Who is the next Marc Jacobs? Lisa Weiss is trying to find out. She owns Début, a gallery-like shop on Mulberry Street that specializes in stocking designers you haven't heard of — yet. She opened this year after seeing so many emerging designers struggle with their financial footing while studying at F.I.T., in order to provide a place where new talent can enter the market. (Quite a refreshing, optimistic outlook in this dreary economy, right?) For fall, Weiss is keeping her eye on the Russian-inspired fairy-tale prints by Vassilisa, flirty cocktail dresses by Lovenia, and prints by Michael Angel. And she's always on the lookout for new talent. (Young designers, grab your portfolio and go!) We stopped by to find out about what she looks for, the trends she loves, and why she'll splurge for a pair of Loubs.
What do you look for in designers who want to sell here?
We look for designers who take pride in their work. Sometimes we carry one-of-a-kind pieces or small collections, but we buy with the utmost attention to quality. I think that sometimes with the bigger names, the actual designer becomes less and less involved with their brand, so quality and innovation tend to suffer. New designers take more risks.
What is lacking in the promotion of young designers?
The media generally takes a play-it-safe perspective and focuses on already-established designers. It leads the consumer to buy a name rather than a new creative design. In that sort of environment, it is difficult for a new designer to compete.
If you could describe the woman you dress, who would she be?
Adventurous, confident, and independent. She doesn’t have a certain look or fall into a particular category. She just has to know what she wants and go for it. She has to know how to make a look work for her, not the other way around.
What trends do you personally like for fall?
Ankle boots — they're more comfortable than knee-length boots. And more flattering. I bought Christian Louboutin ones a couple of weeks ago after seeing them in the window one day. It was my whimsical purchase.
Are there any trends you wish would go away?
Gladiator shoes — they're unflattering. They hit your leg in the wrong spot. All those straps! It only suits a person with really skinny legs. And for a shoe, they're kinda aggressive.
Are there any trends you wish would come back?
Honestly, I think we are too immersed with trends. Everything is so mass-merchandised to look the same, and then people follow trends and copy it. I would love to see some fresh ones.
Who are your favorite designers?
Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte for their really well-constructed, colorful, and wearable collections. I love what Thomas Maier does for Bottega Veneta, creating a wearable modern collection that always has great editorial pieces.
What designers or labels do you actually wear the most?
I live in basics from American Apparel, but I have to admit a weakness for Christian Louboutin. I'll always try them on, even though they're expensive and don't fit my foot right.
What’s one thing you really want to buy right now?
I’m pregnant so I’m going to get lots of shoes.
What’s something that every woman should have in her closet?
A label that no one has ever heard of.
Début, 298 Mulberry St., nr. Houston St. (212-343-2717); Tues.Sat. (127), Sun. (126), Mon. (closed).
Most Viewed Stories
Here’s the Official List of Speakers for the Women’s March on Washington
This Conspiracy Theory Will Change How You Feel About the Bachelor Villain
The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for the Women’s March
15 Protest Sign Ideas for the Women’s March on Washington
Your Guide to Peeing During the Women’s March on Washington
Bernie Sanders Reviews the Balenciaga Men’s Collection
Inauguration Committee Chairman Says Kanye West Wasn’t Invited to Perform Because It’s a ‘Typically and Traditionally American’ Event
Sexual Assault in the Amazon
The Sheer Perfection of Donald Trump’s Golden Shower
Feeling Anxious on Inauguration Day? These Art Museums Are Offering Refuge
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
Latest News from The CutSolange and Esperanza Spalding Performed at the the Inaugural Peace Ball in Washington D.C.
Artists and progressives celebrated at the alternative ball, held at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.Malia Obama Might Be Starting an Internship with Harvey Weinstein
She previously had an internship with HBO’s ‘Girls.’10 Alternatives to Goop’s Sold-out Vaginal Jade Eggs
The resale market is probably booming.9 Books We’re Reading Right Now
Read with us.This Black Panther Leader’s Daughter Reclaimed His FBI File As Art
Artist Sadie Barnette turned to her father's FBI file for this New York exhibit.Kristen Stewart Co-Authored a Research Paper on Artificial Intelligence
She used the technique in her new film.The 5 Most Compelling Jewels in the Winter Antiques Show
Rubies, diamonds, and a Salvador Dali ring worn by a socialite.Serena Williams Tells Reporter to Apologize After Criticizing Her Winning Performance
“That wasn’t very kind. You should apologize.”There’s New Reason to Be Worried That Trump Will Slash Funding to Violence Against Women Programs
The Department of Justice currently administers 25 grant programs authorized by the Violence Against Women Act.Aughts Prom Favorite BCBG Is Closing Stores and Restructuring
The decline and fall of the American mall continues apace.
“I need some guacamole in my life.”What Abortion in America Looks Like Right Now
Seven stories about a pro-choice movement under attack.Ivanka Trump Says Talk of Her Taking On First-Lady Duties Is ‘Inappropriate’
“There’s one First Lady, and she’ll do remarkable things.”How I Get It Done: Miko Branch, Co-Founder of Curly Hair-Care Product Line Miss Jessie’s
On keeping her office organized, deciding to take time out for herself, and why she still works in the salon.Johnny Depp Finds Redemption at the People’s Choice Awards
After domestic-violence allegations, the actor won the Favorite Movie Icon award.See All the Red-Carpet Looks From the People’s Choice Awards
All the fan-favorite stars gathered at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.How Long Until Someone Breaks a Priceless Piece of Art During the Met Museum Workout?
A new form of fitness.Louis Vuitton x Supreme Is Here to Tantalize the Hypebeast in Your Life
This is what happens when two logos love each other very much.Preview a Beloved New York Art Gallery’s First Show in Its Airy New Location
Victoria Munroe Fine Art has reopened in a townhouse, the perfect spot for viewing 19th-century architectural drawings and a flock of rare birds.Can Learning How to Coupon Save Me Money?
There’s more to discount shopping than binders full of newspaper clippings.