Jonathan Simkhai at Louis Boston

By Allie Vasilakis

Through the end of this month, “Louis Exposure” will be taking place at Louis Boston on Fan Pier. As part of the new shopping showcase, local fashion enthusiasts have the opportunity to peruse a wide range of luxury items by a selection of designers at weekly trunk shows. Recently, NYC-based Jonathan Simkhai (pictured right) was one of the designers who made an appearance at Louis Boston to showcase his Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 lines. Bostonista caught up with him about this unique opportunity and his inspiration for his designs.

Can you describe your latest collection and your background as a designer?
I started out with the pieces in my closet that were missing from my girlfriend borrowing my clothes: things like men’s shirts, boxers, sweaters. To me, it felt like this is what women wanted to wear so I looked back at why those pieces are so good. I designed my first collection based on those things in my closet like long-johns, thermals, and men’s shirts, but done really well. People love them because they are comfortable, cool, and sexy.

What are your inspirations as a designer?
I look at the fashion icons who are really feminine, sexy women who wear that kind of masculine look… women like Annie Hall and Brigitte Bardot.

How did you partner up with Louis Boston?
One of their talent scouts found me at Refinery 29 or and they reached out to me and told me that they wanted to host some designers for a weekend to do a trunk show.

Why was this a good opportunity for you as a designer?
Louis is just a really great store: they give customers an opportunity to come in for the weekend and hang with all these really amazing designers, and they give us a chance to sell. A lot of stores don’t like to take risks with designers they don’t know, but they give you the chance to come and prove yourself. It establishes a relationship. This was my first trunk sale so it was just really good seeing the clothes in [a retail environment]. People come in, try them on, and give feedback.

What kind of reaction did you get?
It was a great response. Some people bought more than one thing… the salesgirls were really excited, the staff of the store was excited. Boston is one of the bigger cities in America and it was a great way to get started outside of New York.

How would you describe fashion in Boston?
Even walking down Newbury Street or going out to dinner, I’ve noticed that there are very fashionable people in Boston. People are interested in fashion. They are very fashion-forward.