Launched in 2007, The Blonds is the whimsical creation of towheaded design duo Phillipe and David Blond. Their made-to-order label, which they started with the encouragement of Patricia Field, is known for its gem-encrusted bodysuits, minidresses embellished in crystals and corsets adorned with spikes, sequins and chains. (In other words: totally practical, down-to-earth stuff.) Since its start, the label has garnered the attention of celebrities, and the two have created one-of-a-kind pieces for the likes of Katy Perry, Lil' Kim, Paris Hilton and Dita von Teese. They even gave Barbie a glamorous makeover for her 50th birthday, outfitting her in a diamond-studded minidress and faux-fur cape. On the eve of their spring show at Made Fashion Week, the outspoken designers chatted with us about their inspiration, upcoming show and plans to create a ready-to-wear line.
Phillipe, you were a makeup artist and freelance fashion illustrator. What made you start a clothing brand? Phillipe Blond: After David and I met, starting a line was a natural progression. We started making things because we couldn't find what we wanted to wear. Then friends started asking us to create pieces for them. Patricia Field was the first person to suggest producing a line. Her store houses one of the most eclectic collections of merchandise we've ever seen, so naturally we fit right in. Everything around us acted as a catalyst, and boom: The Blonds were born!
How do you keep your designs so energetic? David Blond: There is no other city like New York. It has this way of keeping you energized and inspired. No matter where we are or what time of day, it excites and sometimes shocks us. It is the perfect place for a creative person to be, and the City is always reflected in what we create.
How do you collaborate with each other? PB: Technically I play the role of head designer, and David is the creative director. Sometimes we have opposing views, but most of the time it's like we finish each other's sentences. Because we spend so much of our time with each other, the work blends together [into] a wild tapestry. Our pieces generally take four to six weeks to create; some can take longer.
You do custom pieces that are made to order. Do you have plans for a ready-to-wear line? DB: We are looking forward to designing ready-to-wear in the future—so stay tuned.
What do style and fashion mean to you? PB: I would rather have style than fashion.
What inspired your latest collection? DB: You'll have to see the show to find out!
What are some of your favorite places in New York City? PB: The West Village or Central Park. We love the Gilded Lily on Wednesdays [the club hosts a party that night called “Feel Up”], and one of our favorite restaurants is The Standard Grill.