From The Desk Of | Lauren Gonzalez
I had the very fun privilege of meeting Emily Newnam, the designer and owner of SOUTHERN fROCK! Emily grew up in the small town of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. She attended NC State in Raleigh and joined Alpha Delta Pi Sorority (she’s my sister!). After changing her major several times, she transferred to Meredith College to pursue a major in Fashion Design. Now, she has partnered with her mom (who doesn’t love that?) and is exploring her southern roots and fashion background with a fabulous 2012 Collection!
Lauren: What made you want to a start your clothing line, SOUTHERN fROCK?
Emily: As a fashion design major, I naturally wanted to have a career in the fashion field. Spending most of my summers at the coast, I knew I wanted to stay near the water after graduation instead of jumping on the bandwagon and moving to NYC. I worked for a children’s clothing designer based out of Raleigh right after graduation, working with the production team, learning the ropes of producing a collection from design conception to final product. Eager to design, I packed my bags and moved down to Charleston, SC to design for a start up ladies clothing line. Six months later, I took a leap of faith and went out on my own to start SOUTHERN fROCK.
L: How did you come up with the name?
E: I was on a plane from Miami en route to Charleston when I came up with the name SOUTHERN fROCK. I knew that I wanted to start out with a dress collection, since I basically live in sundresses during the summer. The name “frock” which is an old-school name for ensemble or dress immediately came to mind. The term has since gained popularity on the fashion scene. Naturally being from the south, I slapped on the southern part and Viola!
L: Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
E: The inspirations for each collection are found in the small coastal southern towns and also my travels. I live part-time in Beaufort, NC, a small coastal boating town. The laid-back lifestyle that surrounds this town inspires so much of the collection. The idea of being able to wear most of the styles out on the boat or on the beach and then turn around and dress up for dinner is essential when living at the coast. I love the versatility of the styles in the collection and being able to do just this! I recently traveled to India and the Amalfi Coast in Italy this past summer with a life-long friend of mine. The experience opened our eyes so much to the beauty that lies in other parts of the word. The bright colors, fabrics, the locals, unparalleled cultures and beaches were some of the greatest inspirations for the line.
L: I know you recently took a trip to India, how was that? What did you learn while you were there?
E: India is unlike any place I have ever been. To try to explain it or show pictures, could never describe the experience. It was completely opposite of everything I have ever known. The adventure of being on the other side of the world definitely planted an appetite to travel. India was a sea of millions of people doing millions of different things, warm smiles, bright colors, and festivals of celebration for everything possible. The warmness of the locals, who mostly live in unbearable conditions, created a vibe of unity and appreciation. This past summer was my second visit to India and its safe to say that each experience was totally different as I continue to learn about the culture.
L: What’s your favorite MUST HAVE item from the Southern fROCK line?
E: Seersucker is always a must have from the collection, but I am also leaning towards the Kaftan. The Kaftan is so diverse in the fact that you can wear it as a beach cover-up, a dress, or with white skinny jeans. I like being able to wear a piece in lots of different ways depending on the occasion!
L: Which “Real Housewives” show on Bravo is your favorite?
E: RHOBH! I love the Beverly Hills housewives! They are so out of control with all of the parties and trips, I love it!
L: If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?
E: I would be happy as a lark wearing pink for the rest of my days! Pink creates a glow for any girl it adorns.
L: What’s your go-to for accessorizing one of your dresses? Belts, jackets, sweaters, scarves?
E: Statement Jewelry!! You can never have too much. It so easy to turn a plain dress into an ensemble with the right jewelry. Amrita Singh is my favorite jewelry designer in the world.
L: What’s the last song you listened to on your iPod?
E: The Band Perry- All your life
L: What designers inspire you most?
E: Marchesa and thread Social. They are both duo designers. Love everything they do because of the feminine silhouettes.
L: What kind of girl would you say Southern fROCK appeals to?
E: The everyday girl on the go. Whether you are dashing out to lunch with friends, spending the day on the boat, or hitting the town for a night out with your Beau, these dresses can transform to fit any occasion.
L: Which one: Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda or Samantha?