Photograph Courtesy of Ulla Johnson
Bergdorf Goodman is excited to announce the arrival of New York-based ready-to-wear label Ulla Johnson. To kick off the exciting launch, the Manhattan native, who introduced her namesake brand in 1998, came by the BG Restaurant this morning to talk about her most recent Resort 2020 collection, sharing her favorite pieces and the collection’s inspiration with the team. From metallic-infused Batik prints and colorful Seminole patch-working, Johnson’s latest range is bound to add excitement to any woman’s wardrobe. Here, read our full interview with the designer and shop the collection now in store on 5 and online at BG.com.
Bergdorf Goodman: What was the inspiration for the Resort 2020 collection?
Ulla Johnson: As a brand we are vey interested and obsessed with craft and travel. For this collection specifically we brought that roving eye back to the Americas and we took a lot of inspiration from Seminole patch-working and a Panamanian technique called Mola, as well as being very inspired by African and Indonesian prints.
BG: Can you tell us who you feel is the Ulla Johnson woman?
UJ: I hope that the Ulla Johnson is basically all women. The woman who wears my clothes is definitely joyful and adventurous and wants to try new things. She is excited by prints and color and shapes and she is not afraid to express herself through fashion. She is a die-hard optimist.
BG: What is your wardrobe MVP and how do you plan to wear it this season?
UJ: I have a hard time identifying a wardrobe MVP—I am very fickle and I love something new everyday. I never wear a uniform because I think that part of the joy of fashion is that you can reinvent yourself daily. However, some of my hero pieces this season include this metallic Batik print that I have on, as well as the sand dollar poplin, which we did in these beautiful sarong shapes that wrap and reveal and conceal the body. I think they have a really beautiful sculptural sexuality that I am really excited to wear come Spring.
BG: What are some of your favorite pieces available now at BG?
UJ: I am obsessed with the Indonesian floral prints that we did this season and I think the richness of the indigo really comes through on the Amalia sleeveless midi dress. Most of our prints are often patch-worked and also appear on fabrics that contain either metallics or something else that gives them a beautiful sense of sheen and movement and the Batik print on the Amalia dress is one of my favorites. I love mixing it with all of the other indigo pieces. I think print on print is very exciting so I love that maximalist approach.
We also did some beautiful solids in silk this season and I am so into the super optimistic, exciting fuchsia color of the Emmeline shirred blouson-sleeve dress for this time of year, with all of its beautiful hand-smocking and detailing. The Kaiya sleeveless striped long dress really exemplifies the vibe that we were going for with the Seminole patch-working. All of the triangles and patterns are made entirely by hand and I love the sort of earthy-yet bright color way. We also touched on it in our liquid satin (specifically with the Maysha striped pleated handkerchief dress), which is our most key fabric because it has an incredible sense of movement. It flows around the body and is incredibly easy to travel with. I am a huge traveler and you can throw it into a ball and pull it out and it still looks great.
BG: What is your favorite Bergdorf Goodman memory?
UJ: I grew up in New York City, so for that reason I do think that being in Bergdorf Goodman is especially meaningful to me. As a kid I always came up here with my mom during the holidays and we would always visit the tree and see the windows and I think the spirit and the creativity with which Bergdorfs approaches the holidays has always been mind-blowing, so that is why it especially meaningful to be launching here at this time.