Interview with Stacy Igel: the Designer behind Boy meets Girl®

Six years ago, I met Stacy Igel at the LA Market. She just started Boy meets Girl. Now – six years later – it is time for an update. Let’s learn more about her!

Where did your interest for fashion designs come from?
Well, I told my Mom at the age of four that I would only wear dresses to nursery school. I dressed my pre–K classmates and staged fashion shows from my school cafeteria.  My mom was an entrepreneur and I definitely inherited that from her — its in my blood.

What inspired you to start working in fashion design?
I always knew I loved fashion at a very early age. I think I was born with the fashion bug (Stacy smiles).
I draw inspiration from a variety of eclectic influences: vintage clothing, the vibrant New York art and music scenes, Hollywood glamourati, etc. As far as business mentors/role models goes, there’s Ellie Tahari, Zandra Rhodes and Elsa Klensch, all of whom I’ve worked for and all of whom were hard workers in there own right even after they’d “made it.”  That was an eye opener for me. I was smart enough to recognize that the hard workers were usually the individuals who got the big opportunities in life.  They were also the ones who were prepared to capitalize on those opportunities.

Stylistically, I’m going to give you my holy trinity of influences.  First, Coco Chanel, who famously said “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”  I agree. I think that’s why I am so happy working as hard as I do.  Second, Kate Moss.  Of course she’s a beautiful and confident woman, but what I love about her is the way she effortlessly transitions from eclectic vintage to high fashion.  She never looks like she’s trying to put an outfit together – everything looks like it just naturally belongs on her body.  Third, Patti Smith.  She’s stayed true to her edgy stylishness since the 70s.  She’s unflappable.

Describe your philosophy on the art of fashion.
“Think, Say, Do” and “BELIEVE!”

How long did you work as a designer? 
I’ve had my own collection ten years, my tenth year anniversary was this past September 2011.
Before designing my own collection I designed for Elie Tahari and Izod. I won’t reveal my age but I have been designing my whole life. I sewed my first skirt at the age of six.

Do you think social, economic and technical factors have influenced fashion over the years?
Social media, for me, is such a wonderful way to connect directly with my customers.  I have been doing it in some form since I started my company in 2001 whether email directly with buyers/customers/fans and now through all my outlets (websites/facebook/twitter/myblog/polyvore/youtube/tumblr). I spend a lot of time on my various social media sites.  My husband would say way too much time.  But  I’ve made some good friends and learned a lot about fashion, technology and business this way.  I think it’s great that I can discuss fashion and my brand with people who care about these things as much as I do. And I take my audience’s feedback very seriously.  Social media is like conducting a 24/7/365 focus group. Interacting with my fans is one of the most important things to me and for my brand: I’ve been building honest, mutually-beneficial relationships in fashion for years now, it has to be organic.

What is your advice for young women who want to be a fashion designer?
1. Be prepared to work like you’ve never worked before.
2.  Being a talented designer is not enough. You need to learn how to be an effective marketeer, networker, sales person, service provider, writer, stylist, merchandiser and psychiatrist too.
3.  Work with multiple vendors and never stop sourcing potential new ones.  It gives you leverage and protects you from catastrophes.
4. Last, but not least… BELIEVE!

I quickly learned the importance of hard work and customer service.  There are a lot of amazingly talented people in this world.  While you may not always be the most creative, charming or brilliant person in the room, you can be the hardest working and most dedicated — that is something that is totally within your own control.  By working hard, my bosses took notice at my earlier jobs and my employees take notice now.  Its leadership by example and I think it fosters loyalty and camaraderie.

What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
My first tradeshow was scheduled for September 11th and by the time the show resurfaced later that Fall, I had completely redesigned the line based on this intense desire to place “Americana” at it’s heart. Our customer is the quintessential All-American girl. Someone who is a dreamer; someone with spirit.  I’m proud to be an American and I’m proud of the brand’s roots, along with our history of local sourcing and production.  Like so many of us, I will never forget that day and how it shaped my life and career.

How do you select your Models? 
I love discovering up and coming models. I work with young fresh faces. I work with agencies as well as Cristina DeHart, founder of Exploremodeling.com. She is great and I love her website – it’s a community for people interested in modelling. I have done many contests with her to cast models for my photo shoots and NY Fashion Week runway shows!

Boy Meets Girl USA has been featured on some of the biggest names in the business including Anne Hathaway, Eva Mendes, and Rosario Dawson as well as shows such as Beverly Hills 90210 & Gossip Girl. What has been your favorite experience thus far in your career in the industry?
This is a very hard question as there are so many amazing moments in my career. I pinch myself everyday for how far I have come in a competitive market place. I am so grateful for the appreciation of my brand and my hard work. I love seeing someone walk down the street wearing a piece I made. I usually stop and dial my mom’s cell phone to tell her the exiting news. ”Hey mommy (nickname: Norma) just spotted an adorable girl rocking my line in the park”. Highlights for me are seeing my product make others feel good. I also am so grateful I am able to give back through my brand. Working with several charities to raise awareness in collaboration with Boy Meets Girl® and me brings smiles all around. 

 As final note when can we expect  Boys Meets Girl® in Europe?
I’d like our website’s e-commerce platform to become one of the most sophisticated yet user-friendly direct sales platforms in fashion both in America and Internationally. Currently we are only shipping domestically but we are working on an international platform as we get daily requests to buy Boy Meets Girl® in Europe so that is on the top of the TO DO List 🙂
Of course, retail is crucial to our success and we want to continue to have a strong presence in key boutiques and department stores.
So YES YES AND YES.

Big thanks to Stacy and her wonderful team for facilitating this interview.

For more info:
www.boymeetsgirlusa.com & www.stacyigel.com

Femmie

Femmie

Femmie has her own company: raffine. Her company magnifies a brand's unique selling point through graphic design and makes sure the brand communicates clear and strong. On top of that, she is the proud designer of by Styling Amsterdam and works side by side with editor in chief Monica.

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