Quintessential N.Y. designer Jonathan Simkhai looks west for this towering spring collection.
Jonathan Simkhai found inspiration in LA’s Watts Towers for his spring collection, while his fab collab with Carbon38 boasts his first venture into athleisure
“I design for strong, fearless women who want to look modern, romantic, and powerful,” says fashion darling Jonathan Simkhai. While the born-and-bred New Yorker’s idea of the “Jonathan Simkhai woman” was always well formed—even when he first released his eponymous high fashion line, in 2010—two new collections suggest his muse is now trying on some West Coast flair. With an uber-cool collab with online activewear emporium Carbon38, Simkhai, 32, dives into the athleisure phenomenon that’s taken SoCal by storm.
Standouts like a one-piece with open lacing and wide-leg snap-up pants make the 16-piece capsule collection perfect for the modern Cali gal on the move. But the Parsons and FIT alum also debuts a spring collection that draws from and references LA directly—more specifically, the Watts Towers. “I find their monumentality and lightness to be inspiring,” says Simkhai of the Central LA spires adorned with mosaics of broken glass and pottery. “The [collection’s] beading and latticework is reminiscent of the patterns on the surface of the structures,” he adds, pointing to the ultra-femme silk dresses, including a twisted-rope embroidered gown that “really encapsulates the spirit and design of the Towers.”
It’s no wonder the designer’s favorite piece from the collection is also the most LA-lustworthy: a mirror cutout sleeve blouse with matching shorts he says is “undeniably chic, effortless—and very LA.” Swoon! Ron Herman, 8100 Melrose Ave., LA, 323-651-4129