I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sara Campbell, the Boston-based women’s fashion designer whose eponymous brand and boutiques can be found here in Newport as well as throughout Massachusetts, in Florida, Virginia (Richmond and my ‘ol stomping grounds, Old Town, Alexandria), Michigan and Illinois. Designing seasonal collections that are made right here in the USA (See? It can be done and done exceptionally well), Campbell is a visionary. From her earliest years, launching a small textile/apparel business in 1983 after graduating from Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass. and Massachusetts College of Art, to christening nearly 20 boutiques as of this year, admirers of Campbell’s classic meets contemporary designs easily become longtime loyalists. How does it all happen? Here’s and inside look:
Newport Stylephile (NS): Who is the “Sara Campbell woman?” I very much have the Sara Campbell woman in mind when designing, as I have a responsibility to her. She is a classic, (yet not conservative!) woman who has a spirit for life. She is active both politically and socially. She cares about her community, therefore has reasons to dress. She cares about her health and well being, and makes time to do so. She loves a good party and she has a sense of humor! Most importantly, she loves a feminine detail, without being too sweet or cute. She is not afraid to take a chance on moving her style up a notch, but [she has] the ability to make a statement in her own voice. My pieces need to be easy to wear and should evoke simplicity. Every piece is an inspiration from the past, taking the wisdom from yesterday and applying it today’s needs. Dressing this lady is a privilege and an honor. It’s my job to empower her to feel pretty, strong and determined; that she can do anything she sets out to do. I would like to say she very much reminds me of my mother: tenacious!
NS: How would you describe Newport style and how does Sara Campbell complement that look? I was born and raised in La Jolla, California, overlooking the ocean. The beach was our playground, so Newport style is a natural for me. I live in Boston so that I can be close to the water; I need to be near the water. After all, I am a Cancer! Newport style is all about easy living and being by and on the sea. It’s clean, nautical, sassy, classic. There is so much history in Newport from the days of Jackie Kennedy to the traditions of so many events like the Newport Flower Show. It’s natural…but it is also extremely sophisticated.
PT. II Coming soon…til then, enjoy the summer sale at Sara Campbell Newport, which is offering 40% off the lowest ticketed price. My summer favorite?
And then there’s: