Twenty-four-year-old Kimberly Taylor Gindi is living large. In just nine short months, the designer’s collection hosts nearly sold-out trunk shows, being picked up by major retailers such as Shopbop, Henri Bendel, and Intermix, and is preparing for the opening of the first Kimberly Taylor store in New York City’s Meatpacking District on August 1.
“I still get excited about the little things because this is all so new to me,” Gindi said. “I am involved in every single aspect of the business. I want to stay true to my aesthetic and put my stamp on everything. The line is so new and I want to be in touch with my customers. I want to be there every step of the way.”
What started as a small collection of brightly-colored silk pocket tanks and tunics has blossomed into an entire line of separates with a basic concept rooted in the element of transition, according to Gindi. With no piece costing over $350, the expanded collection is comprised of party dresses, maxi dresses, jumpers, high-waisted skirts, silk blouses, shorts, and pants.
Gindi also collaborated with jewelry designer (and big sister) Ricci Haddad to design a line of jewelry to be sold exclusively at her flagship store. The collection of fine jewelry, Ricci for Kimberly Taylor, is a twenty-piece collection that ranges in price from $200 for gold hammered hoops to over $1000 for a set of 20 stacked bangles. Gindi also partnered with designer David Lerner to create a capsule collection of leggings meant to be paired with her signature tunics. The David Lerner for Kimberly Taylor leggings, which are also exclusive to Gindi’s store, will retail for $150 and are available in black with either gold or silver zippers at the ankles.
Gindi, who has never been formally schooled in the art of fashion design, counts Karl Lagerfeld, Helmut Lang, and Yohji Yamamoto as her favorite designers and inspirations. She graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study two years ago, interning at Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen before working for jewelry designer Janice Savitt. Soon after, the designer parted ways with Savitt to branch out on her own, meeting with an organization that specializes in setting up new businesses to help bring her collection to fruition. It also helped that Gindi’s father, a veteran in the fashion industry and former partner of department store Century 21, knew the fashion world inside and out and was able to devise a business plan best suited for his daughter’s contemporary line.
Although the bulk of Gindi’s business is wholesale at the moment, her goal is to open more Kimberly Taylor retail outlets. “I would like to model my business after Catherine Malandrino. That’s somewhere I’d want to be, ” she said, referencing the French designer’s thriving wholesale component and 11 free-standing stores.
“It’s an interesting time to start your own business. You can look at it two ways; you can grab the opportunity or be careful, and I’m grabbing it,” Gindi said. “I’m ready for it.”
All jewelry pictured is designed by Janis Savitt.