1.Where are you located and how long have you been designing?
We are located at 280 Mulberry Street btw Prince & Houston in NoLita. This is our vintage boutique that also houses our designs- our label Sweet Tater. We have had the store there since May 2004 and began the label in the fall of 2005 (though I think we’ve both been designing inside our own heads forever…).
2.How did you come up with the name for your line/label?
Sweet Tater is a southern term of endearment that we heard years before we ever had the store (Sarah & I are friends for 10 years). We loved it so much that we came to begin calling one another & our friends “Sweet Tater” or just “tater” and it REALLY stuck. When we were planning to open the store, we thought my sister was nuts when she suggested we dub it Sweet Tater, but it began to feel more charming and less funny so it, too, stuck. We wanted to give the label the same name as the store to maintain the consistency & draw customers back into the store to work with them in mixing great vintage pieces into their wardrobes alongside (our own & other contemporary) designs they wear.
3.What inspires your designs?
Great vintage that we find in our buys to fill our boutique. We love vintage details like pin tucks & pleats, rusching & pockets, pockets, pockets (in almost every garment we design- our girls are ALWAYS grateful!). Our designs have particularly been inspired by much of the vintage we’ve found in Greece & Italy (our respective homelands) and have a distinct Mediterranean influence.
4.What are one of your favorite Indie Designers/Brands?
Oh gosh…we love vintage first (speaking for both of us), but we’re impressed by designers who use great vintage details in their designs/inspiration from the biggest like Chloe and Marc by MJ to smaller (but equally special!) ones like Vena Cava & Tucker by Gaby Basora. I don’t know, there are many…
5.What’s next for your designs?
We’re musing about Spring 2008, but it’s the early stages yet (aka dreaming of shapes, feeling fabrics, etc). What’s new in the store (and soon to be online) is our fall 2007 which is made up of shirt dresses & tunics in wools & cotton/wool blends. They are great alone or for layering. There is a small collection comprised of three pieces all made with mens suiting wool- they’re so great- we’re really happy with how they turned out. Though that collection is not yet available online, there is actually a photo that was posted yesterday of a customer of ours in our cotton/wool hounds tooth shirt dress. You may view that here (scroll down to second photo): http://www.altamiranyc.blogspot.com/