Pink Tartan's Kimberly Newport-Mimran
Growing up in the town of Niagara Falls as a girl admiring her grandmother's pearls and shoes, Pink Tartan's Kimberley Newport-Mimran has definitely moved up in the fashion world while staying close to the elegant style instilled within her from a young age. Mimran got involved with fashion at 14, working in retail and studying fashion merchandising and manufacturing management in college. She landed a position as a buyer for The Hudson's Bay Company, moving on to merchandising and product development at Club Monaco where her mantra became “execution is key.”
Her next move to Caban would change both her career and personal life forever — CEO Joe Mimran, who is now the head of Joe Fresh, would become her husband and father to their daughter Jacqueline. Mimran then launched her own line, Pink Tartan, a collection that features sophisticated womenswear with menswear touches and a Parisian chic twist. The line is all about reinventing key pieces in a wardrobe like the little black dress and jersey silk wrap dress. Prior to presenting her collection at New York Fashion Week for the first time for the Fall / Winter shows, Pink Tartan's Kimberly Newport-Mimran confided about her place in the fashion marketplace. "My niche is designing from day to dinner, and clothes that you can travel with and clothes that you pack and clothes for everyday life that are put together in a sophisticated way," she told Uinterview exclusively.
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Well ... it’s like the crazy just before a presentation, so where everything is getting sent back, worked on, hand sewing. It’s sort of full speed ahead. And we have market as well that week, so we not only have to have the collection ready for runway, but we have to have the collection ready for market, which is much more expensive than the runway collection.
Yeah, absolutely. I always like to start with the girl for the season that we build the show around. And the girl is sort of a modern-day Brigitte Bardot this season. I like her, sort of a little bit sexy and very France, French Riviera, 1960s influence going on.
Well, you know what, it’s a morning show. And I think it’s the time that the show is. We’re doing a morning presentation, so I’m not going to be doing full on, you know, electronica for the runway for that time of day. This collection’s really about effortless chic too. It’s this girl that, you know, is in the Riviera area. She’s chic, so she gets dressed but she’s still got that little bit of casual edge to her. And she has a glass of rosé with her delicious little lunch, sitting by the sea somewhere. And I think that when you get that in your mind, as to sort of building the character and building the collection so she’s really exquisitely styled, it’s really about sportswear. My niche is designing from day to dinner, and clothes that you can travel with and clothes that you pack and clothes for everyday life that are put together in a sophisticated way.
Well, I’m loving stretch right now. I’m loving knits with a heavy degree of lycra in it so it holds you in and gives the body a beautiful shape. So I’ve experimented with different silhouettes in that fabric. I’m also loving turquoise as our accent color, so you’ll see a lot of blues and azures and turquoises. I’m feeling very, again, by the sea. I love a hotpant … I like these little mini shirt dresses, and I always love a shirt dress, but they’re a little sexier this season, less androgynous than I normally do.
Well, the tartan was sort of the idea, the concept before the label started ... I came from a menswear background, so when I was going to design a line, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do men’s or women’s. And I woke up one day, I just had a little baby girl, and I decided that I’m going to do women’s, I’m going to call it Pink Tartan because everything was pink in my life. Actually, it’s my favorite color. It was a women’s line called Pink Tartan. And you’ll notice that in the collection, there are menswear influences on the construction side because that’s my background and I pull a lot of that detailing and construction of menswear into womenswear and build a very well-structured garment that is still sexy to wear. I also think it’s really a preppy chic label. It’s a sportswear line, so it’s definitely something that takes you from day to dinner. And I like a nice juxtaposition between masculine and feminine dressing, so you’ll always see an element in whatever I do. Whether it’s a shirt and it’s a little bit tailored, but it still has a sexy cut, that sort of wear is the brand, the direction of the brand.
Well, I think the most important thing is, you wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear you. And I think that when you have clothes that you have to fuss with or that you have to think about, it becomes a distraction to a woman. So I tend to like clothes that fit beautifully, that are not fussy, that are practical but still very modern and stylish. So, I think that trying to encompass that in every outfit that I put together for a woman is in the back of my mind.
Well, Joe [Mimran] and I are partners, but really we sort of run two separate businesses. We get to sort of collaborate on ideas at home, but really, over dinner it is about the extent I see my husband during the day. We’re really separate but we’re a really close couple. He’s got a wonderful eye and I always bounce ideas off Joe. But we’re really not working on the collections together.
You know what, I think it’s great to see talent, raw talent. A lot of these contestants, they’re starting out in their career. And I think that it’s a really nice, refreshing point of view to see sort of first time collections being built. I really enjoyed the process. And I think the one great thing is there’s a lot to learn. So if you can mentor a young person and give them good advice and good direction in any way, shape or form, that’s sort of a nice thing to do.
I’d love to, but you know, it just depends on the schedule. [Laughs]. You know, it’s like a little bit crazy. And, this is my first presentation. I did a showroom installation but this is the first presentation.
I’m feeling it. I’ve got a sweaty brow, I’m telling you.