Sam Edelman’s Advice for Aspiring Designers

by The Daily Front Row

For Fall 2019, Sam Edelman invites you to step behind the hedges of one of America’s most legendary estates and enter a world of whimsy, irreverence, and timeless American elegance. We sat down with the legendary designer to hear all about it!

What was your inspiration for Fall ’19?
I’m most inspired by my muse, wife, and business co-founder Libby Edelman, who has a great sense of personal style and approach to fashion. Together, we designed and curated a collection that’s the epitome of timeless American elegance and laid-back luxury — reimagined with an unexpected twist and sense of humor.

You chose Newport, Rhode Island, as the backdrop for your Fall ’19 campaign. What inspired that decision?
For Fall ’19, I embraced the whimsy and irreverence of the Sam Edelman brand to tell a timeless story of love, discovery, and a life well lived. I chose Newport because it’s one of America’s most iconic destinations — a place steeped in history, filled with captivating characters, incredible architecture and design. I like the juxtaposition of our fashion-forward, on-trend collection shot in such a traditional and opulent setting. The campaign invites you to discover the world of Sam Edelman, a story that will continue to unfold.

How are you responding to the modern woman’s wardrobe needs?
I’m passionate about continuing to expand our lifestyle brand, offering her even more categories to choose from. Our Fall ’19 campaign features a wide assortment of Sam Edelman denim, outerwear, dresses, footwear, and accessories, including silk scarves, hosiery, and sunglasses. We’re responding to our customers’ needs by rolling out product on a buy-now, wear-now timeline. Most of the product you see in our campaign will be available to shop immediately — whether you’re shopping online or in one of our stores.

 

Any new and exciting product categories we should be on the lookout for in the months to come?
We’re excited to introduce our first truly cold-weather collection, Sam Weather. This collection is where fashion meets function. Debuting this fall, you’ll find gorgeous puffers, sleek waterproof jackets, and on-trend weatherproof footwear — all perfect for the city or the slopes. 

You’ve had a lot of red carpet moments in 2019. Any favorites? Why do you think celebrities gravitate toward your footwear? 
Celebs have always loved and gravitated toward our product for its on-trend design and comfort. It started 10 years ago with the Kardashians, who wore and coveted our iconic Gigi thong sandal. Kate Upton has also been a longtime fan and friend of the brand, whose favorite Sam Edelman styles include our fun Hope stiletto mule. Most recently, Emily Blunt has been wearing our Yaro block-heel sandal on the red carpet and on the street, including when she received her SAG Award.

 

What do you think is the key to your success and longevity in the industry? Any advice for aspiring designers or executives?
The key to success for both Libby and myself has been consistency. We have been consistently able to tell a brand story that reflects our personal style and our understanding of fashion throughout the world for more than 40 years. We have told this through Esprit, Sam & Libby, and today we tell this story through Sam Edelman and Circus by Sam Edelman. My advice for aspiring designers and executives is to find a mentor with experience who can help channel your talents, who can share with you the mistakes they’ve made, and who will guide you through the process of achieving success.

When you need to take a moment to recharge your creative energies, how do you do so?
I developed a love for equestrian sports at age 12. The equestrian lifestyle and the sport of show jumping take tremendous discipline and talent. It’s another way for me to channel my energy. Family is at the core of my life. Being a devoted father and grandfather is my greatest joy and triumph.

What is your favorite way to spend time in the Hamptons?
Having been both visitors and residents of the Hamptons, Libby and I love the air, the ocean, the farmstands, and, of course, the Hampton Classic Horse Show, which has become a big part of our life.

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