Bursting into the fashion scene in the early 90’s, fashion designer Gemma Kahng was an instant success. Known for her power-suits and sold out collections at the hautest department stores, stars like Sharon Stone are fans. Gemma, now coming back to the industry about ten years later, is ready to show her masterpieces to 21st century fashionistas.
S: When did you realize that designing clothes was your calling?
G: The first day of fashion history class at The Art Institute of Chicago where I learned about Paul Poiret, Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Lauren. Until then, I didn’t realize fashion is art.
S: You were beyond huge in the 90’s. How does designing in this day of age compare to designing then?
G: I was known for whimsical power suits in the 90’s. Now, I am more interested in applying history and techniques in my design. I still make suits, but they are more bohemian.
S: Where do you look for inspiration?
G: I get inspired from many different things that I see and admire; it could be artwork, costumes from different cultures or a certain period from history.
S: Words that come to you when describing your brand are…
G: Glamour, free spirt, and cool.
S: Tell me about your relationship with Joe Zee, Creative Director of Elle.
G: I knew Joe when he was the fashion director at W magazine. He was always very supportive and fun!
S: What are we going to see from you this fall?
G: Fall 2012 is inspired by Renaissance portraits and medieval amour–jackets and coats with gold motif, textures and dresses with lace ruffles.
S: Tell me about your celebrity following!
G: The first person that comes to my mind is Julia Roberts; she wore my dress and jacket to the David Letterman show to promote her new movie.
S: What would you like people to know about you?
G: I want to make you look beautiful, and I hope that my business will grow so that I can dress more women.