IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:
Upon entering Morgan Carper’s design studio it doesn’t take long to realize how much passion is present in all aspects of the brand. Greeted with a warm smile and genuine enthusiasm, Morgan quickly whisked us away into her world by giving us a firsthand look at her design process and peek into what’s coming next. While manufacturing takes place here in New York City’s celebrated Garment District, the brand is rooted in many parts of the world – in fact, Morgan attributes much of her inspiration to her travels abroad and natural affinity for discovery. In addition to sharing awe-inducing anecdotes of her experiences in coveted destinations all over the globe, she kindly took the time to participate in our latest interview in partnership with Brand Assembly. Read on to revisit our conversation with Morgan and enjoy a virtual tour of her vibrant studio.
I am a Nebraska girl that has deep roots in the American Southwest.
I am an indulger in life’s simple pleasures – gardening and cooking. My husband and I have been married for 8 years and we are trying to see the far reaches of the earth before starting a family when we can. I value time with my family – I’m lucky to say that seeing them means a trips to the mountains of Colorado or the desert of Arizona. Home is Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
What do you like to explore as a designer and what are some of your unexpected sources of creative inspiration?
I am not sure if this is unexpected, but the relationship between nature and design is always being explored. A decaying painted wall or the textural patterns found on a leaf are always catching my eye. Collections of leaves, driftwood, corals, shells and rocks are sitting in little corners in my house and studio. Nothing beats the work of Mother Nature.
While your collections are made locally and inspired globally what have you learned the most from this dynamic contrast between your love of travel and appreciation for what’s in your own backyard?
It’s truly a gift that I get to travel and learn about different cultures first hand. Seeing the world has expanded my mind and outlook on what is possible. Learning from artisans around the world is such an authentic way of understanding old world practices and techniques. But I do this at home too, just differently. We manufacture in NYC’s garment district and I am apart of every single aspect of development and production, whether that’s in my studio working with my team or doing quality control at the factories. Our network is literally in our building or within 2 blocks – it’s all incredibly convenient and efficient. Traveling offers inspiration and exploration, while our backyard is where all the action happens and eventually the final product.
In the spirit of this month’s #TSLResolutions (which are all about creative problem solving) what do you think is the number one challenge fashion designers face and how have you gone through and solved this in your own experiences?
Funding. This business requires a lot of secure financial backing and a solid business plan. That said, you will not be able to take a very large slice of the pie if you have loads of investors or partners. A tremendous amount of sweat equity has been my solution to this challenge. I believe in keeping it close and tight, which means keeping your overhead costs down. My business has literally been my baby for the last 5 years – so much time and full attention was required to finally be close to having a normal life. Thankfully, the balance of business and personal life is getting so much easier.
Personal style is a working definition as it evolves just as much as we do – have there been any turning points in your personal style that have opened you up to new ideas about fashion?
Honestly, I have never been a huge trend follower. Comfort and authenticity are so important to me.
“My style could be defined as refined bohemian with subtle worldly references and an American Southwest vibe.”
The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, what is your “the style line” in your wardrobe?
I wear a dress almost everyday in warmer months – the ease of throwing on one piece and is ideal. Easy and breezy! In the winter I seem to have a uniform of jeans and a flowy top from the one of the collections.