After a week of planes, trains and automobiles, India sat down with Figue founder Stephanie von Watzdorf to talk about design and tribes, while nibbling peach hearts.
India: That it’s so deeply challenging. Every day brings something new, every day I’m learning, which is interesting. Every day brings all the emotions—I’m terrified, thrilled, crying, curled up in the fetus position, but at the end of the day, I think I like it. What else would I really be doing? I wasn’t terribly well suited for anything else.
Stephanie: The best part is being able to collaborate with people, whether it’s the people you work with everyday or people who you’re able to work with on a design project.
India: You’re so much nicer than me. Yours is all about collaboration and my answer was all about me.
Stephanie: I’m also learning every day and every day I’m thinking, “We probably should have done that another way.” But here we are. Constantly challenging yourself is cool but the collaboration is really the thing that challenges you. We’re kind of in a circle. A circle in the circus.
India: It’s a circus.
Stephanie: It’s a circus for sure, but I embrace it.
Stephanie: I had a vision that kept building and transforming and shaping itself for a long time. I wanted to start from a smart place so I set out to get as much experience as possible and then build that vision. The experience came from YSL, Armani, Ralph Lauren and a long while with Tory Burch.
When you design for someone else’s company you always metaphorphasize into whatever that business needs. I always thought I would like to create something a little different that resonated with me and my tribe.
India: I can relate to that. I’d had lots of licensing deals and there is something to wanting your own blank canvas onto which you can paint your own bigger picture.
Stephanie: It’s the collective connection. Everyone is a little bit different but that’s ok, you can embrace that and still be connected. Different is cool—age difference, mood, it’s still a tribe. You’re mentally connected and taking care of each other.
India: Your world attracts likeminded women and we use that word all the time. Our women want to take a bet a bet on life, they’re looking for a second chapter, and want to be heard and feel relevant again. They are truly entrepreneurial.
India: My brand is India Hicks London – Harbour Island and both places really find their way in. There’s always the English and the island themes going on.
Stephanie: I think I have a nomadic gene and that gene compels me to get on a plane or train and go. In the collection, we have patterns and colors and textures that can come from any place I’m dreaming of or have been to.
Stephanie: A hammam.
India: That is unusual.
Stephanie: A hammam is a bath, a steam bath found in Morocco and Turkey with tiles and they’re usually quite beautiful with the green, black and white tiles with the steam rising. That idea eventually became a pattern.
India: The Vic Hum Club. We have a very local nightclub on Harbour Island, only they call it a museum—The Victor Humphrey Museum. They have what they say is the world’s largest coconut there and a basketball court in the middle. The walls are filled with album covers and graffiti, which inspired me to graffiti one of our bags. I took a big pen and wrote “The Future is So Bright” and that came from the Vic Hum Nightclub.
India: I’ll do anything not to be on a plane. I’ve just ridden 100 miles on a bike and that’s a nice way to go. Although not for 100 miles because my ass hurt.
I quite like a train. I just took a train from Palo Alto to San Francisco.
Stephanie: Plane, but I love trains. It’s just that you can’t take a train to Africa.
India: Well, I had to force her to do it.
Stephanie: It was fun to bring in the flamingo details and the shell. In the end we wound up with something very Figue and very India.