I had the privilege of interviewing one of the youngest and very talented designer, Gabrielle Rothschild on Saturday, April 30, 2011. She was showcasing her trunk show at Heidi’s Boutique in Los Gatos on a beautiful day. The minute I walked in, I noticed a bright eyed young girl, dressed in a lovely laced, one shoulder dress and she interacted with customers in the store. I assumed it was Gabrielle and I immediately introduced myself to her. She was so welcoming and very thankful that I came to sit down and learn more about her and the amazing designs she is currently working on and what was on display.
As I sad down with her, I immediately felt how passionate she was about her work and how there is a lot of love coming from all angles! Her family, her friends, even her teachers were there to support her. Gabrielle was poised and unbelievably mature for her age. I also had a chance to chat with Gabrielle’s mother, Kerry, who is so proud of her daughter. Just looking at the smile on Kerry’s face as she watched Gabrielle interact with the customers made me feel anxious that one day, I too will be watching my children do what they love and be right there to support them.
I have to say, for someone that just came out with her collection & pieces, Gabrielle did an amazing job and sold several of them as well. At this moment, her pieces are one of a kind and will look into producing more of the same in the near future.
To view more of Gabrielle’s work, please visit:
Here is my Q & A with the lovely Gabrielle:
Q. How old are you?
Q. How old were you when you started falling in love with fashion?
A. I started falling in love with fashion when I was in 3rd grade and started started sewing when I was 10 years old.
Q. Who in your life can you remember was your first fashion inspiration? Your mother, father, friend? And why?
A. I wanted to be an actress for a while. I don’t have one specific person in mind, but the Oscars and what the actors wore on the red carpet inspired me.
Q. What do your friends and family think about you only being 14 and having your own fashion line?
A. Everyone is really supportive, I love them so much! My friends are my models and they are actually on the website wearing my pieces.
Q. When did you first learn to sew and what was your very first piece that you put together / created?
A. I first learned to sew when I was 10 years old, hand sewing. Then I used my mother’s old sewing machine. My very first piece was a bed skirt that I took when my mother wasn’t home. I tried to use the sewing machine and it didn’t work so I started to do some hand stitches and when I got tired of that, I used a hot glue gun to place straps down the bed skirt.
Q. I read somewhere that you taught yourself how to sew, what kind of technique would be the easiest to learn for first timers?
A. I taught myself how to use a sewing machine and for more advanced, I started taking classes with Dori Duncan at Camp Fashionista. She is currently teaching me how to make my own pattern. For first timers, I recommend on starting off with the needle and thread. Get yourself used to the feel of those two and learn the patience of using both.
Q. Which designers do you see yourself admiring the most?
A. Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Dior, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen
Q. When do you find the time to sketch, sew pieces together and still keep up with your school?
A. School is my top priority! I go home, start homework at 4pm, end by 8pm watch a little TV and by then, I’m exhausted. However, on the weekends, I sew, sew, sew! I get up, go to the fabric store, and I cut out fabrics as well.
Q. Do you see yourself putting together a fashion show in the near future? If so, where would be your ideal show?
A. My next project in mind is definitely a fashion show! I currently don’t have a date in mind, as I want everything cohesive and planned out. However, I’m hoping by next summer (2012), I can have pieces put in place to plan out a show. This summer, I’m going to Paris with my class for 10 days, then going to London for 3 weeks by myself to attend a fashion design program at Central Saint Martins.
Q. Do your friends ask you all the time to make outfits for them? If so, what do you say?
A. My friends don’t really ask me because they know how busy I am. However, I did make a specific dress for a friend (something similar to the one hanging on the rack behind us), however in a different color. I did give one of my dresses to my girlfriends for her birthday and made a dress for my mom for Christmas.
Q. I looked at your current pieces online, do you see yourself mainstreaming in to creating every day wear in addition to your beautiful dresses? Such as separates (pants, sweaters, shirts, etc.)
A. I definitely want to when I’m older and have the ability /connections to make shoes. Lots of people are suggesting I start making bags and totes as well. Along with learning millinery to make hats, fascinators, etc.
Q. If you can meet one famous designer right now, who would it be and what would you say to him / her?
A. Karl Lagerfeld would be the person I would like to meet. I would ask him, “how do you do it?” Plain and simple, and see where that question takes me.