I always say the style is your conversation with the world… So I’ve just started this conversation and I talk a lot.
We had the pleasure of talking to fashion designer Frederick Anderson about his spring 2018 collection. And we’re excited to let you in on what he has to say about his collection and what the future holds for him and his designs.
1. When you’re thinking of a new design or collection do you have ideas long before you start, or is it a spontaneous rush of concepts moments before? Can you give us a quick run through your design process?
Generally, everything starts as a small concept or thought, although I love fabrics, so that’s a starting point, too. Then as I sketch and work with the fabrics the concept tends to evolve. This season it was really about the idea of boxes and labels that US society puts on us about both race and dressing.
2. I’ve noticed that both your spring 2018 collection and your fall collection Black.Like.Me relates to your African lineage and culture. Do you feel like you would want to continue this streak of African culture designs or someday maybe design a collection inspired by another culture?
I think that I’ve now finished this thought as a theme, but the collection will always have elements of my culture since that is gaze from which I work through. In design, you can’t help but have your past influences affect the design if you stay true to yourself.
3. In a recent Essence article, you said that the best aspect of this collection is that all of the items look beautiful on brown skin. Did you formulate your ideas and designs with the intention of it being worn by women of color?
I think the collection looks amazing on all skin tones. The idea was that the skin becomes part of the story. Obviously when I began working on the idea of African influences with American sportswear then brown was my starting point. I think the wonderful thing is that with the sheer elements the collection will take on a different story for every woman that wears it no matter what her skin tone.
4. This is your first spring collection, and easily noticeable as your most colorful collection, does color represent something deeper to you?
I love color… I started with black because I think of black as a base. The first collection was working on the silhouette and shape so I didn’t want to be distracted by the color. Now the color helps bring the full vision alive and adds layers (depth).
5. The collection is very sheer and risqué with a lot of lace, perfect for the venturous and bold women out there, but do you have any styling tips for the more reserved girl that love your pieces and want to wear it?
I love the individuality of layering. The collection has camisoles, slips, t-shirts that can be layered under the lace to help with the sheerness, but also make it individual for the modern woman.
My story is just beginning… I honestly hope to stay honest to my vision and let the story continue to write itself. It will be an interesting and unique ride I’m sure for me and my clients. I always say style is your conversation with the world… So I’ve just starting this conversation and I talk a lot. [laughs]
6. Besides the lace that you used for your collection, you used much different interesting fabric, such as tweed and feathers. Do you have particular materials that you enjoy working with?
I am in a lace moment but love interesting textural fabrics. It’s important to me to design the fabric along with the collection… It’s my signature.
7. I can see your collection being worn by famous models and celebrities. Is there anyone specific that you would love to see wearing your collection?
From your mouth to God’s ears. It’s funny, the Black Like Me collection pieces were called in by several celebrities for fashion shoots. At my previous company, I had dressed Beyoncé and Janet Jackson… Love to dress them again along with Lady Gaga…I love Charlize Theron and her style. I feel empowered by strong women who are not afraid to be individuals. So it’s a long list for me…
8. Most designers tend to have a favorite piece of work, do you have a particular item or style from your collection that you can honestly say is your favorite?
The cropped Bomber jacket. That and the tunic are the two pieces I can see living in my collection for a few more seasons.
9. You implemented the “see now – buy now model” with your spring collection. Do you feel that this takes some of the long waited suspense and desire away from runway fashion and it’s better to give the consumer what they want immediately?
I’m planning to do ‘see now buy now’ again for a resort in Palm Beach and Miami. I wanted to be able to offer more options for my clients who loved the first collection. This past summer was great cause I was able to do a pop-up event in the Hamptons with my friend, Cristina Cuomo so ladies could actually try on and buy the clothing. Client building and brand awareness are incredibly important for every business.
10. With this collection being your third overall, where do you see yourself and your designs in the years to come?
I want a small studio/shop and to sell the collection in the best stores worldwide. That would make me very happy. I’ve already sold a few stores in the US and Kuwait. Hopefully more this season. It’s my first season of doing wholesale.