Last time we spoke with you, you were just about to show your first Attitude Jay Manuel collection and the public hadn’t seen it yet. Now that it’s arrived in Sears stores and the billboards are everywhere, how are you feeling?
To see it all here and realize that we’re past the runway show and it’s on the floor and seeing the excitement... it’s really been a kind of like a weird dream to be honest. And now that we’re in a normal work flow and have been moving into spring/summer — the show is in three weeks — we realize we’ve all learned so much from this experience.
What kind of feedback have you received from customers?
It’s been very positive. What I love to hear and the best compliment I can get is when someone tweets me and says, ‘I wear a size 14 and I went in and found a suit that fit me’. That makes me feel good because when working with the pattern drafters I was literally pinning and chalking and working on those pieces to make sure they fit well.
If I came upon the Attitude collection in Sears and a Jay Manuel angel appeared on my shoulder what would he whisper in my ear to guide me in my experience.
One of the things that I would say is that fashion should never be intimidating. It’s there to service you. And secondly, if I could guide you somewhere in particular I would say that the most universally flattering silhouette is the wide-legged trouser. If you haven’t tried one on before, reach out and try one because you’d be so surprised how it fits.
You’ve held so many titles in the fashion industry. How does creative director rank in comparison?
To me I would say this right now is the top because I’m so involved in every part of the process. I’m literally working every day on this brand. So for me I take a lot of pride in the work that we do and I’m also my harshest critic. So I’m constantly evaluating it.
Can you give us an idea of what the next collection will look like?
My initial inspiration was that I wanted to take the customer on a journey... that’s what I’m going to say for now...we’re going on a journey.
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