Examiner.com Designer interview
ESPION by Deidre Jefferies: Designer interview
, DC Women’s Style Examiner
French for the English word “spy”, the women’s luxury clothing line ESPION is anything but a big secret. Worn by the stars including Alicia Keys and Jada Pinkett-Smith, as well as featured in publications and television campaigns such as Worn Magazine and the CW network, the bold and beautiful label was born right here in Washington, DC, the brainchild of fashion and interior designer, Deidre Jefferies.
In between working on exciting new projects, the designer took a breather to share her journey, from ESPION’s FW11 debut at New York Fashion Week, to her support and celebration of the modern woman. Follow ESPION on Facebook for upcoming events and updates!
Tell me a little about your life, pre-ESPION. How did the collection come about?
Before I conceptualized ESPION, becoming a designer, for me…was a necessity. I would always love and admire the work of other designers, but there was consistently something missing, like the perfect top for that fantastic pair of pants, definitely a shortage of blouses, or just a general feeling of not being able to complete my look to my satisfaction, not being able to express myself fully with what was out there.
How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?
It varies. Inspiration tends to come in waves. For example, I can notice the way a skirt moves in an old movie, or see something fabulous on a bold, stylish DC teenager and think, “WOW!”. Then, I’ll sketch an entire collection that flowered from the cool straps on the cargos that DC teenager wore a year ago. I could conceptualize and sketch a full three collections over a couple of days, and then not sketch at all for the next six months, only to make small edits and adjustments.
ESPION was so well-received at New York Fashion Week this past February. Congratulations on such an amazing accomplishment! How did you prepare for the show, and what was the experience like?
There were so many very real obstacles in the time leading up to the “big show”. I prepared for Fashion Week in only four or five weeks versus the three months I would usually require of myself! I didn’t leave my home for the entire five weeks, only to get supplies. I was so nervous, because it was simply impossible to the construct the ambitious 25 pieces I was supposed to show in such a compacted window of time. The 15-hour days couldn’t have been possible without the love and commitment of my friends, my team, and my family. My support system held me up, even when I came apart at the seams, thank God! The biggest blessing in life is the love and support of the people who love you.
Who is the quintessential ESPION woman?
She was born from me. ESPION is everything I wear. It’s how I live, how I work, how I play, how I love. It’s a lifestyle. Like so many women, I’ve had to be everything to one or one thing to many. Women all over the world are exactly the same. We are CEO’s, cooks, therapists, doctors and lawyers, and that’s before we leave the house in the morning. We are inspiration, art, queens to our kings and rulers of the free world, *laughs*. I laugh, but I mean it.
Name three items every woman living/working in DC should have in her closet and why.
Only three?! Sheesh!
- A charcoal grey shift dress – because everyone needs to look like “good money” for that big meeting.
- A nude patent high heel – they work with everything, it’s a fresh take on the “stand-by” black pump.
- A black or white sharp-shoulder jacket – a jacket keeps everything looking polished and well put-together.