Photograph Courtesy of Gauge81
As a destination for discovery, Bergdorf Goodman is proud to announce the second season of BG RADAR, our curation of the latest and greatest collections from emerging designers across the globe, including bassike, Cecilie Bahnsen, Collectiva, Gauge81, Kika Vargas, Materiel, Nodaleto, Petar Petrov and Peter Do.
In an effort to get to know the talented individuals behind these brands, we sat down with each of them ahead of the second season’s launch to learn about the motivation behind starting their labels, how they hope to grow and evolve over time, and their favorite BG memories. Here, Gauge81’s Monika Silva. Read the full Q&A below and shop the collection now in store and online at BG.com.
Bergdorf Goodman: What inspired you to start your label?
Monika Silva: As with many fashion brands, the idea was ignited by a sense that there was a void in the market: a minimal, fun, bold and risqué—yet undisputedly feminine— brand with evening wear options within a certain price point. It came to fruition thanks to the right people coming together at the right time.
BG: What separates your brand from others?
MS: We felt there was a renewed appetite in the marketplace for glamour, a sense of nostalgia for it. That path led us to the creation of contemporary every-day glamour, and bringing sexy into daytime.
BG: What are signature silhouettes and pieces that define it?
MS: Our signature silhouette covers the spectrum—highlighting the feminine shape with undersized mini pieces and over-sized, borrowed-from-your-friend staples. It’s the juxtaposition of the mini with the maxi, the duality of masculine and feminine coming together in one look.
BG: If you had to recommend one piece that everyone should own this spring, what is it and why?
MS: Our white poplin Casablanca shirt is probably the most versatile piece in the PS20 collection. It can be a cover-up over swimwear at the pool, a top over jeans for Sunday brunch, or a crisp, power shirt in the boardroom paired with a skirt or trousers. The runner-up would definitely be our Pisa fuchsia mini dress. It can be dressed up or down, it’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s bold and it definitely makes an entrance walking through any door.
BG: Who is the Gauge81 woman?
MS: The Gauge81 woman is confident and bold. She’s effortlessly glamorous and sexy and wants to feel feminine in a less obvious way. She doesn’t take herself too seriously.
BG: How do you see your brand evolving & what milestones do you hope to achieve?
MS: Right now what we really want to do is create a connection with our consumers and build a base for long-term brand loyalty. Our plans include expansion into new product lines, but keeping our vision to remain a contemporary line that strays from the beaten path.
An immediate milestone is to roll out a tiered plan to achieve sustainability in our production process and make it more environmentally conscious and less wasteful at every level. As a small brand, it’s very challenging, but a benefit of increased volume is that you gain a stronger voice with your suppliers and a greater ability to implement change
BG: What is your favorite Bergdorf Goodman memory?
MS: Although fuzzy, my first and dearest memory of Bergdorf Goodman I would have to say was on my first trip to New York. I was six years old with my late mother walking by the Christmas windows and I remember they were gigantic! It’s definitely a warm memory.