New York Fashion Week kicks off tomorrow and there’s one show on the Mercedes-Benz stage that will be unlike all the others.
Carrie Hammer launched her modern womenswear line four years ago, motivated by a personal frustration over the lack of stylish wardrobe options available to professional women.
“For a long time women’s workwear was very uniform, usually black on black. Overall, it was masculine clothing for women, creating a message that in order to be a powerful woman, you must dress in a masculine way. I strive to provide clothing options that accentuate and represent the idea that you can be simultaneously feminine and powerful.”
Every Carrie Hammer piece is custom-made for each customer. In fact, Carrie often draws inspiration from the women who end up wearing her clothes. Because of this philosophical approach, Carrie felt that casting professional runway models for her first New York Fashion Week show in February 2014 didn’t quite align with the Carrie Hammer brand.
“I realized that it was my customers, who are all incredible women and role models, that best represented the Carrie Hammer brand. They should be the type of model walking down the runway. Role Models Not Runway Models was my 'lightning bolt' moment.”
The models that walk Carrie’s runway are all nominated by former role models, and today’s waiting list to strut down the catwalk has over 500 names. The direction of each fashion show is determined by the featured role models, and all of the designs are named after the very women who model them.
Carrie’s upcoming fall line will show a juxtaposition between strong silhouettes and feminine fabrics, modeled by twenty-seven inspiring women, including June Cohen, Executive Producer at TED, Rachel Gogel, Creative Director at The New York Times, and comedian-writer Maysoon Zayid, co-founder of the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival and a disability advocate with cerebral palsy.
Keep up with Carrie on CarrieHammer.com
Interviewed by Pavla Mikula