“Travel fuels my imagination,” says Edward Wilkerson, Creative Director and visionary of fashion house, Lafayette 148 New York. A photographer and avid art collector, Wilkerson seeks inspiration everywhere. After a recent trip to India he said, “Their sense of style is undeniable: Everything is draped in beautiful fabrics and has a function: They have a magnificent and natural way of being.”
Wilkerson joined the Lafayette 148 New York team in 1998 where his designs combine sophistication and luxurious European fabrics for the modern woman’s multi-faceted lifestyle.
His core philosophy was inherently derived from his experiences with Calvin Klein and Donna Karan, having witnessed first-hand how clients reacted to Donna’s Seven Easy Pieces. Wilkerson says, “I begin with a white shirt. The simplest and most basic of pieces can be stylized to be both functional and fashionable. You can dress it up and down, and build everything around it.” He laughs, “I have a masculine/feminine approach to design and I like clean, simple lines. In the end, I enjoy taking something in its purest form and transforming it.”
What separates Wilkerson from most designers is that he truly listens to his adoring clients. Wilkerson is proud of the fact that Lafayette 148 New York designs for a variety of sizes and shapes. “Since not everyone is the same size or weight, we offer women of all sizes sophistication.” This season, Wilkerson is advocating palm prints, easy, casual elegance and beautiful leather pieces. “During the winter season in New York, it’s still summer in Florida. When designing a collection, I pre-imagine what the season will be like,” he says. So while layers are in full swing in the Big Apple, Wilkerson is dreaming about the vibe and sophistication of South Florida.
Edward Wilkerson will be making a personal appearance at Neiman Marcus Fort Lauderdale on March 6 at 1 p.m. For more information, call 954.396.4531.