I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a balmy summer evening than dropping by the West Village home of Nieves Lavi co-founder Sharon Lavi for rooftop cocktails with her and design/business partner Sam Nieves Velez. Founded in 2003, Nieves Lavi is known for their casual-luxe, distinctly-printed womenswear favored by celebrities. (Ooh, and look at that: Lucky Breaks is giving away 34 of their dresses right over here.)
At first, I was completely distracted by Lavi’s incredible four-story Cribs-worthy townhouse—conveniently located within the vicinity of the Christian Louboutin boutique—and I was hoping the designer might adopt me. But I happily settled for a cool beverage and a chat with the duo instead.
"What we always try to do [is] make clothes that make you who you are, not really impose anything on you," explained Lavi, modeling a breezy Spring 2013 embroidered caftan. "We just give you the tools to express yourself."
The designers pride themselves in consistently sticking with a profusion of signature bold prints and ultra-feminine and flattering silhouettes from season to season. The Fall 2012 collection features a wintry update of the line’s resorty aesthetic, playing with deep-hued paisleys, military green nature-inspired graphics and black and white abstract patterns on cropped blouses, shift dresses, blousy jumpsuits and one thing we can’t get enough of: statement pants.
It’s easy to see why starlets love Nieves Lavi. Actress/Lucky guest blogger Jessica Alba has been snapped in their LA-friendly maxi-dresses and Kelly Ripa loves wearing their pieces on and off the air. So are there any other celebs that Lavi and Neives Velez would love to dress?
"J. Lo," Lavi stated. "We want J. Lo."
"We would love to dress Cameron Diaz," added Nieves Velez, who was incidentally wearing a Nieves Lavi custom made-for-himself pair of swirly-printed peg-leg pants. "You know just people who have that style…a Kate Moss. Just effortless, like Kate Hudson. Cool chic girls."
The line is available at Neiman Marcus and specialty boutiques around the world, but would Nieves Lavi consider opening a storefront of their own one day?
"Yeah, definitely. We’re waiting for Christian Louboutin to get out," Sam jokingly (I think) told me. "We’re waiting for him to vacate so we can take over."
"You can write that," Sharon said with a smile.
photo: Sharon Lavi and Sam Nieves Velez of Nieves Lavi
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