You might not have heard of Giovanna Randall, the designer behind new-ish label Honor. But here’s why you should know her name: Her clothes are ethereally pretty, dreamy, and feminine. After just two seasons showing at New York Fashion Week she’s opened her own flagship store in the uber-chic Meatpacking district (most designers don’t hit that milestone until they’ve toiled for years at their own label). And fashion’s most beloved It-girl, Alexa Chung, sits front row at her shows.
Just this Saturday, Randall showed at Lincoln Center’s Studio space. Her feminine, ethereal collection, rife with lace, Peter Pan colors (and cutouts made to look like them), pastels, and lace confections, brought special guests Malin Ackermann and Solange Knowles. Just days beforehand her show, we checked in with Randall to see how she was gearing up.
The Inside Source: This is your third season showing at New York Fashion Week. How did you get into fashion?
Giovanna Randall: I studied at FIT, and was an intern at C’N'C Costume National in Milan, but I’ve been designing and making clothes since I was three. First it was doll clothes, then clothes for myself then clothes for others. I recently found an old journal from when I was little that had sketches in it and written above them was “Fall, ’86 Collection.” Funny… It’s always been something I couldn’t help but do.
The Inside Source: What were you inspired by for spring? What was the story?
Giovanna Randall: I was inspired by jellyfish, graphic shapes and patterns, wallpaper, and furniture… The story is about women who become enveloped by their home and take on the characteristics from their surroundings.
The Inside Source: Who would you say influences your style and design aesthetic the most?
Giovanna Randall: I am a dreamer and a chameleon by nature. I want to reinvent myself every day and aspire to be someone more fabulous. When I design for Honor, I am designing for that kind of woman. She is strong, complex, mysterious… What ever else you might want to be. I draw from the images of both iconic women and special women in my own life to create my collections. I ask myself if they would wear them.
The Inside Source: How would you describe the Honor girl?
Giovanna Randall: The HONOR woman let’s you wear your muddy boots on her fabulous white carpet.
The Inside Source: You burst onto the scene with a bang—a store in the meatpacking and now celebrity dressing—to what do you credit your success? How did you get where you are today?
Giovanna Randall: I can understand that it may seem that I burst onto the scene but in my mind I have been working towards this moment my whole life. I come from a family of designers and artists and they have always been very supportive. My mom is a painter; she taught me how to sew and how to see. My father, an architect, has always nurtured my need to make outlandish creations—like dresses out of broken balloons and very complicated Halloween costumes. I have always been designing and making clothes; I just needed to reach a point in my life when I was ready to expose what I had to offer to the world. I didn’t want to start until I knew for certain that I was sure of what I was putting out there and was ready to defend it.
The Inside Source: How does vintage work into your life and style? I remember you said your last collection was partly inspired by a gumball machine your grandmother bought for you.
Giovanna Randall: Vintage is the best! It’s full of history. I love that something that someone is tired of can be exciting and brand new to someone else. It gets to have another adventure. I have a little bit of a Velveteen Rabbit complex when it comes to vintage, and have a hard time letting old, well-worn, well-loved clothes go. I always hope they will make it back into my wardrobe again.
The Inside Source: Do you ever use eBay to find those treasured vintage pieces?
Giovanna Randall: Who has never used eBay? I love finding old tchotchkes. I love collecting mismatched vintage china because I have this fantasy of having a grown-up tea party.
Meredith Barnett is the Editorial Director for The Inside Source, a digital style magazine presented by eBay. The Inside Source writer Leah Chernikoff authored this article in its original form. Click here to read it in full and to see how to find Giovanna Randall shops on eBay. (Images courtesy of HONOR.)