It’s not every day that the grandchildren of a fashion icon stage their debut presentation, so Kempner made for a particularly exciting showing. Launched by brother-sister duo Chris and Meggie Kempner, the brand — already stocked at Moda Operandi and Fivestory — has all the ingredients for success; Chris is a Harvard Business School grad, thereby providing the business savvy, while Meggie is a former stylist. Then, of course, they have the vast wardrobe of their legendary grandmother, Nan Kempner, to serve as the inspiration for their edited collection of lingerie-inspired separates and dresses. In keeping with Nan Kempner’s knack for always looking polished with a touch of flair, the collection is sharp with just the right amount of quirk. We chatted with designer Meggie Kempner pre-presentation to talk post-NYFW plans, snacking habits and favorite Nan Kempner memories.
theFashionSpot: What do you plan to do as soon as your show is over?
Meggie Kempner: Heading to dinner at the Waverly Inn to celebrate; it’s such a classic spot…I really love it, but I’m also looking forward to sleeping! It’s kind of all I can think about!
tFS: What made you decide that now was the right time to have your first presentation?
MK: We launched last season and feel good about how everything was coming together, so it just felt like a natural progression.
tFS: Have you expanded?
MK: No…it’s still a tightly edited collection.
tFS: Do you have a favorite fashion-related memory of your grandmother?
MK: We were once on a trip in the Bahamas and she was getting ready for a night out. She put on beaded, feathered Tom Ford pants and tied a classic white shirt over it. She was in her 70s, so I knew clearly from then on I don’t have a regular grandmother!
tFS: Did you inherit a lot of pieces?
MK: I was lucky enough to inherit a lot of her stuff! I am usually wearing something of hers, like this watch.
tFS: That’s actually the watch I’m wearing! Is that the men’s version?
MK: No way, so funny! This is the men’s version. My grandmother was one of the first people to get inspired by menswear, which has greatly influenced this collection. She used to also wear my grandfather’s cufflinks!
tFS: Was she the only inspiration behind the collection?
MK: The main ideas behind the collection are the tensions between masculine and feminine and between revealing and concealing.
tFS: Any go-to snacks while you’re in the trenches designing?
tFS: What’s your guilty pleasure when you’re procrastinating?
tFS: Is NYFW all work for you or do you go to events?
MK: Love going to events! I also love all the people watching…it just keeps getting better.