Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interview: Brandonsun The Next Generation of Fur

"At J Mendel, I grew from a child to a teen, at ODLR I learned to be an adult... managing balance sheets, resources, the entire process... relying more on my own intuition and problem solving in ways that required me to depend on myself."

I met Brandon when I started at J Mendel in 2006. He was articulate, fresh, and full of ideas. It wasn't too long before I watched him rise from assistant to designer. Three years later, Brandon joined Oscar de la Renta as the Design Director to revamp the fur division. Today, he is launching his eponymous line Brandonsun, a fur accessories brand that is bringing the concept of practical luxury to the forefront of fashion through timeless, quality fur pieces. If there is such a thing as necessary luxury, this is it.

The collection is glamorous, yes, but also versatile, comfortable, and WARM! Most importantly, it fills a void in the market. While most ready to wear designers might spice up their collections with a fur vest and a couple of ascots, Brandon is setting up his brand as a reliable go-to for fur additions. "I've always had a vision to build a fashion brand, but it never felt like the right timing since I couldn't come up with anything more exciting than my favorite designers. One day, I realized there was an enormous hole in the market for designer fur-based accessories, so I thought, why not try to fill it?"

Between silver fox stoles in malbec, oak colored raccoon scarves, and ash dyed mink ascots, Brandon Sun's fall 2011 collection stands out for its versatility and availability for experimentation."Its all about movement through life" says Brandon, "pieces that don't burden you with fashion, but become a part of you. Its creating chic pieces that make life easier and make you feel better because they're new and inventive but NEVER gimmicky and NEVER cumbersome."

Indeed any stylist will have a field day coordinating these pieces. The collection has been picked up by Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Savannah, Boontheshop, Julliane's in Port Washington, Louis Boston in Boston, and Moda Operandi and is available for viewing on brandonsuncollection.com
For extra fun, click on the videos below where Brandon shows how to work his pieces.

(Please note: The original videos were converted to suit my blog, I will switch it to high resolution as soon as I can)

video video

My chat with Brandon:

How can you describe your growth at Mendel as opposed to Oscar? 
At Mendel, I learned from the bottom up, how to pick up and hand pins to ultimately draping a chiffon gown....it was everything technical and mechanical...learning about teams and working in tense situations. At Oscar de la Renta, I realized that various markets call for various design details. J Mendel and ODLR had VERY different customers...therefore different details. At J Mendel, I grew from a child to a teen...and at ODLR, I learned to be an adult, managing balance sheets, resources, the entire process... and depending on myself.

Who inspires you the most? 
I am inspired by people who are confident with what their visions are and relentlessly pursue it and succeed consistently. Alaia, Elbaz, McQueen, Owens... are all uncompromising in what they do. Its not about the bottom line... though important, its about the vision. A relevant vision. I think all amazing things need to breathe and to take life on their own. Fashion designers who allow the collections to just happen, while merely gently steering it into their vision, artists who let the brush be their guides... and people who arent afraid of whether or not their ideas will work because they already know they will.

What do you think is the biggest obstacle you face as a young designer?
The market moves so fast now, with many many seasons and many other designers out there vying for the same attention. The biggest obstacle is myself... if I can handle the pressure or resist the temptation to go too far into the wrong direction, to remain humble and remember what I started out trying to do. Many young designers get caught up with themselves as their names become well known.

What kind of creative projects would you like to embark on over the next year or so?
I'm going to slightly grow my brand of accessories to include more garments and a new direction for fur trimmed garments that will help fill another market void. I am also considering a collaboration with a friend on a new line of luxury men's handbags.

What are your dreams/aspirations for Brandonsun
I'd love to organically grow it into a globally recognized brand without too much financial support. I want the brand to be profitable... but also to remain true.


  1. I'm the fur accessories at Saks in NYC. We will have this collection in our NYC flagship on 2nd floor end of July! Come see Charity de Meer at Saks NY.

  2. That's right around the corner! How exciting!


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