Designer Katie Ermilio On Her Fashionable Genes And More

by The Daily Front Row

(NEW YORK) Designing a collection fit for royalty is no simple task, but luckily for Katie Ermilio, it’s a talent she was born with. Coming from a strong design-centric brood—her grandfather created gowns for Grace Kelly and her father runs a bespoke suit business—Ermilio is just carrying on with family tradition. After previewing her glamorous two-toned Spring collection, awash with femme shades of pink, purple, and a bit of blue, The Daily sat down with the designer to get a refresher course on her eponymous label. 

What’s been going on since The Daily last spoke with you in the Hamptons two summers ago?
Oh, my! Well, I started doing pre-collections, I got picked up by Barneys, I did my first video for for with Nora Zehetner, and Michelle Williams wore a gown. So many cool things have happened!

How has your business grown since then?
We have a larger presence and volume now, because we’re doing four collections a year. That said, our company is still largely the same, in the sense that we’re growing responsibly and still laying the foundation. We’re not trying to be a flash in the pan; we’re trying to build things slowly.

What’s the deal with your family’s design history?
I’m a fourth-generation designer. It’s almost like a family tradition! I’m excited that I get to carry on the name. I have the support of my family to design the way that I’d like to—which is not as menswear or customer riding clothes, but women’s ready to wear.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Spring collection?
When I did my first resort collection this year, I worked with petals and plush pinks. I really just wanted to continue exploring those colors. I started with that and then I designed the print for Spring.

Why did you decide on just those two colors?
This is going to sound a bit hippie-dippie, but you just know when something feels right! For me, these colors just felt right. When you see the collection as a whole,  it’s clear that adding another color would’ve felt so busy. All of my family members have a streamlined eye, so I guess through osmosis, that seeped into my personal taste and design aesthetic.  

Why did you decide to include some fur for Spring?
I tend to not only design for the season of the collection, but also the delivery date. We start shipping in January when it’s still cold outside, so I try to also design for the time when people will actually be purchasing the clothing.

Do you know what your next step will be, business-wise?
Everything that has happened so far has happened so organically! One little project will lead me to the next. I never know when something will pop up, so for the foreseeable future I’m going to go with that.

Any vacations planned between now and your next collection?
Pretty much no! I’m going home for Thanksgiving, which I’m really excited about. All of my family is coming into town. It will be nice to have some pie!

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