Little girls want two things before the age of ten: a pony and the perfect party dress. L.A.-born designer Kimberly Ovitz was no different, but she took the dream a few steps further than most of us, who eventually trade horses for boys and party dresses for Converse in our teen years.
Ovitz rode horses from the time she was a little girl, which fostered a fervent ambition in her to do more than the average child. By the time she was 14, she had developed another sophisticated love: fashion. Her first internship began that year at J.Crew. The fashion industry didn’t know what it was in for.
“I always knew what I wanted to do, and made a conscious effort to do it,” Ovitz says. “I wanted to experience many different facets of the fashion industry, starting with learning about the mass market at J.Crew, up until my last internship at Chanel.”
In-between J.Crew and Chanel, Ovitz interned at Harper’s Bazaar, W, and worked for Tara Subkoff’s Ya Ya Clothing, as well as Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent. “I was a sponge and am so thankful,” Ovitz says. “I’m 26 and have been able to accomplish so much.”
Ovitz’s picture perfect resume was a stepping stone to one very well-honed goal: owning her own line. Her first collection debuted in Spring 2009, focusing on clean lines, mass appeal, and the never-fail element of timelessness. “My first show was unreal and surreal,” Ovitz says. “I always feel like I have to have goals, so this is just the beginning. I feel like that night of my show, I was able to really step back and enjoy it. I put the whole thing together in two weeks.”
To pay homage to her equestrian roots, Ovitz and her team amped up the show’s atmosphere with haystacks and metallic paint to coincide with the collection’s effortless and country-esque looks. “My clothes are easy-going, chic, and comfortable,” Ovitz says. “I guess I’m going for a younger Hrmes, or Ralph Lauren–but edgier.”
Her Spring ’10 line is based around the phrase “hold your breath,” a positive spin on the term “don’t hold your breath.” Combine that sense of optimism with a Buddhist’s peaceful outlook, and you get plenty of cozy, wrapped pieces with beautiful silhouettes–an entirely attainable beauty.
Being a very visual artist, Ovitz uses her photography skills to seek out inspiration wherever she goes, continuously adding to her inspiration board. “Daily life is inspiring. I always have my camera with me and am always looking through a lens. When I’m designing, I create a story with whatever moves me at the time. Then I start sketching,” she says.
Although her demographic is pretty versatile (her last trunk show housed fans ranging from twentysomething girls to women in their forties), the celebrities she envisions dressing steer more towards the serious and strong types. “I would love to dress Angelina Jolie because she’s not always in the spotlight, and she’s never overdone…Lauren Hutton and Diane Keaton, because I’m always into men’s clothes, and of course, Michelle Obama,” says Ovitz. “I would put Diane Keaton in some of my chaps and leather jackets, and Angelina I’d put in anything.”
As busy and crazy as her life gets (keep an eye out for her this upcoming Fashion Week), Ovitz never forgets her roots. “Even though I go to work every day, my mom breeds horses, and I find time to go to her ranch; it’s what I love doing,” she says.
As for the young designer’s hopes for the future? “I just hope to continue growing and stay consistent with the vision I’m building, and I hope people continue to like it. It’s always a challenge keeping people into your brand.”
Read more about Kimberly Ovitz: The Top 10 Breakout Fashion Designers of 2009