Meet: Jonathan Simkhai

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Top: (c/o) Jonathan Simkhai/Jeans: Similar/Heels: Steve Madden/Bag: Similar

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[Chelsae Anne | Photography]

Off-the-shoulder top: (c/o) Jonathan Simkhai/Jeans: Similar here and here/Heels: Steve Madden/Bag: Similar/Sunnies: Similar here and here

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Earlier this month, I sat down with one of fashion’s hottest young designers, Jonathan Simkhai at Saks Fifth Avenue Boca Raton. Cue excitement…

Simkhai, a Parsons grad, started working in the fashion industry at fourteen years old as a buyer and merchandiser. It was that experience that provided an inside look at what women desire and formed the basis for his design perspective. After gaining real world experience in the fashion industry, Simkhai launched his brand with a clear focus on “his girl” – the modern cosmopolitan woman – and boy did it take off.

In 2015, Simkhai was named the winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, an initiative to support emerging American fashion talent, and was awarded $300,000 plus a year of mentorship.

Today, Simkhai’s designs have been spotted on IT girls Kendall Jenner; Gigi Hadid; Jamie Chung; Leandra Medine; Miranda Kerr; Scarlett Johansson; Sandra Bullock and Emma Robert, to name a few…

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How have you evolved as a designer since winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund?  

JS: The award has allowed me to dig deep and understand what women come to me for, what they feel when they put my clothes on and what they ultimately want.

The Simkhai woman is faced with mundane moments, meetings, etc., but fashion adds excitement to her life – it helps her deal with the day to day. That’s how I get through my day! Sometimes I wake up and don’t want to get out of bed, but remember that I have this vintage jacket and I get excited. It inspires me.

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Tell me more about the Jonathan Simkhai woman…

JS: She loves putting on a great dress, feeling sexy and showing skin. She also feels great wearing a sexy lingerie top with her boyfriend’s jeans or a sweatshirt. She goes with her mood. She embraces fashion. She’s cool and confident.

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Simkhai first started designing men’s shirts for his uncle’s wholesale clothing manufacturing business. They would always be the best sellers…

Do you still find inspiration in menswear?

JS: It depends; every season changes. Sometimes I find inspiration in menswear shapes… sometimes it’s in men’s fabrics… sometimes it’s in masculine strengths.

Simkhai goes on to explain how he balances masculine strength and feminine sensuality throughout his designs…

Girls love borrowing boy’s clothing. So if I design something with a menswear shape, I’ll give her something feminine to pair it back.

Simkhai’s “borrowed from the boys” look is something that carries through his brand season after season.

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Where do you see your line going in five years?

JS: I would be interested in doing handbags, shoes, and beauty products. I would also love to do menswear!

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What has been your most proud moment?

JS: Seeing women in the streets of New York wearing my designs and wearing them with confidence. That’s very cool…

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Where are you currently drawing inspiration?  

JS: Currently, I’m drawing inspiration from architectural themes. Much like a garage that can hold the weight of cars and trucks, I think the Simkhai woman can go through life holding a lot of weight on her shoulders, too.

How has social media changed fashion?

JS: It can get tricky when a big blogger wears your designs before they are made available to the public. It’s forcing designers to think outside of the box; to make their fashion quickly shoppable.

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Lastly, who would you love to dress?

Rooney Mara!

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Simkhai’s designs are available at Saks Fifth Avenue, including Boca Raton! Click here for more…

Night everyone! Thanks for stopping by… have a great week!

Xo, Stephanie

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