Here is a look at an insightful interview with the CFDA Menswear Award-winning, New York designer Robert Geller. Conducted by Peter Nguyen, his design assistant.
Peter: Robert Geller has the uncanny ability to throw a wrench into my life plans, After all, it was his last collection at the height of Cloak in Fall 2004 that made me leave my Fine Arts Major in San Francisco and hop on a plane to study fashion in New York. And when I found out he had started a namesake label in 2007, I left my senior year at Parsons and began working with him.
Seven seasons later we’ve upgraded from a tiny freezer of an office into the back of his wife Ana Lerario-Geller’s showroom, collected a GQ/CFDA Award for Best New Menswear Designer, collaborated with shoebrand Common Projects, and a little company called Levi’s.
We took some time off from designing Spring 2011 to chat about the design process, why a new generation of American men are embracing fashion thanks to the digital age, and grab a few Vietnamese sandwich along the way.”
Peter: Take us through a day of designing.
Robert: Designing a collection part for me is kind of special because we usually design a collection in a very short time and it’s quite a big. Once we get into it I usually wake up very early. I wake up at 5 o’clock and get to the office at 6. And from 6 to 10 I have the office to myself, which is a very nice thinking time for me. I can’t design when there’s a lot of people around, it’s real distracting. What I’ve done for every season is pick a book on tape and I listen to that while I do rough sketches. It’s something that’s going on that I can look forward to [finishing the book]. It helps me get up in the morning. The two don’t necessarily have any correlation, if I’m doing a collection on Vienna I’m not listening to Death in Venice.
Peter: Sort of like background noise
Robert: It’s just something, yeah. It makes me feel less lonely.
At around 10 o’clock my assistants come in and we start doing more of the technical drawings together. From the rough sketches we all sit around the communal table in our office, chat and sketch together, which is really nice.
For lunch we either order in and all eat at the table together. Or when it’s nice out we like to go to this sandwich place in Tribeca called Columbine. We buy sandwiches there, go sit in the street in the sun and relax for a bit.
Then we go back and if there’s nothing too crazy going on we’ll continue sketching. But there’s always daily things to take care of, we usually do that in the afternoon. That’s a typical day when we’re sketching.
Closer to the show, it’s more about preparing for the show. They’ll be tons of people here. There’s a stylist. The Stylists’ assistants. The Graphic Designer will be here working with us on things like invites for the show. It’s kind of a mad house.
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