Our second CFDA Incubator, Alice Ritter, was born to be a fashion designer. With a strong passion for design and fashion, the former music publicist moved to New York ten years ago to live out her dream - and persevered until she got there. The self-taught designer bought herself a sewing machine, tore apart vintage pieces in order to learn the art pattern-making, read books and took night classes. Finally, a few of her beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces were picked up by a popular boutique in Brooklyn, where they sold out within a week. Since then, Alice Ritter has become a brand that most girls both recognize and covet. Ritter describes her line as "French romantic meets Annie Hall. The story of a French girl living in New York" - a description that would make any New York girl swoon. Here, she shares her favorite things with us.
Item I own that gets better with age: Generally leather: bags, jackets, boots etc...I love the idea of keeping a good piece for years.
Best vintage buy on eBay: I'm staying away of ebay for vintage clothes for economic reasons. Because when I start, I cannot stop! I also like to try on vintage before buying. But I have bought a lot of deco pieces, from rugs to old curiosities...I have a " vintage americana" alert that always come up with wonderful treasures from old nails to weird tools...I've just bought a country house in Connecticut, I'm in a decor mood!
Place I love to visit that’s rich in history: Being french, I will say France! But Rome is wonderful as well. My next trip will be in Morocco, a rich history as well.
My secret to looking timeless: Stick to your style, do not try to copy someone else, do not try to follow trends to closely. And very important: carry yourself with pride, chin high!
Most powerful photo I’ve ever seen: Loulou de la Falaise by Bettina Reims. She just died and I posted this picture of her wearing a big buckled belt. She was my icon as a child.
I loved the YSL tuxedo by Avedon, I'm a big admirer of Guy Bourdin, his campaign for Shiseido in the 80's was very influential. Nick Ut's picture of a little girl running naked away from chaos during vietnam war [The Napalm Girl]...the first picture I thought of reading this question. I was born in the 70's and I think I was terrified and fascinated by this girl, almost my age, in the hell of war. Very powerful.
Best souvenir I’m glad I brought back home: Friends. I've moved from Paris to NYC leaving all my belongings behind. It's so refreshing to realize you are not your stuff! People on the other hand...I've kept contact with my french group of friends for the past 14 years, and it's far more important.
Favorite vintage fashion trend: High waisted pants, pussy bow blouses. (See [above] Loulou de la Falaise!)
What's in my purse: Haha, good question: My iphone/ipod, my pink headphones (most important!!), my kindle (a "can't live without" item!!), mints, red lipstick, a brush, to many keys.
Smell that makes me feel most nostalgic: Mitsouko by Guerlain. It was my mothers perfume for many, many years. She changed it not long ago, but it's a very strong memory for me. I was thinking of the smell of Opium by YSL yesterday. It was, for me as a kid, the smell of seduction and the power of femininity.
What I’m currently coveting: Forest green boots! I'm obsessed with forest green shoes those days!
Best advice I’ve ever received: "Become the woman you've always wanted to be." Diane Von Furstenberg. For me, she means dream big and don't be afraid! She is the women I want to be!
Music that always takes me back: So many. I'm a huge music consumer. Gainsbourg because of the french up-bringing...Chopin's nocturnes.
Film that I can watch over and over again: Le Mepris, Les 400 Coups, L'eclisse (favorite Antonioni's), Kung Fu Panda, Sense and Sensibilty (huge Jane Austen fan).
Favorite family recipe: Paella. My Mom is half spanish. She makes a killer Paella and so can I.
Tastiest mom-and-pop shop that’s been feeding me for years: Bakeri, in Brooklyn Williamsburg...best brioches in town!
Blog I’m currently addicted to:
My husband's: http://www.iwentlooking.com/
I couldn’t live without: My urbanears head phones, music, and my kindle (I carry more than 100 books in my hand bag! Wonderful!).
Words to dress by: "Lose one accessory before leaving home." Coco Chanel.