than Missus Herrera. So
when I do things, it has my own flavor naturally,
but I don't ever feel anything other than the utmost
reverence for what preceded me at the house, and spending
that first year with Missus Herrera really taught me so
much about her and the four decades she spent building
this brand, which is extraordinary. So in many ways, I feel,

(14:49):
you know, a responsibility of her legacy as a designer,
but I also feel an excitement about the prospect of
introducing this house to women who maybe never or Herrera before.

Speaker 2 (15:01):
And what about the old customers, the original or existing customers.

Speaker 1 (15:05):
Have they stayed They've stayed. No, they've stayed, And that
to me is always something I'm the most proud of.
We've built the business quite a lot, and we've attracted
new audiences, new markets, but never at the expense of
existing clients.

Speaker 2 (15:21):
Now, what's it like to see your designs on the
red carpet, on Martha Stewart, any of us.

Speaker 1 (15:27):
It's exciting. No, you know, people often ask what's your
favorite celebrity moment, And I'll be honest, My favorite moments
are the non celebrities. My favorite moments are the strangers.
To be in a taxi going through New York and
see someone on the sidewalk wearing a piece I mean,
you know these It's magic, Yeah, because there are tens
of thousands of pieces of clothing that she could have

(15:49):
gone into a store and purchased, and she chose that one,
and that to me is always the most humbling. I'm
finally at a point where I don't chase her down
to introduce myself and give her and say thank you.
But my husband Paul still does it.

Speaker 2 (16:03):
Does that's so great? Well, in your short time as
a very well known and prominage designer, how have you
seen fashion change and what do you think of its
current future?

Speaker 1 (16:15):
Oh that's a big question. So I've been working in
fashion through COVID and through quarantine, and I think one
big change I've seen in general, and I think it's
a great one, But is I think people have overdosed
on meaningless stuff. I think we're all looking to surround
ourselves with pieces that bring us beauty, joy, hope and

(16:36):
editing out the noise a little bit. So I think
of that when we're making a collection, right, which consists
of hundreds of pieces?

Speaker 2 (16:43):
How many hundreds?

Speaker 1 (16:44):
Two hundred?

Speaker 2 (16:45):
Really? Each collection?

Speaker 1 (16:46):
Each collection six times a year.

Speaker 2 (16:48):
That is a lot a lot of clothes and a
lot of the best work and a lot of fabric.

Speaker 1 (16:53):
But how lucky am I I get to bring, you know,
two hundred times six sketches to life every year. I
feel so grateful, but I feel a responsibility that as
a person like you who gets the magical ability to
bring something from your head into existence, you have to
make sure that in this day and age, it has

(17:14):
a real reason to be a relevance, a soul, a purpose.
So when I find myself looking at the wall in
my office which is covered with sketches, and I see
something that just maybe is just another shirt or another dress,
I take that away because you know, what I think
the world has learned, what our customer has learned, is

(17:35):
you don't just need more stuff. You need more beauty,
and you need more joy.

Speaker 2 (17:39):
And yeah, okay, and a little bit more something unique
to add to what you already have.

Speaker 1 (17:45):
Then something that when you put it on in the
morning and you zip up the zipper, you feel like dancing,
you feel like smiling. The world can be dark and scary.
You know, the things that you can control control them,
they make.

Speaker 2 (17:56):
Them joy, dark and scary. West Gordon, the world.

Speaker 1 (17:59):
Is darkness, but it's like there's there's I'm a total optimist,
So you have to make it better. You find and
cultivate beauty where you can, because there are a lot
of places we can't.

Speaker 2 (18:10):
So you're constantly working on the next questure.

Speaker 1 (18:14):
The next I'm working on the next three right now.

Speaker 2 (18:16):
Wow.

Speaker 1 (18:17):
No, it's I can't write a check because I don't
know the year, I don't know the month, and I
don't know the day. I just walk around completely unaware
of what day it is, because I'm thinking about twenty
twenty four, twenty.

Speaker 2 (18:28):
Twenty five exactly. And so the two hundred pieces or
do all of them get to be manufactured in quantity?
How many?

Speaker 1 (18:36):
No? So we sell to order as like a luxury
house and will after a fashion week. I showed sixty
one looks of those pieces, So say that represents one
hundred and ten pieces, right, because sometimes it's a shirt
and a skirt. Will show those in market along with
the rest of the collection, and then of the pieces

(18:56):
that live, and maybe it's around seventy percent those go
into product and they're made either in Italy or New York.
Oh good, A lot of local production very close to here.
I mean New York still has a fabulous garment manufacturing
community and industry.

Speaker 2 (19:13):
How excellent. I didn't know so many so much was
made here.

Speaker 1 (19:16):
Yeah, I think it's you know, I always tell people
when they walk through Times Square in the garment district,
they have no idea that in these buildings above their
heads are talented men and women who are sewing, cutting clothes,
selling buttons, looking at fabrics. It's a real thing that
still exists in the city.

Speaker 2 (19:33):
Well, when I worked so much on the craft departments
of my magazine, we would visit all the silk flower manufacturer,
Caroline Herrero was known for the silk flowers.

Speaker 1 (19:44):
Oh my gosh.

Speaker 2 (19:45):
And then I was so lucky to get that beautiful
navy blue almost black bout clay coat with flowers, leather flowers. Oh,
how they made here in New York, those flowers.

Speaker 1 (19:57):
So this is a business that I adorn. I'm glad
you mentioned it. It's a company that's a third generation
small Bergs.

Speaker 2 (20:03):
Oh small Berg Oh yeah, see family business.

Speaker 1 (20:06):
And they sit in there and making. Yeah, these businesses
still exist.

Speaker 2 (20:11):
And they have the old molds and they press a leather.

Speaker 1 (20:14):
Cut the leathers, and I go through the boxes and
I find them. And something that I've done to be
supportive is every Christmas, I send them all our old
fabrics and we have them made into a whole assortment
of blossoms that we use as our Christmas decorations in
the stores. So we put them on the trees and
customers can come in and leave with the flower.

Speaker 2 (20:33):
Oh great, Yeah.

Speaker 1 (20:34):
But there's these amazing treasures still exist blocks from us
in Midtown, New York.

Speaker 2 (20:39):
So some people have asked me, can you purchase hote
couture online?

Speaker 1 (20:45):
Yes, I mean you can. You know, the world is
a very online place these days. You know, the true
definition of hoe couture are pieces that are made for you.
So that's difficult to do. But I think twenty years
ago the idea of buying an expensive piece of clothing
online was completely outrageous, no one would ever do it.
But now it's it's something people are very comfortable with.

(21:07):
Think thanks largely to like Netta, Porte, Moda Operandi companies
that have really created this trust with clients. And for
me as a designer, you know what allows me to
think of pieces and categories much more globally right, rather
than so specific to Madison Avenue or Worth Avenue.

Speaker 2 (21:28):
If you have if you have someone's customer's measurements, you
can create it for them.

Speaker 1 (21:32):
And we can. I mean, it's a very different mindset.
We were speaking earlier about Bridle. I find myself I
prefer to design more broadly than rather specifically to one person.
I like to think of the idea of our customer.
Sometimes when you work one on one, it can be
it's a it's a long process, like a bride, like

(21:53):
a bride, and we've been very lucky we work with
wonderful brides. Any brides are listening. But there's a freedom
to just sketching, not knowing exactly who it's going to.

Speaker 2 (22:03):
And who's going to wear it, who's going to enjoy it.

Speaker 1 (22:05):
I think about interior design sometimes and how difficult it
must be because you can't just realize your own personal vision.
You have to have your clients sign off on everything
you would like to do esthetically. And for me, as
a ready to wear designer not working in couture specifically,
I get to kind of dream my own dream and

(22:25):
make it real. And that's the difference. I think.

Speaker 2 (22:29):
Well, you did two dresses for Beyonce for her blockbuster
tour this year.

Speaker 1 (22:34):
We did very exciting.

Speaker 2 (22:35):
That was a fashion tour to force everybody wanted to
design for her. She has that incredible body and that
incredible or the queen incredible audience. So you designed two
dresses for the June twenty first show. What were they
like and what was the process like?

Speaker 1 (22:54):
First of all, there's no one, I'm did.

Speaker 2 (22:55):
You get to fit her on her?

Speaker 1 (22:57):
In person? I haven't even been to the show? Did
you go the processes? We work with our team, her team,
and you know that is a production that show, so
they are making so many clothes for her all over
the world. I tried to incorporate some Herrera isms, right
the neckline, the cape, to create pieces that felt Herrera

(23:18):
when she would wear them, because you kind of want that,
you know. And it was amazing. I mean, having been
to a Beyonce concert before, what she does for three
hours is superhuman. I mean, she's a phenomenal performer. And
the idea that she wore pieces that we made here
in New York was so cool to send her sketches

(23:41):
because she's very involved in the process.

Speaker 2 (23:43):
Are you in the ballet?

Speaker 1 (23:45):
And you are? So these notes are oh my god.

Speaker 2 (23:47):
No, no, that's not even in the note.

Speaker 1 (23:49):
I didn't I need to send these notes to my
caught on everything.

Speaker 2 (23:52):
I read a lot, so I kind of try to
keep up with friends that I know and put the ballet,
which are you going to do?

Speaker 1 (24:01):
So this October October soon with the Ballet, we're doing
their Fall gala, and this is a traditional event. This
is an event that traditionally they've partnered with a fashion
brand to do the costumes, and in this case they're
redoing a Balanchine piece called Who Cares, So rather than

(24:22):
having carte blanche to think of a crazy fantasy, I
had to work with the Balanchine Trust, which was a
really fun project to create what is essentially the third
iteration of costumes for this piece. Third so we had
to adhere to the original colors and shapes, which are
sunset tones. You know, it's a piece that's very much

(24:42):
kind of jazz age and kind of martiniz at the
Rainbow Room kind of vibe. So really respect his vision,
which the Trust does an amazing job of ensuring people
do to create what will become now the new official
costumes for this Balanchine piece.

Speaker 2 (25:01):
Unfortunately, I'm going to be out of town. I wanted
to go. I got the invitation and I wanted to
go so badly. When I saw you were involved, Oh
thank you, and it's going to be extraordinary.

Speaker 1 (25:10):
I think it should be a fun night. I'm actually
quite nervous about it. I just had a fitting today. Oh,
because it's a very different thing that I'm used to
your designing performance wear.

Speaker 2 (25:18):
Yeah, it's not, you know, fabric surgery.

Speaker 1 (25:20):
I wanted to put embroidery in a certain place, I
couldn't because one of the male dancer's hands has to
go there. So it's a real learning experience for me.
You can fake a picture, like I can make something
look good in a picture, but it's a lot harder
to fake ninety minutes of someone jumping up and down
on the stage.

Speaker 2 (25:36):
So well, talking about faking pictures, this color media, it's
not exactly faking pictures, but this photographer you all have
to see. This book is published by Rizzoli just Hot
off the press, Off the press, Hot Hot, Hot, Color
and Fashion. And it is a bright, bright pink. It's

(25:57):
a Barbie pink cover, her Ara pink color a color Okay,
she she came first, She came first, right, who know
who came to Barbie did with red type and the
pictures are.

Speaker 1 (26:09):
I don't forget my yellow edge. So the book opens
with Dove Cameron, whose your grandkids would know. Oh yes, yeah, yeah,
a global pop star. And this book is the story
of a collaboration I did with this amazing photographer over
five different shoots, over three years, six different shoots over
I got a six hand gesture from the back. And

(26:31):
it started during COVID because we couldn't put on fashion shows,
we couldn't create content in the way that we used to,
so brands were coming up with creative solutions to speak
to their audience. And you know, I connected with this
photographer whose pictures look like paintings. I mean they're beautiful,
Elizabeta por She's based out of Munich, and you know,

(26:54):
as someone who loves color, color is at the heart
of what I do at her era, I was immediately
drawn to her work because she paints with her camera.
I mean they look like brushstrokes of oil paint.

Speaker 2 (27:05):
So it goes through black and white to yellow choo. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (27:09):
My favorite part actually is the contact sheet in the back,
the table of contents, because then you can see the
entire rainbow spectrum of the book.

Speaker 2 (27:17):
Right let me see. Oh yeah, it's beautiful, It is
so beautiful.

Speaker 1 (27:21):
And it was so fun. I mean, you know, after
a lot of pictures, a lot of pictures, I mean
six different shoots we did together, and the first was
actually done so in the height of COVID with dancers
who couldn't perform, because you know, I was. I thought
it was so sad. That's a ballet dancer. Let's see

(27:42):
Wendy Whalen is in there. I'm sure you know, but
I was so touched by this idea of dancers. Who
who's that smoking Maggie maur Oh boy. We don't see
the cigarette, so you're assuming she's smoking. It could just
be smoke coming out of her mouth.

Speaker 2 (27:59):
It's a really interesting photographs, interesting hairdoos, interesting jewelry, and
beautiful beautiful. So you made all these dresses.

Speaker 1 (28:09):
I made all those dresses with a lot of help.
Let you be the first to say, I work in
a job where I am completely dependent on many hard
working people. I get to be the one who does
fun things like sit and talk to Martha Stewart. But
it's really the result of hundreds of people who bring
these dreams to life. You know, I always joke that
I don't have a job I can take with me.

Speaker 2 (28:39):
Well, you used COVID very well, Thank you and filled
your time with creativity and productivity, because to make a
book like this with so many different people is really
an accomplishment. This is a very nice first book.

Speaker 1 (28:53):
Thank you so much, very nice. Next time ninety nine
to go.

Speaker 2 (28:56):
Next time. You have to have more words in it
of yourself out You're very eloquent.

Speaker 1 (29:01):
You know, I felt like a little bashful about even
having my name on it. Well I put it second.

Speaker 2 (29:06):
Right, you did. But you did a lot of work there.
So you design these beautiful color palettes. How do you
express yourself personally in color? Because here you are, let
me describe what this famous design. He's wearing a C. H.
Carolina Herrera denim jacket.

Speaker 1 (29:23):
Thought it looked very much.

Speaker 2 (29:24):
It is very much. It is very much me and
then black black denim jeans and black Ford. Those tom
Ford shoes, they are tom Ford shoes from the is now,
from current or olden days.

Speaker 1 (29:37):
Current current, not wearing old shoes to see you?

Speaker 2 (29:40):
Okay, Well, I don't know.

Speaker 1 (29:41):
Well I also in my defense, I thought, you know,
I didn't know that anyone would be looking at my
outfit today, so I thought it was just a podcast.

Speaker 2 (29:47):
But I do look at everything.

Speaker 1 (29:49):
But it's terrible because everyone comes to me and says,
you love color. You speak about collections, your color, You
speak about color, your collections are so colorful. What colors
do you wear? And unfortunately the answer is usual black.
And it's really just out of a place of laziness,
not out of a philosophical belief.

Speaker 2 (30:05):
But I have been lucky enough to visit Wes and
his husband Paul Arnhold and at their new apartment which has
a lot of color in it.

Speaker 1 (30:12):
It has a lot of color and beauty.

Speaker 2 (30:14):
It's such a beautiful place.

Speaker 1 (30:16):
Thank you.

Speaker 2 (30:17):
And before that I also visited your farm, which I
thought was just amazing.

Speaker 1 (30:22):
Wow from you, that is the highest no, because you
have animals.

Speaker 2 (30:25):
You have animals geese fromwhere you have my Sebastopold geese.

Speaker 1 (30:29):
And now that we are, I mean for many years
we had this farm which is essentially a children's fantasy,
but we didn't have the children, so we were two
grown men out there playing with our bunnies and our
animals at the farm. Fortunately we now have two children.

Speaker 2 (30:44):
And beautiful children. Georgia who is just an infant seven
months and Henry, who is so cute.

Speaker 1 (30:51):
He's two, he's two and four months. He just started preschool.

Speaker 2 (30:55):
He is I saw I just saw an instagram of
him dancing.

Speaker 1 (31:01):
He's a very good dancer. He is and his favorite McDonald.

Speaker 2 (31:05):
He was doing this.

Speaker 1 (31:07):
They can move, but he takes after he was.

Speaker 2 (31:10):
On He was on a dirt road at your farm, dancing.
Very cute. Were you playing music while he was there?

Speaker 1 (31:17):
Yeah? Oh he loves a tune.

Speaker 2 (31:18):
Yeah he is.

Speaker 1 (31:20):
He's a riot.

Speaker 2 (31:20):
He's a very cute kids.

Speaker 1 (31:22):
As you know, like life is so much more joyful
with the kids. And suddenly this farm has a whole
new We were seeing it through new eyes and it's
really magical. And I love these kids going out and
playing with Since he's been born, he knows that eggs
come with chicken, come from chickens. He goes out in
the morning to the coop and gets the eggs. And
I love raising kids who know that, especially.

Speaker 2 (31:41):
And picking the apples. I had a picture of him
picking apples.

Speaker 1 (31:44):
Picking apples from the trees.

Speaker 2 (31:45):
So nice.

Speaker 1 (31:47):
Brushing the horses.

Speaker 2 (31:48):
It is.

Speaker 1 (31:49):
He has a miniature white pony now and he does.

Speaker 2 (31:52):
Has he been on the pony?

Speaker 1 (31:54):
Good? He walks him around on a leash.

Speaker 2 (31:56):
So how has entertaining changed for you since you were
both Paul and West entertained beautifully? This is casually, beautifully, elegantly.
Oh I met I must mention on this podcast, Paul Arnhold,
Wes's husband came on my Roku show for Honkkah and
Paul is not a cook, but he brought his mother's

(32:19):
apple sauce recipe and we served it on Douglas Friedman's
lot Keiz and he is now officially one of my
four Honka Hunks.

Speaker 1 (32:30):
Really yeah, wow, that's amazing. I was very excited he came.
He went out to Bedford, very nervous, and he came
back very excited. We have more apple sauce now in
our kitchen from him practicing. Because imagine being poor, Paul
asked to join Martha Stewart to cook something on TV.

Speaker 2 (32:47):
Well, he was absolutely fabulous and you would have never
known he suffered a moment of anxiety.

Speaker 1 (32:53):
Oh my god.

Speaker 2 (32:56):
I recently saw you when you introduced me as I
was awarded cover story by the Daily front Row. Very
well served and you were so busy, but you took
the time. I just want to thank you for taking
the time to write a very very appropriate and very
thoughtful introduction.

Speaker 1 (33:13):
Oh my gosh, thank you so much. I was so
honored to do it. It's a really cool award. That
was quite a celebrity filled room of award recipients.

Speaker 2 (33:22):
Yeah, the l magazine got Magazine of the Year.

Speaker 1 (33:25):
Yeah, and you you if they didn't give you Cover
of the Year, I can't imagine who they possibly can't
given that too.

Speaker 2 (33:31):
Well, that was just funny. But I think you and
I think that was your first I did. I said
it had to be the cover of the year from
the one hundred and eight billion.

Speaker 1 (33:40):
Impressions direct quote.

Speaker 2 (33:42):
And they all laught. Everybody laughed.

Speaker 1 (33:43):
Yeah, you were ahead. And I could also see the
teleprompter and you didn't stick to that teleprompter for one second.
You are completely bad.

Speaker 2 (33:51):
I'm bad. Back to your fashion. You showed your show
at the Whitney. You got very good reviews. What trends
emerged from that fashion week here in New York that
I'm going to look forward to?

Speaker 1 (34:05):
Cleanliness? Oh yes, yeah, I think it was a real
paired down elegance that came out this season. I personally
found myself in fittings, subtracting, taking away a seam, taking
away a ruffle, just to create pragmatic pieces, pieces that
just feel like a great skirt, a great shirt, a
great pair of heels, and the new classics the new classics,

(34:26):
like my inspiration for the season was Carolyn Bassett Kennedy,
This idea of a woman of great style, combining basics
in a way that creates something fabulous.

Speaker 2 (34:36):
I remember her and her bias cut satin wedding dress,
thinking how could anybody wear such a simple dress.

Speaker 1 (34:45):
And make it look extraordinary, look amazing?

Speaker 2 (34:48):
Still to this.

Speaker 1 (34:48):
Day, probably the most poppied wedding dress.

Speaker 2 (34:51):
It makes me cry every time I think about it.

Speaker 1 (34:53):
So she I think I have every picture of her.

Speaker 2 (34:56):
Besides editing and removing color, anything in color.

Speaker 1 (35:00):
The color definitely we did cooler tones, so think lilacs
and grays, silvers, soft pinks, kind of colors that whisper
rather than yell, but when combined create something magical, Like
I love the combination of lilac and black or yellow

(35:22):
and white. You know, colors where the energy comes by
their usage rather than just the pigment itself. What about
fabric fabric My favorite thing to do at Herrera is
to reinvent kind of these traditional evening dressy ideas as
daywar so cutting what in the past would be a
gown and cotton shorting for example, casual fabrics. Fabrics that

(35:46):
work for your life in twenty twenty four, you know,
and beyond pieces that you can just live in and
be you.

Speaker 2 (35:53):
Were you able to attend anybody else's show?

Speaker 1 (35:55):
I did. I went to my friend Sarah Staudinger's show,
who she has a brand called stad and showed at
the Plaza, And it's so funny to go to a show.
I mean, I'm used to doing things from a different perspective,
but to sit there as an audience member is a
very different experience, right, because, as you know, a fashion
show is like seven minutes, eight minutes. It's a tremendous

(36:17):
amount of work and money and time for something so
short that is immediately over. So to have the opportunity
to experience the flip side of that was quite fun.
And I try to do one a season to support
a friends or to go to go just enjoy the experience.

Speaker 2 (36:33):
That's nice. Have any designers really inspired you lately? Any
other designers besides Carolina Carolina?

Speaker 1 (36:42):
Yeah, I'm always looking at shows. I'm always looking at
what women are wearing. I'm looking at what the stores
are buying, what magazines are shooting. You know, it's every season,
so many brands create so many things to be honest,
it sounds silly, but I'm inspired by everyone who works
in this business because it's you know, it's it's such
an incredible form of self expression. Two of my permanent

(37:04):
favorites are Valentino and Chanel I always love but the
women who wear Herrera are always my greatest muse.

Speaker 2 (37:12):
Well, we can talk for hours, but hours. I just
want to thank you so much for coming here today
and to encourage you to keep up the amazing work
that you're doing. Thank you, and it's a great pleasure
to catch up with you, Wes, and thanks for joining
me here at my office on my podcast.

Speaker 1 (37:29):
I have a lot of work to do to create
ninety nine more.

Speaker 2 (37:31):
Yes, you do, start thinking, I know. Color Mania is
now available at Rizzoli and Carolina Herrera stores and at
Carolinahara dot com. And please be sure to follow Wes
on Instagram at Wes Gordon and at Carolina Herrera.

Speaker 1 (37:47):
For the brand you just broke Instagram.

Speaker 2 (37:49):
I think, uh huh, you're gonna You're gonna get along.

Speaker 1 (37:52):
From the green of Instagram herself. Thank you so much.

Speaker 2 (37:55):
Thank you lovely, and enjoy enjoy your children as much
as you seem to it's amazing.

Speaker 1 (38:00):
Well come next door you can share them.

Speaker 2 (38:01):
I will thank you so much.

Speaker 1 (38:03):
Thank you guys, and I love to Paul.
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