Five Minutes with RHIÉ

What began as a knitwear capsule collection in 2011 has grown into one of our favourite new designers of late. New York-based RHIÉ now includes everything a modern woman needs in her wardrobe and has become renowned for refined pieces, subtle details and precision tailoring. The label receives praise on each season and recently won a number of awards at the Milan Fashion Film Festival for The Purgatory of Monotony, starring Sonja Kinski and directed by Ace Norton. Don't miss that link, it's fabulous and definitely worth watching.

We also love RHIÉ for the fact that the designer is just as lovely and inspiring as the clothes. We met Rie Yamagata in New York City when we first saw the collection. After studying at Parsons in New York and London's renowned Central Saint Martins, Rie worked with such labels as 3.1 Phillip Lim and Tsumori Chisato before starting her own. We love this girl just as much as we love her designs, so we caught up with her for a few questions behind the scenes.

1) What drew you to fashion in the very beginning? My father is a visual artist and my mother's family was in the textile industry so it's in my genetics but it's also being exposed to art when growing up.

2) What were the most important things you learned while working for fashion labels like 3.1 Phillip Lim and Tsumori Chisato? Working for other companies taught me about the business aspect of fashion, working with timelines and merchandising and budgets. Also how to communicate with vendors.

3) Where does the name RHIÉ come from? It comes from my name Rie. I didn't want to use my real name and I like the visual balance of adding the "h" making it four letters. I like that it's language-less and you can't tell where it's from, so you can sculpt the image of the brand.

4) What are you best-selling styles? We are known for our sweaters firstly and also shirting groups. We always try to have a unique aspect derived from classical details when designing in those areas, using great quality yarns and fabrics that mostly come from Italy and Japan.

5) Tell us about your personal style. Do you have a uniform? I like to keep my personal wardrobe very minimal and simple so as not to distract from the design process. I normally have so many decisions that need to be made on a daily basis that choosing what to wear is something I want to not have to worry about.  Or I'll wear RHIÉ to test out the clothes and make sure the wearability is okay and that they look good on. I wear a lot of gold rings on my index fingers.

6) West coast or east coast? The Best Coast is the West Coast but I am in love with the East Coast.

7) Where can we find you on your days off? I go to flea markets and flower markets. I like to spend time in nature during my days off.
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Shop Spring 2015 from RHIÉ.

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