Wed Gordon and models in his Spring 2013 collection.
Emerging design talent Wes Gordon possesses charm and skill beyond his years. This year alone was marked with more than one mega design milestone. After receiving Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award for womenswear, Gordon garnered the coveted accolade of being a finalist in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. After completing several months worth of challenges in conjunction with the annual competition that helps young American designers build their businesses, Gordon, still wide-eyed and energized, took his very first trip to Dallas to visit with the NM team at the historic flagship store.
A delicate lace elongated sleeve.
Wes Gordon: I am visiting ten Neiman Marcus stores this season. It’s so fun to go to the different cities and meet the people and go out to see the sights.
NMdaily: You are not only handsome but are very personable, so I am sure women across the country are thrilled to meet the man behind your elegant work.
WG: And I like to see who is behind the clothes! It’s very fun for a designer to put a face to an abstract idea.
NMdaily: You’re only 26-years-old and you have already had all of this success… and now your CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nomination. How does this feel?
WG: Well I still have a long way to go. The past couple of years have felt like 30.
Wes Gordon, Spring 2013.
NMdaily: How has the whole process been?
WG: It’s a lot of work, but it’s been such a good learning opportunity. The Fashion Fund competition is just tremendous. It’s such an honor to be included with such a phenomenal group of designers.
NMdaily: You launched your first collection in February 2010 and your designs are already splashed all over the pages of Vogue and hanging in Neiman Marcus.
WG: I can’t believe Spring is our sixth collection! Since I decided to start off as a new brand everything was a first. I think it takes you a couple of seasons to find your voice.
NMdaily: You are from Atlanta and then you went to school in London. Did you always know that you wanted your brand based in New York?
WG: I think that’s why I wanted to go to school in London. Well, I knew I wanted to go to St. Martins, and I knew I always wanted to live in New York, but I thought I would rather to go to school someplace else. There are worst places to school than in London!
Gordon and NM fashion director Ken Downing chat at a NM cocktail party in Dallas.
NMdaily: You take pride in making all of your clothing in New York’s garment district. Why is this important to you?
WG: It’s great for quality control. We are able to duck in and see how its going at any given time. The hand-stitching, the beautiful linings and the details are everything, so we constantly need to monitor that process. New York’s garment district has such a history. It’s also the factories with these incredibly talented people.
NMdaily: Do you do anything else for fun or are you just work, work, work?
WG: I just got a puppy, her name is Bird. She is a ridiculously cute black and white cockapoo. That has been taking over my life at the moment. I got her the day of my show in September.
NMdaily: As a congratulatory gift?
WG: To myself! I actually found her before she was born. My show happened to be the day she was ready to be picked up and I couldn’t get her the morning of.
NMdaily: Does she get to come into the office?
WG: Yes! We have her, a small but hard-working staff and some pretty amazing interns.
NMdaily: And you had some pretty awesome internships yourself…
WG: I interned with Oscar de la Renta and Tom Ford. Oscar actually came to my first presentation.
NMdaily: Would you say that that experience largely shaped your career?
WG: They are both masters at what they do. I definitely learned a lot from them, and if I am some day just a fraction as successful as them, I will be very happy.
NMdaily: What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?
WG: Wow, what an amazing job to have! I get to think of things and realize them and make them. I get to have an idea for a dress or a sweater and watch it come to life. It’s incredible. The best part is the idea of strangers going into stores and falling in love with the pieces I designed.
Wes Gordon, Spring 2013.
NMdaily: Was this always your dream?
WG: I always knew. It started with obsessing over fashion books. I would buy the old Valentino books and I just fell in love with it—the idea of it, the spirit, the elegance, the drama. I am so glad I found out at a young age what I wanted to do because that makes chasing this dream a lot easier. I want to be building this company until the day I die.
NMdaily: Well we are excited to follow you forever.