Caroline Issa Nordstrom Collection – Caroline Issa Talks Designing for Nordstrom and the Power of Social Media
Harper’s BAZAAR: Can you walk me through your inspiration for this collection?
Caroline Issa: I wanted to take a look at timeless, classic style icons from American lore. So I was looking at a lot of images of Lauren Bacall and Lauren Hutton, their amazing shirting and khaki trousers; there was an amazing look with Bianca Jagger in an incredible white suit. It was a lot of American style icons, and it filled the place of a great, classic, essential wardrobe. So when we were thinking about silhouettes, it was those women and those pictures that really inspired me, and then thinking through the prints and the color wave, I had literally just come back from a trip to Marrakech and it was perfect timing. So we used a lot of mosaic tile print and patterns as our graphic starting point; the navy, the purples, the light blues and violets really inspired the color wave. So, it was those two things that kind of took genesis and became part of the launch collection.
HB: You’re still London-based right?
CI: I’m still London-based! For 13 years now.
HB: Did living in London influence the collection at all?
CI: I think London—like New York, like L.A., like Seattle—is a busy city and as a professional woman you’re kind of running around, and you want clothes that work really hard for you and as a fashion editor, you’re running around, you’re meeting people and you’re going from day appointments into cocktail night appointments. So you know, in much of London, it’s super urban, and it’s fast territory that you can’t really go back home to change for anything else. That really influenced me in thinking about creating a lot of versatile pieces that you could wear to the office during the day, or to your market appointments, but then if you had to go to a cocktail or dinner event, you could literally just put some red lipstick on, wear a great necklace, and look ready and confident to the night. So in that sense, I think being in London and knowing what your day is like, that kind of influenced where we went with the collection.
HB: Does street style influence your designs?
CI: Not really. I think fashion is fashion, whether there’s a camera in front of you or not. So no, I don’t think it did at all. But I think what street style does is definitely documented my love of print and my love of color, so in that sense I think that’s probably where people will recognize the collection as something that’s very true to what I love to wear myself.
HB: You’re very active on social media, especially Instagram. How does it influence you?
CI: Yes, I am definitely an Instagram addict! What I love about Instagram is being able to kind of travel through the eyes of the Instagrammer and yes, I’ll definitely pull vacation pics or places and colors from other people’s Instagrams. I think what I actually love the most, which sort of just started in a small way, is the one-to-one conversations that you can have with your customers. When I was in Seattle in the beginning of the week, people were starting to ask me via Instagram, “When does the collection launch? Where can I find it?” Or if I post a picture of something that I’ve worn, people are like, “Ooh is that going to be available?” And I love that immediacy. It’s all about one-to-one conversations through social media nowadays. I think that’s such an amazing advantage to have and a tool to utilize.
Nordstrom Signature and Caroline Issa launches today at Nordstrom.com.