New Designer Spotlight: Marissa WebbIt is good to finally hear what Marissa has been up to! She is such an incredible talent.
By Jessica Iredale
July 9, 2012
On an oppressively hot June afternoon in New York City, Marissa Webb’s 11th Street studio is an oasis of calm and cool, so much so that she’s comfortable in a long-sleeve leather tunic. Just six months into her new venture, Webb’s setup bears none of the chaotic energy or ad hoc decoration of the typical new designer studio. Everything — chandeliers, a vintage typewriter — is in its place, and looks like it has been for years. Webb can’t help it. “My nickname is shark,” she says, sipping a Red Bull. “Sharks by nature will die if they stop moving.”
For spring, she’s launching the Marissa Webb Collection, with a presentation during New York Fashion Week. While this is her first independent line, Webb is not new to the business. J.Crew loyalists might recognize her as the former head of women’s design for the company, where she became increasingly visible as the face of the women’s collection. She joined the brand in 2000 and stayed through its transformation from sleepy prepster standby to phenomenon of the relatively accessible fashion world before she left in 2011.
The breadth of Webb’s new collection — done in Italian fabrics, French lace and luxe leathers — includes skinny cargo jeans, tie-neck blouses, boyish blazers, a leather moto vest with a cutout yoke and plenty of ethereally layered silk skirts and dresses. “I have a tutu obsession,” says Webb. The tomboy and girly-girl dichotomy is a familiar one, often associated with Webb’s old stomping grounds. “A lot of people ask me, ‘Will your collection look like J.Crew?,’” she says. “The honest answer is, in my mind, no. But after being at J. Crew for 11 years, a lot of my own personal aesthetic is in J.Crew because that was my job. The same things that influenced me then influence me now.”
Webb’s collection has an edgier attitude, with a few more overtly rock ’n’ roll pieces interspersed with the feminine stuff. It’s also more upscale, priced above contemporary — wholesale prices range from $150 for a T-shirt to $1,500 for limited-edition dresses.
Prior to J.Crew, Webb, who studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, worked at Polo and Club Monaco. But she’s quick to admit that her lengthy time at J.Crew has put her at an advantage, having already overseen accessories, collaborations, the color lab and embroideries for a corporate design firm. “It’s definitely helped in this venture,” says Webb. So are the connections she made through the years. Bedrock Manufacturing, Co., the Dallas-based company that also holds Steven Alan in its stable of fashion ventures, has a minority stake in Webb’s business. Steven Alan, in turn, is handling Webb’s sales.
Also, I can't wait to see her line. I too am wondering how similar it will be to J.Crew. Although, with t-shirts priced at $150, I can already say with 100% certainty that I won't be able to afford her new collection. (Seriously, $150 for a t-shirt? Is it lined with gold, diamonds, and unicorns?!?)
Are you surprised to hear that Marissa Webb started her own collection? Do you think you will check it out? Will you buy her pieces?
Yeah, go Marissa! I always enjoyed her look and aesthetic. Its great that she is breaking out her own label. And while the price may be out of range of my budget, I will enjoy oogling what she comes up with!ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing this, I have been wondering what happened to Marissa. I really like her style and will be watching for her collection. It sounds expensive but perhaps there will be one amazing piece that I can pick up. After all, I'm buying a lot less J.Crew so there is more room in my budget. LOLReplyDelete
That's what I was thinking too!Delete
I can't wait to see it.ReplyDelete
Glad she is on to something new and exciting. And note, that price for a t-shirt is *wholesale*, meaning retail price will be $300!! Can we have a diffusion line please?ReplyDelete
She was wearing a leather tunic? A leather tunic? I love it. The prices aren't a match for me either, but maybe she'll throw us some small bones from the feast.ReplyDelete
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This is fantastic news! I'm so glad she was able to start her own line after leaving J.Crew. I have always loved her style, and really look forward to seeing the debut of her collection.ReplyDelete
I cannot wait to see this line! I am doubtful if I can afford any of it, but I always have admired her aesthetic!ReplyDelete
Marissa was my favorite! I was so sad to see her leave, but I'm glad she is starting her own line. I can't afford anything from her line, but I love to look! Here is the link to her website if you want to follow her:ReplyDelete
WHOLESALE prices start at $150 for a tee shirt. Given the mark up of most clothing, that means this line will be priced like the lines started by the Olson Sisters and Victoria Beckham. Quite out of reach for most of us. Not sure why I'd get excited about this. Most designers starting out price much lower to begin with, this seems a tad optimistic.ReplyDelete
I'm not worried about the price points. If something looks like it will sell, JC will knock it off and I'll pick it up on sale.ReplyDelete
Excellent plan :)Delete
Looks to me like she went ahead and did what Jenna would have always liked to...if Jenna hadn't been given the role of head honcho, of course.ReplyDelete
I'm thrilled for Marissa-love her design aesthetic. She needed to take all that she's gleaned and make it her own. I wish her well:)