Lewis NYC

Alison Lewis (photo by Sarah Hurwitz)

Alison Lewis (photo by Sarah Hurwitz)

Tell us a little bit about your background in designing.
AL: I went to school for graphic design, and my background was more editorial. I worked for Style.Com and Spin Magazine doing design. I was always a huge fan of fashion, and was a vintage collector myself, so in 2006 I launched a small line that turned successful quickly, and led me to start Lewis on my own a few years later.

Why did you start your eponymous line? What void in the market do you think your line fills?
AL: I wanted each piece I made to feel really special, like a gem you find at a flea market or vintage store and covet forever. I also wanted to add a modern twist, and produce pieces that would last for seasons. I think my line caters to ladies who want pretty clothing that will remain timely, but have a vintagey, old-world charm.

Tell us about the upcoming Spring 2010 line. What were your influences? Where did you source your fabulous prints?
AL: I was very influenced by my teenage years. I would find thrift store sun-dresses, cut them off or alter them, and wear them all summer long. I wanted to recreate that idea, and update it (of course). We shot the lookbook in Coney Island with a bad-girl-gang theme: Being young and getting into trouble, but looking really cute while you do it. All the pieces are very wearable but still stylish. The cream floral print was an original (my first!), and when I saw the gem-toned silks I knew they were perfect (especially the purple hammered washed silk).

Why did you choose to shoot your lookbook in Coney Island?
AL: Coney Island was the epitome of summer vacation growing up: Running around with nothing better to do, meeting boys on the boardwalk, and eating ice cream. I also love the edgy nature of Coney Island; one of my inspirations for Spring was a Coney Island-based photo series by Bruce Davidson called Brooklyn Gang, shot in 1959.

You’re West Village based. Name some places in and around the hood that you frequent.
AL: Jacks for coffee, Highlands for Gimlets, Morandi for pasta, Mary’s Fishcamp for seafood, Cafe Condessa for brunch, Birdbath for cookies, Citarella for groceries, Hectors for shoe repairs, and Rusty Knot for hot toddies and good jamz.

What do you do to cure the winter blues?
AL: I eat ice cream and do art projects indoors. I also watch a lot of movies and old episodes of X-Files.

Who are your style icons?
AL: Growing up I was really into music, so women like Joni Mitchell, Marianne Faithful, Jane Birkin, Mama Cass, Pattie Smith, and, above all, Steve Nicks served as my main inspirations (and still do!).