PHOTO CREDITS: LEE CLOWER
We had the honor of speaking to the Neige clothing founder & designer Adrienne Sugden! Here’s what went down…
N: Hi Adrienne!
A: Hi Nini!
N: First tell me a little bit about yourself.
A: I live in sunny California right outside Newport beach with my husband and two kids, Charlie 8, and Abby 11. My husband is originally from Romania and then became a New Yorker. We moved to California from New York so my husband could finish his MBA when I was pregnant with my daughter. We are really city people, but the climate, parks and general life in California are amazing for the kids! California also offers so many resources for young designers.
N: How did you get into children’s wear? How did the Neige company start?
A: The concept for Neige began long before I created the brand. I worked in New York for Vera Wang on their design team and I would often pop into the children’s departments as I worked. At the time (it was the late nineties) there were so many beautiful clothing and choices for woman but nothing clean, timeless and age appropriate for children. When I was at Parson’s I did a project on children’s wear and Iv’e been thinking about doing a collection ever since. When the brand launched in 2003 there was nothing like our clothing on the market. I started with four sundresses, and Barney’s New York debuted that first collection. From there we expanded to boys clothing and babies. Now we do a teen line up to size 16 for Posh! It has really grown.
N: It is so cool that you worked at Vera Wang! What exactly did you do there?
A: Yes it was an amazing opportunity. I worked on a team of four people and we did everything from sketching and designing the bridal gowns and accessories, to making custom dresses for the Oscars.
N: I wore a Vera Wang gown to my wedding, there is something magical about those dresses! Did you wear Vera Wang to your wedding?
A: Yes! Vera gave me my bridal gown as a wedding gift! Trying on a Vera Wang gown is like driving a Porsche- once you drive one you can’t go back!
N: What does the word “Neige” mean and is there a significance behind the name?
A: The name “Neige” means snow in french. I grew up in Vancouver, Canada among all the ski resorts. To me snow signifies purity and innocence which really encapsulates our brand and what we stand for. Snow is also very connected to my childhood and represents purity as a design. It drives me to keep innocence, cleanliness and good design in my clothing.
N: As a designer, do you ever get designer block and what inspires you as a designer?
A: Yes, I do get designers block. What I do- it’s almost like when a writer gets writer’s block- is sit in front of my sketchbook and sketch and sketch. In design school they called this “croquis”- (in french.) It means rough sketches. So Ill just keep drawing and drawing until it builds from one idea to the next and soon it will become a theme.
N: We often see you using Liberty prints in your collections. What do you love about that specific fabric?
A: Good point! What I love about Liberty is the softness of the fabric and the wash ability! You can wash it a hundred times and it will still look great and hold its quality. My daughter Abby has passed down some Neige skirts to my three nieces- and it still looks amazing after being washed over and over!
N: I also love Liberty fabrics for their camouflage factor! With my kids, I want to know that when they spill ice cream on their shirt it won’t be instantly noticeable!
A: Absolutely. I always feature some white in all of my collections because its so beautiful on children; but their is a dirty factor that a lot of parents are afraid of!
N: What can we expect from Neige fall in terms of color and fabric, ect.?
A: I’ve gone very rich in color and texture for fall- colors like wine, blues and caramels mixed with tweeds and interesting fabrics. We are also very excited to feature merino wool for our sweater collection which will raise the bar in terms of quality.
N: We are so excited to have such a special relationship with Neige, and you, Adrienne! Thanks for giving our readers a glimpse into your beautiful brand!
A: My pleasure!