(NEW YORK) At Saks Fifth Avenue yesterday, Escada held a luncheon on the second floor and put on a mini fashion show of their latest cruise collection for their best clients and a handful of New Yorkers For Children members, with proceeds from the day going to benefit the charity. So what were the most popular looks for this clientele? A sleeveless black ruffled bottom top, a long sleeve black jumpsuit, and a B&W striped asymm evening gown seemed to generate the most buzz. New Yorkers do love donning noir, after all. On hand to host the collection? Escada owner Megha Mittal, who bought the company in 2009 after the brand filed for bankruptcy. The London-based Mittal is a Wharton grad with a B.S. in economics and has a post-graduate degree in architechtural interior design from the Inchbald School of Design in London. More on Megha? She’s married to Aditya Mittal, the CFO and heir to the ArcelorMittal steel fortune. We caught up with the brains behind the Escada business on her first personal appearance in New York since purchasing the brand. Plus, find out what’s on her bookshelf these days!
BY PAIGE REDDINGER
Welcome to New York! How’s the city been treating you so far?
It has been wonderful. This is a very small private event; we wanted to sort of keep it that way. We’re supporting New Yorkers For Children, which is a great cause to be aligned with. I’ve met some really fantastic people from different avenues of life, so it has been a real pleasure.
Does the New York customer feel different than other Escada fans globally?
The world has become very global. Most people you meet these days travel from continent to continent! It’s not so much about where you live; it’s more about what you do in your life. Many women in New York are perhaps quite active and very forthcoming, in a good way.
Who’s the Escada customer? What does the brand stand for nowadays?
Escada stands for femininity, elegance, and understated glamour. What our customers have in common is wanting a very active lifestyle. They want to be well-dressed, and they appreciate quality and craftsmanship. Those are brand’s core qualities. We want to retain these core values. Over the last couple of years, we’ve changed and modernized the brand. It’s now much more relevant to how the modern woman wants to dress today. We want to continue in that direction.
You have a background in interior design. Do you apply that at all to your position at Escada?
It helped me get a visual aesthetic, which can translate to really anything. Taste and visual aesthetic is a way you perceive things. That can be applied to fashion or art, they are connected by a common thread. Of course, we have a team with expertise in design, so I do not design the studio.
What are you looking forward to seeing while you are in New York?
I’m literally here for less than 12 hours. I got in last night and I leave this evening. I’m going to Frankfurt where we are opening up a new store, so I’ll be attending that event. It’s a very short business trip. I’ll have to stay longer next time!
What’s your plane reading of choice?
Malcolm Gladwell‘s newest book, David and Goliath.
Are you a big Malcolm Gladwell fan?
Well, I’ve also read Outliers.
We hear you’re a fitness savant. What’s your workout routine?
It needs to get much better, I can tell you that much! I go to the gym…and I dance.