Fernando Colon


Trending: VEDA by Lyndsey Butler


In 2007, Lyndsey Butler launched VEDA with a single mission in mind: to become a leader in leather outerwear. The Thread recently met up with the San Antonio transplant at her newly opened flagship store in SoHo, where we talked about the timeless allure and versatility of a skin that’s so in demand.

Come On In: VEDA is located in the heart of SoHo on 19 Mercer Street.

THE THREAD: How does a Texan who grew up on a ranch in Argentina find herself designing a label in Manhattan?

LYNDSEY BUTLER: I’ve been in New York for almost 12 years now. The city is so international, and I just love the energy of downtown. I suppose my fascination with leather has something to do with my upbringing. From cowboys to Native Americans, leather is deeply rooted in Southern cultures. But I didn’t plan on a career in design and didn’t study it at school. In college, I worked for a fashion showroom in the city, and it kind of all started from there.

THE THREAD: Leather is on trend at the moment. Why do you think it’s an essential wardrobe staple?

LYNDSEY: I like to think of leather jackets almost as a protective layer. Physically, leather is warm, but emotionally, it conveys this air of cool, of confidence. I feel like we’re also seeing a resurgence of strong looks for women, and it’s not necessarily sexy—it’s more about power dressing. Whether it’s suiting or more minimal shapes that aren’t necessarily body-hugging or low-backed, it’s really more about the subtlety of things. Leather definitely plays into the attitude of powerful dress.

A Nordstrom Exclusive: VEDA Genuine Calf Hair & Leather Vest in collaboration with the blog Stop It Right Now

THE THREAD: Tell us about your design partnership with Jayne Min from the blog Stop It Right Now.

LYNDSEY: I’ve always been a really big fan of Jayne’s blog. While on Instagram, I stumbled upon a photo she posted where she was trying on a VEDA vest from a couple of seasons ago. I was so excited for the shout-out that I reached out to her, and we organically started a conversation about working together. This vest is true to Jayne’s style: very minimal, clean stitching and accented with luxe pony hair for some street edge.

Winter’s Must-Have: VEDA ‘Max Classic’ Leather Jacket

THE THREAD: Your collection is 100% leather-based. How do you consistently innovate with this beloved medium?

LYNDSEY: It’s funny because in the beginning, I’d ask myself, “Am I going to be able to do this forever?” I thought there may be a design cap. But honestly, working with leather is a lot like engineering—the methods are always evolving. I’m always working on new designs, testing out skin treatments, visiting our factories in New Zealand and Italy and playing with embellishments, so I’m inspired daily.

Vie for VEDA and shop our Editor’s Picks:

VEDA ‘Mania’ Genuine Shearling Moto Jacket | VEDA ‘Dali’ Leather Jacket
VEDA ‘Aires’ Leather Jacket

Qianna Smith
Store photos by Fernando Colón

Fashion Week

Badgley Mischka Opens First New York Store

For 28 years, Mark Badgley and James Mischka have been elevating the notion of effortless glamour through their jointly designed Badgley Mischka line. The newly married pair are making 2013 a year to remember with the opening of their first New York flagship store on Madison Avenue.

To toast the glorious occasion, the talented twosome invited a host of scenesters and VIPs—House of Cards actress Kate Mara, Canadian Idol singer Carly Rae Jepsen and supermodel Petra Nemcova—to tour their new space during New York Fashion Week.

“We searched for a store in the city for about five years. All we could find were these little white boxes on Madison Avenue. We really wanted something that had character, little nooks and a real residential feeling,” says Mark (pictured left). “When we found this place on East 64th Street & Madison it hadn’t been used in years, so we gutted it and created an elegant, homey atmosphere.”

Patrick Gerard Carmody is the architect behind the renovated space, while Mark and James decorated the interiors of the storefront.

Badgley Mischka’s timeless designs have graced countless red carpets on the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Lopez.

For the 2013 film awards season, the team dressed Helen Mirren for the Golden Globes and Queen Latifah for the Oscars.

We offer Badgley Mischka ready-to-wear apparel in selected stores. For assistance, please contact a Designer Specialist at 1.877.543.7463.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colon

Fashion Week Interviews

Behind the Seams: Milly Spring/Summer 2014

Enter into the world of Milly and watch Michelle Smith, the creative force behind the brand, translate the idea of transparency into a three-dimensional sculpted look for spring/summer 2014.

Michelle invited The Thread to sit in on the model castings and final fittings for her show.

To make the Milly casting cut, you need to exude femininity with a modern edge.

French model Loulou Robert stops by the showroom to finalize the fit on the two looks she’ll wear for the show.

The Parisian glam-girl is also the face of Milly’s fall ’13 ad campaign.

“I’ve got a base palette of black and white. You’ll see a lot of clean, stark silhouettes, but color really comes into play via my prints,” says Michelle, who designs all her own patterns.

Vintage accessories give the ultra-modern collection an added layer of depth. We can’t wait to see how she puts it all together.

It’s almost showtime! We catch up with the designer at The Stage at Lincoln Center, where we find models Anya Kazakova, Emeline Ghesquiere, Vasilisa Pavlova and Steffi Soede donning heels by Manolo Blahnik for Milly spring ’14.

“For me, the collection always begins with the fabric. I love designing fabric and customizing it. Most, if not all, of my fabrics are European,” says Michelle. “I love taking a fabric swatch that may appear sporty or athletic and then transform it into something very feminine and beautiful.”

“I keep eight factories in New York pretty busy year-round, and they are all within a five-mile radius from my studio,” she says of her New York-made brand. “I make 12 ready-to-wear collections a year, so one each month, as well as 5 cabana swimwear collections, Milly Minis childrenswear and handbags.”

Milly’s black and white palette is punctuated with splashes of tropical and floral prints. “I was in Hawaii back in April on the Big Island and the prints were really conceived from that trip. Prior to Hawaii I was in Japan. so you’ll see touches of Japanese floral layered in,” she adds.

There’s nothing like bringing your kids to work when you’re a fashion designer. Michelle’s two children, William and Sophia, join her on the runway to watch the preshow run-through. And it appears William, who is all smiles, sees something he likes.

Models practice moving to the music before it’s time to change into the first looks.

“This collection really emphasizes the classic silhouette: bust, waist and hips. I wanted to draw attention to the hourglass proportions of a woman’s body,” says Michelle. “There’s also a lot of play on structure and shape.”

The key luxurious fabric used in the collection feels almost like a carbon fiber. What makes this material so advanced is that the transparencies give an X-ray effect.

This sportswear-inspired look with its architectural illusions feels so fresh and chic for spring.

Michelle’s attention to detail and continuous fabric innovation truly make her a master among contemporary designers. Bravo!

Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colon

Fashion Week Interviews

Kenneth Cole Spring 2014: Do You See What I See?

Kenneth Cole has been on a mission to reenergize his eponymous label since buying back, in 2012, the company he founded 30 years ago.

Exploring new ways to connect and engage with the digitally charged urbanites of the world, Cole modernizes the traditional static fashion presentation with a never-before-seen social media sensory experience.

Viewpoints, taken from the title of his spring/summer 2014 collection, reveals the details of each design through a compilation of 360-degree rich media taken from Vine to Twitter by the models featured in the presentation.

“Social media allows us to connect in unprecedented ways. Understanding our customer and being able to tailor our product based on the language they speak, from the city they are in, is very important to me,” says Cole, who presented a sporty, streetwise series of looks that included exotic snakeskin printed skirts, neon studded track pants and noir mesh tops.

“We’ve moved away from the static model presentation to a curated dynamic fashion experience. There are all these moving layers and images, which is so cool,” he says. “Your point of view of the collection depends on your points of view. My models are taking pictures with iPhones and we’re taking pictures of them, so you’ll get to see what they see as well as the visual perspective of the audience.”

Do you see what Kenneth Cole sees? #KCViewPoints #behindthefashion

Qianna Smith
Backstage photos by Fernando Colon | Presentation images courtesy of Kenneth Cole

Fashion Week Interviews

A Modern Romance at Nanette Lepore Spring ’14

On one of the hottest days during New York Fashion Week, Nanette Lepore managed to usher in a cool breeze of romanticism on the runway—in the form of airy silhouettes and relaxed separates that you can mix and match with ease.

With so many designers taking a deconstructed approach to floral this coming season, Nanette added her own torn point of view, which we asked her to elaborate on backstage.

“It’s more of a feeling from the print, sort of like a distressed tear, but there’s also softness happening in terms of redefining what is pretty,” she says. “I think women are missing those essential romantic wardrobe staples, so this season I wanted to bring movement and femininity back to my clothing.”

Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colon

Fashion Week Interviews

Safari Adventures with Rachel Zoe for Spring ’14

Rachel Zoe constructs a new take on exotic sophistication for spring/summer 2014.

We snapped Rachel sharing a laugh with her dapper son, Skyler. The designer’s recently announced pregnancy didn’t stop her from positively glowing as she talked with The Thread about the color palette for the season. “This collection is very safari,” she says. “We start with neutrals, then we go into soft feminine blushes and move into a black-and-white story with touches of leather.”

Model Coco Rocha dons Rachel Zoe Resort as she films a special episode of NYLON TV backstage.

Get ready for style adventure in the form of caftans, tailored jackets, maxi dresses and mod minis.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colon

Fashion Week

Naomi Campbell Rules the Runway at DVF

So what’s been the highlight of New York Fashion Week? Watching supermodel Naomi Campbell, 43, glide down the runway in a surprise appearance at Diane von Furstenberg. The British fashion muse closed the show donning a tricolor knit macramé shift dress.

With so many New York designers referencing the ’90s, it was befitting to see the famed catwalk queen electrify the crowd of stunned onlookers.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colon

Fashion Week Interviews

Lela Rose Translates Furniture into Fashion for SS14

Day dresses and evening wear take on a modern form at Lela Rose, where curvilinear shapes meet sculpted femininity.

“The collection is all based around mid-century modern furniture, specifically the work of Arne Jacobsen,” says Lela on the inspiration for spring 2014. “There’s a lot of a architectural lines, but it’s still very feminine. The designs really have an ethereal beauty to them.”

Backstage, we found Lela with her sidekick, Bobbin.

“I was just saying, ‘we’re so rich. We’re just throwing gold everywhere,'” gushes Lela with a laugh on the golden flakes dancing about in the air from the models’ hair.

Celebrity stylist Ted Gibson and the team from his 5th Avenue salon created a whimsical up-do with golden leaf that added texture and gave the style a Midsummer Night’s Dream effect.

Oh, yes! We think they like Lela’s gracious sensibility, which took cues from Danish furniture designer Arne Jacobsen’s famed Egg and Swan chair creations.

After the show, we stopped Jennifer Wheeler, our VP of women’s designer apparel, to get hear her thoughts on the collection. “Lela has such beautiful taste,” says Jennifer. “And her clothing is just refined, elegant, ladylike dressing.”

Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colon

Fashion Week Interviews

Donna Karan’s Spring ’14 Lessons in Urban Culture

The preservation of culture is a key issue for Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation. Inspired by the search for a scarf, Karan’s spring 2014 collection looks to the beauty of the East and pays homage to the craft and passion of local artisans from India to New York.

“Donna always does a beautiful collection that is very authentic to her,” says Karlie Kloss, the face of Jean Paul Gaultier’s fall ’13 ad campaign.

Backstage mayhem at the Cedar Lake Theater in Chelsea.

Joan Smalls, the #1 ranked model in the world, perfects her pout with a touch of gloss.

How versatile is a hand-blocked scarf? For Donna Karan, the possibilities are endless. “Short or long, the look is lean and leggy—or voluminous as air,” according to the show notes.

Polish model Jac Jagaciak dons a block-printed silk stretch georgette scarf dress that oozes urban chic.

Josephine Skriver shows off one of the wide-brim hats designed by Stephen Jones Millinery for the spring ’14 collection.

A man’s tunic made for a woman. Fei Fei Sun wears a silk tussah caftan shirt and silk stretch georgette wrap skirt.

Cora Emmanuel moves with ease wrapped in a poplin skirt dress.

Raw leather accents paired with a masculinely cut skirt dress gives Romanian model Andreea Diaconu a modern elegance.

Hilary Rhoda closes the show in a vegetable-dyed and sunbaked terracotta-stenciled silk chiffon dress.

“What makes Donna’s collections so special is that she works with the best designers that are the best at what they do,” says Kloss, who led the show’s finale walk. “I just loved all the silks from India and the hand beading she did for spring. Everything is so beautifully made and it is inspiring how she supports local artisans around the world.”

Fringed, handwoven suede and grommeted, handprinted python add luxe texture to the collection.

In this exotic tale, it’s the journey, not the destination, that leads to personal self discovery.

After the show, The Thread congratulated the designer and learned a little bit more about her “urban culture” titled collection.

“If you remember, I did a Haitian-inspired collection for spring 2012. For me, culture has just an inspirational aspect and it can play so many different roles,” says Donna, whose DKNY line turned 25 during Fashion Week.

“This entire summer, at the Urban Zen store I had only scarves—I didn’t make clothes. I just wrapped and tied scarves for customers. Particularly at my age, I’m so terrified that we are losing our cultures. Having practiced yoga, I’ve always considered myself one that puts the East and the West together. My travels, especially to Bali, India, Africa and Haiti, have greatly influenced my designs and initiatives for the Urban Zen Foundation.”

Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colon

Fashion Week

The Scene Backstage at Thakoon Spring 2014

Join The Thread backstage at the Dia Art Foundation in Chelsea as Thakoon Panichgul prepares to show his spring/summer 2014 collection. Watch the Thai-American designer, who will celebrate a decade in fashion next September, begin an artful and enlightened conversation on luxury and the kind of refinement defined by the bare essentials.

Model Marikka Juhler exudes a fresh face for spring.

Estonian stunner Elisabeth Erm.

South Korean-born model Sung Hee Kim appeared in the Miu Miu resort ’13 campaign shot by Steven Meisel.

Another Miu Miu face: Anne Verhallen from the fall/winter ’13 campaign.

Martiniquan catwalker Cora Emmanuel gets the head-to-toe works.

For the NARS-created looks, British makeup maven Diane Kendal leads the team.

Thakoon and team concentrate on the show run-through.

Models zig-zag in unison.

Also an Oscar de la Renta fall ’13 campaign star, Kate Bogucharskaia has a look that shines so bright.

Luxe statements come in subtle forms for Japanese model Chiharu Okunugi.

Noted Japanese jeweler Tasaki collaborates yet again with Thakoon on crossbody bags that feature striking pearl chains.

Until we meet again on the runway! #Thakoon.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colon

Get the look, and see Backstage Beauty coverage at the Fashion Week shows on our Beauty Blog.