Black Halo recently had a party last month in Soho to showcase the 10th Anniversary of their Jackie O collection which is a nod to one of our most classic first ladies. The line has been a favorite of many for years as the person wearing it always looks put together, on trend and of course - classic. We took some time to talk with the founder and designer, Laurel Berman to find out more about the line, the importance of the Jackie O Dress and more.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was your background in terms of fashion and what brought you to creating Black Halo?
LAUREL BERMAN: I have always been interested in pursuing a career in fashion, and I ended up attending the San Francisco Academy of Fashion. Black Halo was born in 2002, when separates to wear with denim was the look of the moment in LA, and shortly after we launched the Jackie which in a way transformed the way women dressed. Things took off from there!
AM: Who is the Black Halo girl?
LB: The Black Halo Girl is constantly on-the-go. She is a hardworking professional, but also has an active social life. The Black Halo woman needs a wardrobe that will take her seamlessly from her desk to dinner, and from the boardroom to the bar. Her style demonstrates on the outside how beautiful she is on the inside.
AM: Black Halo's Jackie dresses, pantsuits etc allow women to be sophisticated, classy and put together without worrying about adjusting their outfits. What was the thought process behind the creation of this line and why has it maintained its iconic place in a number of women's closets regardless of being a celebrity or not?
LB: My signature look used to be a high-waisted pencil skirt, with a silk blouse tucked in. Whenever I sat down, the blouse would come untucked, so I decided I would just sew these two pieces together, and that evolved into the Jackie O Dress.
The dress has taken on so many forms over the last decade - jumpsuits, mini, ¾ sleeve – that it has become a staple for any aspect of a woman’s life. The Jackie O is the epitome of chic, one-piece dressing, which is why once a woman tries it on, she keeps going back.
AM: In addition to the Jackie O portions of the line, you have a number of dresses that are essential day dresses, cocktail dresses etc - how do you go about finding the perfect name that embodies the dress?
LB: I draw my name inspiration from so many different places – sometimes even from members of the Black Halo team!
AM: Where do you find inspiration in terms of creating the pieces that incorporate the line?
LB: I am continually inspired by strong, confident and ambitious women that I meet everyday in LA or during my travels. Especially today, it’s important for the multi-tasking woman to feel both empowered and feminine in her clothes, whether she is in the office or in the privacy of her home. Each piece I create is comfortable, yet structured with an impeccable fit, and naturally exudes confidence when worn.
AM: Tell us about the Jackie O Anniversary and why you wanted to create an Anniversary Party celebrating the 10 years of the collection?
LB: I decided that I wanted to design a limited edition capsule collection to celebrate a decade of style with 'Jackie' and the many incarnations Jackie has taken, but with a different take on a true retrospective, something freshhence the all-white color palette and the new fabrications.
As for the launch event – this is such a huge moment for both me personally and the Black Halo brand, that I really wanted to do something extra special. And who doesn’t love a chic cocktail party?
AM: What's next for Black Halo?
LB: Jackie will always be a staple of the Black Halo brand – in the next ten years, I hope to see her evolve even further. Hopefully, we will be having another interview for her 20th anniversary!
I want the Black Halo brand to continue dressing women in clothes that make them feel empowered, gorgeous, and liberated - that is what's most important to me and if we are still doing that in ten years, I am content.
AM: As a busy woman who designs and runs Black Halo, how do you take time for yourself?
LB: I can’t live without yoga, wherever I am – it keeps me sane, and I love acupuncture. I also like to treat myself to a nice dinner, somewhere like Osteria La Buca or Officine Berra.
AM: What are 3 go to dresses that women should include in their wardrobes as an essential element to their style?
LB: A woman should always have a power office dress that she exudes confidence in, a chic and sexy cocktail dress for a big meeting or presentation, and a staple evening gown. A great jumpsuit never hurts either!
Read more from the March Issue and Read A Chat with Designer Laurel Berman of Black Halo in mag.