INTERVIEW: Bradley Davidowitz Designs One Grey Day
On a mild, overcast day in the sunny hills of Los Angeles, One Grey Day was born. Bradley Davidowitz’s gray scale philosophy behind his own wardrobe has become the concept for his young brand. Lookbooks chatted with Bradley about what it feels like to see his dress by surprise on the red carpet, and what it takes to create a day so grey.
Where does the imagery for the screen-printing stem from?
It’s an extension of what we were already doing, which is traditional with a twist. We’re taking things that have already been done before and doing it a little bit better, a little bit different than people have seen them. I take iconic imagery and do it in a sort of “One Grey Day” way, which is to put a little twist on it and to get something that everybody’s familiar with, but have not seen in that form before.
You said that your name is a play on words. How did one great day become One Grey Day?
The concept for the line, tones of black, gray and white, was in place before we had a name for the line. I got me and my friends together and we were throwing around ideas. We were saying, ‘What’s the commonality that ties everything together?’ My own wardrobe, even my house, everything’s gray. I knew that gray was going to be the underlying concept through the whole collection. People ask me, “Why gray?” Everybody knows in Los Angeles, when I say, “a gray day,” they know what I mean because we have these days all the time. Even in summer. In April, the beginning of spring, you’ll wake up and everything looks gray. It’s not in a bad way, it’s just a gray day. It’s not cold outside, it’s overcast, it’s cloudy and has this grey hue over the city.
How big is your design team?
My design team right now is three people. I have 2 amazing young designers who at some time soon I’ll be able to introduce to everybody, but right now they’re working and developing their craft. I’m lucky that they’re doing it for one grey day. I have one sweater designer, one cut and sew designer, and they also are working together to develop the new part of the collection that is a hybrid between the sweaters and the cut and sew pieces. And I have an artist that does all of my images for screen-printing.
What was your Aha! moment that got this company started?
I don’t know if there was an exact “aha” moment. I know, for me, when I realized everything was going to work out was when we did the Coterie trade show in NY. We had put the collection pretty quickly and we were making the decision of whether we should wait one season to launch, or to just go ahead and do it that fall of ’09. And we decided we should go for it. We waited as Coterie opened for 5-10 minutes and there was literally nobody in the hall yet. The first person to walk by our booth came in and started looking at the collection and asked some simple questions. Two minutes later they had written a pretty nice order and walked away. So five minutes into the life of the brand, we had gotten our first order. For me that was really exciting, like, Okay maybe we are onto something here. It gave me the confidence to keep going forward. It was a great start for One Grey Day.
Who was the first celebrity to wear your designs? What did that feel like?
There were some people that were wearing One Grey Day pieces before it launched, just some close friends, but it was never something that happened organically. There’s giving something to a friend and you know they’re going to wear it and support you no matter what. There’s a difference between that and getting a phone call saying, “I saw someone wearing your clothes.” That happened for me. I was getting ready to go on vacation that afternoon, and about a half hour before I left for the airport, I got an email and it was a picture of AnnaLynne McCord from 90210 wearing one of our dresses on the red carpet for the Taking of Pelham 123. I remember seeing the picture from the side and thinking, that looks like a One Grey Day dress. And then I looked closer and was like, omigod that is a One Grey Day dress! And then 15 minutes after that, the phone was ringing like it had never rung before. We had a multiple line phone at the office, and I don’t think more than one line had ever been used at once. And in that few hours the phones were ringing. It was a good feeling. It was pretty cool.
Where do you ideally see your girl wearing One Grey Day?
I think she’s all over. I think that’s one of the great things about One Grey Day is that with each individual person it can be worn differently. The reason I say that is because what we’re doing is taking cool basics and doing them with a twist. What I mean by that [for instance] is taking a traditional v-neck sweater and adding a back slit to it where there’s a peekaboo of the back. And things like that for sure can be worn differently. What that means is that for a certain girl the piece can make them look sexy or feel sexy, but for another girl, they make the piece be sexy, and I think that that’s important that it’s going both ways. The ideal situation would be someone who has plans to go out on a date or to dinner, but in the meantime has to go to work and they don’t want to have to change their whole outfit.
What’s one piece of advice for designers wanting to start their own line?
Not get too ahead of yourself. Whenever you’re dealing with something as creative as a clothing line, there’s always going to be time to choose the things you want to do, but sometimes you have to choose the things you need to do, in order to be able to get to that point.
What’s your favorite piece of the collection?
The stuff that we are selling right now for the stores in fall – the boyfriend sweater. It’s an oversized v-neck sweater. For me it’s just a sexy piece. A beautiful girl that’s wearing a piece of menswear inspired clothing; that just does it for me.
What trend are you most excited about for next Spring?
Time to introduce a little bit of color to One Grey Day.