Alana Greenberg is Kymerah: Edgy, Sexy and Sophisticated
(Pictured left: Alana Greenberg)
Alana Greenberg, Owner of Kymerah
Interview by Nicole Hanratty
September 5, 2012
Kymerah is edgy, sexy and sophisticated, just like its owner Alana Greenberg.
In New York City, it’s Fashion Week and the fashion world is buzzing about the newest designs from Jason Wu, Derek Lam, Rag & Bone, Alexander Wang and Diane Von Furstenberg. Life of a Rock Star™ is highlighting a designer whose style is akin to what these icons in fashion have created, but is not yet showing at NYFW. Kymerah, the brainchild of Alana Greenberg, Avi Greenberg and Max Fechner is a stunning fashion forward line of designs with a brilliant eye for fusing the classic with the inspired.
The Kymerah brand is growing fast and making its way on to an endless list of celebrities including Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Kristen Stewart, Kourtney Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Kelly Osbourne, Martina McBride, Tiffany Thiesen, Demi Lovato, and Maria Menounos.
Life of a Rock Star™ recently highlighted the Kymerah’s Fall 2012 line “Kymerah Dominates Fall Fashion” and we are excited to bring you the interview behind the line that has reinvented Audrey Hepburn’s sophisticated look with a sexy savvy twist.
Nicole: Hi, it’s Nicole.
Alana: Hi Nicole. How are you doing?
Alana: I’m so happy you got the chance to call me. Max and I were really, really thrilled by the article you wrote. We definitely love your blog and I appreciate everything you mentioned and just loving the way that you talk about and just feel that Kymerah is a great fit for your blog.
Nicole: I love your style. I love your designs!
Alana: We’ve definitely been very fortunate in these last two months. We started Kymerah towards the beginning of 2011 and we’ve been very fortunate to have such wonderful women like Eva Longoria, Jessica Alba, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Swift wearing Kymerah. You know, Carrie Underwood used one of our dresses for her music video and performance at the Country Music Awards. We’ve had a lot of good luck and positive feedback from the celebrity world just in terms of Kymerah and it’s really been a blessing. Right now, I just presented our Spring / Summer ‘13 collection and it’s been received very well and we’re really excited for everything to come in the future. I basically started this clothing line with my boyfriend Max and my brother Avi, so it’s kind of a family business. All three of us are living in between New York and Florida. We didn’t really have a background in fashion, but my brother had a background in business, Max had a background in the music industry, and I had a background in the film industry. We kind of merged all of that together which is where the name Kymerah comes from; it’s a mythological Greek creature that’s composed of the strong parts of very strong animals. That’s kind of where we came together on that name being the fusion of all three of us coming together to create an edgy, versatile line for a modern woman who wants to look beautiful but classical, sexy but sophisticated all at the same time.
Nicole: In designing, it’s all three of you involved in the designs?
Alana: Yes, completely. We have a designer that works with us, but Max and myself are 100% involved in designing. Max, actually, he custom made the print--our Summer ‘13 art deco print--he created that so we’re deeply invested in the design aspect. Obviously, we do have a professional designer working with us on technical aspects. I grew up in Paris. Max is French so that’s where we met. I’ve always had a knack for fashion and in textiles, so it’s definitely something that we source together and it’s done as a group. My brother, Avi, helps a lot with production, and sales, and keeping press together. It’s really no set title for anyone. We all help each other where we can and it’s really proven to be a strong unity.
Nicole: You launched in 2011 and you have your line in stores everywhere. How did you grow so quickly?
Alana: It was a lot of hard work, a lot of connections, you know. Always staying in New York and in the mix, flying out to L.A. a lot, the fact that we’re all in our 20s, we’re very active people; it’s just been hustling. We are very fortunate. I do have to say we have a talented designer and we have very good textiles. We have an amazing PR firm and we wouldn’t have been able to reach that success without such a strong team behind us. We’ve reached also some international success, which has been really fortunate for us because Max and I being from France, we moved to the States in 2010 and quickly after that launched Kymerah. For us it was a big blessing already just to make it in the United States, but then to also be in Japan, and Indonesia, and stuff like that, it was also very, very fortunate once again, and Australia.
We have a great store over there that we work with and they’ve been ordering with us since the first season and they’re continuing on. We were fortunate enough to do a private label for Urban Outfitters (ERA by Kymerah) and we’re continuing with that this Fall as well. Shopbop also. We’ve been very, very fortunate, but it’s a lot of hard work to jump into this industry.
Nicole: Did any of you go to school for anything in particular that you think helped?
Alana: I went to cinematography school and I also worked in public relations and communications. My brother went to business school for international business, and Max, he’s just been immersed into the music industry and the film industries since birth. He comes from a very famous French family in French film production, so he’s just…it’s in his blood. I think it’s in my brother’s blood to be a businessman and he’s helped. Max and I would never have been able to do the business aspect of the company without him, so I think the fusion of all three again; it’s just helped us a lot. Max has a very artistic eye and I have, you know, I would say I’m a little bit of both. I’m artistic and business and my brother helps us immensely with the business aspects. Being a woman and having grown up in France, I do know what women like. My mother immersed me into fashion at the age of seven so I have grown up with fashion in my blood also.
Nicole: Do you think your designs then are more European inspired?
Alana: I wouldn’t say we’re European inspired because the French brands and the Italian brands, they’re very high end and beautiful, but I would say that our silhouettes try to inspire from French couture. We really are trying to keep at a low price point. We don’t want to enter into the designer world because the truth is right now we really want to stick at the bridge line market. There obviously is some European influence because of Max’s and my background, but I think we’re trying to be that new American label that maybe has a European feeling to it.
Everything is hand made in New York City, so we are really trying to remain a domestic [brand], trying to help the American economy as well and not go international on our production. We do oversee things, just because it’s still such a new company and we don’t want to ever send anything out that we wouldn’t be completely proud of. We keep a close eye on production, that has always has been in New York. We’re very fortunate that we’re able to do that and we don’t have to go overseas right now because it seems like our buyers really appreciate things being made in America, designed in America. Right now, that’s something that’s been working for me, but I don’t know if in the future, if the numbers become too big, if we will go international or not. I’m not really sure. Right now, I’m happy with overseeing everything here in America.
Nicole: Is this a full time venture for you and Max or do you have other things that you work on?
Alana: No. This is completely full time venture for Max and I. I mean, Max obviously, you’ve seen his Instagram. (@maxfechner) He is very talented as an artist so he does that on the side as a hobby, but as far as business wise goes, Kymerah is our primary and only business venture at this point. Like I said, we do a private label for Urban Outfitters. That’s another clothing line.
Nicole: Do you show at any of the Fashion Weeks?
Alana: No. We haven’t yet just because the impression that we’ve gotten has just been that we’re very young in the industry and we don’t want to push things too hard. We’ve considered doing a fashion show before, but there are so many amazing designers out there in New York City all looking for a spot in Fashion Week and right now we’re so pleased with the response that we’ve been getting from celebrities and buyers. I know I have a lot of celebrities that will be wearing Kymerah during Fashion Week. Max and I don’t want to push for a show just because we’re very young within the industry and we know that we are. I meet people that have owned lines for six years and they’re doing their first show this Fall. I don’t want to push things too strongly because I think Kymerah is so organic and it’s falling so well into its place within the fashion industry, that when the time feels right and we know that it would be a good time for us to do a show, we will.
Nicole: It seems to be falling really well into line, as you said, with the music industry; you mentioned Carrie Underwood is wearing it. I’m curious, do you have a certain genre of music you listen to that is either inspiring to you when you design or that’s just always on your playlist that you love?
Alana: Me personally, I really love bands like LCD Soundsystem. Electronic music is really in right now, and obviously I like Hip Hop, and Rap. The Black Keys is a band that we really like around here. They are in so many movies right now and stuff like that, but the musician more in the family definitely is Max. I pretty much listen to what he puts on the iPod, but we definitely use everything for inspiration. Our last collection is definitely inspired by strong women in the 60s, going from Audrey Hepburn to and just trying to remember powerful women who were sexy and sophisticated back in their era. Kind of bring it to a modernism where a young girl today in her 30's can wear it and feel classical, but yet sophisticated and feel good about her body and not at something that’s going to cost $3,000 or $4,000 either.
That's pretty much where we go. We were very, very blessed to have Carrie Underwood use one of our dresses in her “Good Girl” music video. She used our cream fringe dress and then we custom made her dress for the Country Music Awards. It was like a pink, fuchsia, fringe dress and we were just very, very fortunate that she even wanted to re-use a Kymerah dress for her performance.
Also, we’ve had a lot of support from Dash. The Kardashian’s have been buying also from us since Autumn / Winter ’11 and they’ve bought every season. They’ve been great to us and it’s just been a very good relationship with them also. I think when you get people like that on your side and believing in your company, things just happen organically, there’s a trust that develops. After we opened up to those two relationships like that, more relationships come up and more people want to get to know you or want to work with you.
Everything kind of happens organically, which is really positive because nothing is pushed for and we really… Max and I were talking last night and we definitely love the aspect of being in music videos because they are timeless. We’re trying to work on doing other things with other musicians in the future. We’re just hoping for the best. Fall is upon us and we have a great Fall collection and we’re very proud of it. Shopbop is posting all of our stuff on the website. We had an event last night with Refinery29. We’re just very excited to introduce fall and I know my PR firm has heavily, heavily stocked up wonderful women like Eva Longoria, Jessica Alba, Zoe Saldana, Charlize Theron, Sofia Vergara, all of those women have Kymerah in their closets. We just hope for the best and if they want to wear Kymerah, it’s a pleasure for us to see them wearing it, honestly.
Alana: I so appreciate your time today Alana. There’s one question I ask of everyone I interview and it’s just because I like to always add a charitable edge. If there’s any charity that you donate your time to or that is near and dear to you, I’m happy to include it.
Alana: Well, Max and I donate every year to the Fraternal Order of Police. It’s basically an association that supports the families of policemen that have been wounded or killed on the line of duty. It’s just something that we do within our community down in Florida. We support them. We feel very strongly about the Make a Wish Foundation and both our parents had cancer so that’s something that’s near and dear to our hearts. We try to donate to Susan G. Koman, and Max lost his father to cancer so it’s something that we know that we want to heavily get involved in soon. My stepfather has Alzheimer’s, so we try to donate to many different charities. I just donated to Hutchinson’s Disease last week, so we try to give back as much as we get.
Nicole: It’s been so great to talk to you and I just wish you guys so much luck and success.
Alana: Thank you so much Nicole and it’s been really, really a pleasure talking to you as well and I really, really loved your blog.
Well, the feeling is mutual…Life of a Rock Star™ loves Kymerah’s style! Check out more of Kymerah online:
Follow @Kymerah on Twitter
Follow Alana Greenberg @Nansical on Twitter
Kymerah on Facebook
Kymerah Dominates Fall Fashion
August 13, 2012
These Kymerah fall designs will rock your world. Kymerah has combined Audrey Hepburn classic tailored looks with savory flair. With the long list of celebrities wearing their line (including Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood), these are rock star style clothes!
The fall line is off the charts sexy in the simplest way. Adding a little Kymerah to your wardrobe this season is like adding a dash of cayenne to a recipe. Mix it in and see how quickly it spices things up! See the Kymerah Fall Fashion 2012
SONG OF THE WEEK:
Song of the Week
September 6, 2012
Train “Drive By”
It’s so up beat this song tricks you into thinking that all one night stands have a happy ending. (Wait! They don’t?) Very pop punk and comical in its lyrical style, Train released “Drive By” in January of this year. Every time the lyrics, “There's nothing up my sleeve but love for you - And a little time to get my head together too,” are sung out the cleverness of this song strikes. It’s always a welcome play on the radio or iPod playlist and has listeners bopping and singing along, “Oh I swear to you!” Video and more ---> SONG OF THE WEEK