Kim Gordon, Fashion Designer (YEESSSSS!!!)

by Lisa

As a So-Cal suburban teen, I was a die-hard Sonic Youth lover. So when Kim Gordon launched X-Girl clothing in 1994 I became an insta-fan. My favorite T-shirt was electric blue and said X-Girl in neon orange and pink and wearing it immediately helped me separate the kids I’d like to know from the ones I wouldn’t: every jock would say ‘X-Girl, does that mean you’re a dude now?’ while every music nerd would give a knowing nod of alliance. I still mourn its American demise so I’m thrilled that Kim Gordon is back in the fashion game with a new line called Mirror/Dash, coming out February 16 at Urban Outfitters. The collection has a feminine, tomboy feel much like Kim herself and features a slouchy pocket T-shirt dress, a casually sexy wrap dress, and the necessary blazer staple, among other items I’m sure I’ll absolutely need. Whether she’s rocking out with Thurston in SY, making art, or jamming with her other band Free Kitten, Kim Gordon continues to epitomize cool. And I have no doubt each piece in her collection will too. Read on for a Q and A in which the perennially awesome Kim gives BUST the exclusive low-down.

mirror dash dress

Mirror/Dash wrap dress

I’m stoked that you’re back in the designing business. Is it exciting to be creating clothes again?
It is exciting. There is so much more in downtown fashion since X-Girl that its a bit daunting but we’re not trying to remake the wheel or anything.
Wearing my X-Girl T-shirt always made me feel like the coolest girl in school. Did you ever have a connection to fashion like that?
When I was in High School I basically couldn’t afford to buy new clothes so I shopped in thrift stores. When I was 12 though, I bought a pair of red corduroy hip-hugger bellbottoms from a hip English clothes store where we lived in Hong Kong. I saved up for them for a really long time and I felt very cool wearing them. That was my first store obsession. I used to go there all the time just to look.

Did you expect X-Girl to have that sort of effect?
We didn’t know what to expect with X-Girl. We pretty much didn’t know what we were doing. We were lucky to connect with Mike Mills, his graphics really made the whole thing work I think.
Your new line debuts exclusively at Urban Outfitters on Feb. 16. How did you hook up with them?
A couple summers ago Sonic Youth was asked to play in a store as part of a radio promo effort. They did a great job with the whole thing. When Mel Wansbrough, my partner, and I were looking for backing for Mirror/Dash we ran into a friend of hers who designs at Urban and she suggested we contact them.
Who did you work with to create the line?
Mel and I work with Jeffrey Monteiro, who used to work with Jane Mayle and was head designer at Derek Lam, and Sari Gueron. The challenge for us is doing something that’s not strictly Urban in that we want it to appeal to someone a little older than a teenager or college student, but still have enough youth appeal to belong in the store.

What was your inspiration for this line?
I constantly go back to Francoise Hardy as someone who always looks very cool no matter what her age is. She wasn’t overstylized in the ’60s or too girly. It’s that French thing I guess.

       francoise hardy               francoise hardy

Can you give me a brief description of the line?
It’s somewhat basics oriented, in that the pieces are meant to be more classic, in the way that A.P.C. has basics, but a bit more flattering and sexy, less androgynous.
I read that your mother was a seamstress. Was that your first influence in terms of design?
Yes. My Mom used to make clothes and have an ‘open house’ to sell them. She used beautiful silk and velvet fabrics and made mostly caftans and these simple shapes called Abbas. Her sewing room was a jungle of fabrics. I hated sewing, but sort of learned how. I guess it all sort of comes back around.
Since this line is aimed at a younger audience, did you bounce any ideas off of your daughter Coco? Is she into fashion?
She’s into fashion but on a very cool level, like wearing her old red Converse and my old T-shirts. She likes to shop at Urban but doesn’t want to look like everybody else. Which is kind of a cool thing about UO–it’s easy to blend their items into your own look.

What else are you working on these days?
Sonic Youth is just finishing a new record which will be out in June, on Matador. I’m working on an art book for Rizzoli, and I have a booth at the Armory Art show in March.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
I’m anxious to see the clothes.

So are we!

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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