Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our Interview with Saukok & Carmen of 57 Grand

Carmen & Saukok
Saukok Tiampo and Carmen Ho, two modern NYC gals, have built 57 Grand, which has become a staple in the wedding industry. Exemplifying the Big Apple and all its fashion savvy women, Saukok and Carmen have created a bridesmaid and bridal line that are wearable and polished. Inspired by stylish woman and their own wedding experiences, their dresses can take you from the altar to the office! Saukok and Carmen took a break from their busy schedules to talk with us all about 57 Grand and their exciting new collection…

BB: What do you think has been the most important factor in the success of your business?

S: Not being afraid to be different. Weddings and the wedding industry can be quite traditional. We set out to do things differently.

C: Being in NY - the essence of our brand, inspiration from the women of New York, being close to our factories, and being close to bridal editors and bloggers, there’s no beating the Big Apple.

BB: When designing for women, specifically bridesmaids, what are your inspirations?

S&C: New York City. NYC women are confident, stylish, practical, and global. We draw from everything from the art to the architecture of New York, and the spirit of the New York woman. That means our designs are clean and confident, and very wearable.

 BB: Was there a specific event or person in your lives that led you to begin designing bridesmaid dresses?

 S: My wedding! I had 8 bridesmaids. Because my wedding was a destination event in the Caribbean, I gifted them the dresses, so I was choosing and buying…

C: For me, it's more an evolution from shoes to clothes. The concept is the same…how to create something that is timeless and wearable for multiple occasions.

Image by Rubia Morua via Career Fashion Weblog

BB: If you could give any famous woman a makeover, who would she be and how would you style them?

S&C: Hillary Clinton. We’d put her in our Reade cowl neck, sleeveless dress, in a bright color like Iris or Cobalt, and a good metallic pewter T-strap heel.

BB: What high school trends are you embarrassed to admit you followed?

S: I loved my stonewashed jeans with the zippered tapered leg! Nothing to be embarrassed about though… I have a strict no regrets policy.

C: Speaking of jeans, I had a pair of bright neon yellow jeans in high school. When I try to think back to why I loved them, I can’t figure it out for the life of me!

57 Grand color swatches
BB: If you both weren't designers, what career path would you have chosen?

S: I was a Wall Street banker - I still read the Wall Street Journal every day. I also love the design world - creating beautiful products for women at a great price...I brew up new ideas for companies every few months.

C: I could see myself being an architect. I like the idea of sculpting a space and creating an experience. And if that doesn't work, I can be a very good professional balloon animal maker!

BB: What are your favorite dresses in your collection?

S: I love the Waverly for its polished versatility. In our bridal collection, the Trinity’s removable tulle skirt makes the dress dramatic and romantic, and yet is light and airy.

C: I like the Beekman… simple and elegant. The Carmine is really fun and cute also.

The Bedford dress

BB: We are thrilled to be getting your new collection in the Bella stores! Can you tell us what our customers can expect from the new line?

 S&C: We have a few fun new short dresses which can be worn strapless, halter, etc.. Our Bedford, a sweetheart grosgrain dress with a full skirt, can be worn three ways. Our Sutton chiffon and charmeuse dress can be worn strapless or with double diagonal straps. It’s going to be fun!

Wedding in Bali with maids wearing the Madison dress

BB: Any advice for certain styles for different body shapes?

S&C: Our Mulberry, Riverside, Vestry, and Orchard dresses are best for very curvy women, or plus sized girls. The Grove, Madison, York, and our new Bedford style is perfect for those with real hips.

BB: What are you both carrying in your purses?

S: Blackberry, ginger candy, and my passport for unexpected jet setting trips!

C: Blackberry, credit card, keys, lip balm, only the essentials.

                                                                                          Thank you both!

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