Rodarte’s next plans: shoes and bags!

14 November 2008

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These are two ladies we want to be bestest friends with. Last night, sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy of US-based fashion label Rodarte stole our hearts - and those of the judges - after winning the prestigious Swiss Textiles Award at the Stella Fashion Night in Zurich. In tears after accepting the €100,000 prize, previously awarded to Grazia fave Marios Schwab, these unassuming young sisters from Pasadena in Southern California didn't leave a dry eye in the house.

Despite dressing the likes of Natalie Portman and Dita Von Teese in edgy-glam red carpet gowns, these self-taught designers are remarkably un-fashion; they dress casually, are down-to-earth and appear constantly surprised at their growing success. Afterwards, Laura told us, 'It's overwhelming, we're blown away. We really didn't expect to win. To have this kind of support at this moment in time for us is just amazing.'

And what's next in the pipeline? 'Shoes!' Kate told us. 'Shoes and bags are the next step because we love the idea of creating them. We're girls after all - and we like shoes!' Oh, so do we ladies... They'll be top of our wish list when they launch - and probably the Rodarte models too after Katie Fogarty's tumble at the last show...

The Rodarte sisters have had a swift rise to fame. Kate studied History of Art and Laura English literature. In 2005, they decided to found a fashion label and called it Rodarte after their mother's name. Experimenting with materials, silhouettes and techniques, they then schlepped their wares around to a carefully selected number of fashion editors - with magic results. Within just three years the newcomers have become a hot ticket at New York Fashion Week, making a ‘new experiment' every season and working their fantasy world into gorgeous fabrics and dreamy dresses.

How do they work together? 'We're like one person. We're always around each other, we're always talking about the same thing. Somehow, we form one mind.' But surely they must fight likeall sisters do? 'Not in a serious way. We're sisters so yes, we argue but it's almost funny to watch.'

The pair faced tough competition award, previously won by fashion heavyweights like Raf Simons and Haider Ackermann. We were rooting for homegrown talents Louise Goldin, with her futuristic knits, and Richard Nicoll's colour-blocked separates.

- Fiona Harkin

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