Kimberly Ovitz Needs Her Gum to Focus

L.A.-based Kimberly Ovitz started in fashion early. At the age of 14 she snagged her first internship at J.Crew, before moving on to college at Brown University. While at Brown, Ovitz spent summers interning at W magazine in addition to apprenticing at Karl Lagerfeld’s Rue Cambon studio. Following graduation she moved back to Los Angeles to work for Imitation of Christ as their denim designer. Ovitz then moved on to stints at Ya Ya and Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent. By the time she was 25, Ovitz was ready to strike out on her own and debuted her line in spring 2009. Drawing heavily from her personal aesthetic of sleek, minimal pieces with a hint of sex appeal and her childhood spent riding horses, Ovitz created a mix of easy-to-wear androgynous jersey pieces along with equestrian-inspired tailored trousers and leather jackets. Retailers took note, and the likes of Forwardforward.com and Switch Boutique in Beverly Hills were the first to place orders. Now Ovitz can count on retailers such as Barneys and Zoe in Brooklyn to stock her urban-chic line, in addition to acquiring a huge celebrity following. Cameron Diaz was the first to scoop up her sexy minimalist wares, but it was Ovitz’s Jacob dress that was an instant hit in 2009. We chatted with the designer to talk about her search for the perfect men’s tee and what’s in store for her brand’s future.

What’s the first designer thing you ever bought?
A pair of Prada wedges when I was 16.

What trends do you personally like for spring?
I’m not a huge fan of trends — I’m more of a classic-modern-edgy-with-a-twist kind of gal.

Are there any trends you wish would go away?
Eighties influence!

A look from spring 2010.Photo: Courtesy of Kimberly Ovitz

Are there any trends you wish would come back?
Everything is always coming and going.

Who are your favorite designers?
Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, and Maison Martin Margiela.

What designers or labels do you actually wear the most?
I love to mix Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, and Maison Martin Margiela with my own.

Who is one designer that everyone should know by now but don’t?
Haider Ackermann.

Where do you shop when you’re in New York?
I love going to Maison Martin Margiela for anything, and I love IF boutique.

What’s one thing you really want to buy right now?
I’m always looking for the perfect T-shirt.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My Rick Owens jacket.

What’s something that everyone should have in their closet?
A good beat-up white men’s undershirt and an old-school pair of Levi’s.

What’s the one thing you can’t leave your house without?
Gum. It helps me focus and it aids in my creative process. I also can’t leave without a camera in my bag.

Can you give us a hint about fall 2010?
I can say that it will be about prioritizing comfort.

What are your plans for the future?
I decided not to do a full-on runway show because I’m looking to expand the brand and perhaps venture into shoes and more affordable pieces.

Kimberly Ovitz Needs Her Gum to Focus