Laurel Berman is a Los Angeles based designer who may be best known for her ultra popular “Jackie O” dress, which has been seen on just about every celeb, from Kim Kardashian to Tyra Banks. Her Black Halo collection is defined by clean lines, classic silhouettes, and unique architectural shapes that “summon natural inner beauty and confidence” while also showing the world just how sexy those traits can be.
Recently, we had the chance to chat with Berman about all things Black Halo (and some other fun stuff like her amazing tangerine shoes with surprise glitter) at an in-store event held at Neiman Marcus at Scottsdale Fashion Square to celebrate Black Halo’s 10th Anniversary in addition to the launch of Black Halo EVE, a collection of evening gowns.
SF: How do you incorporate trends into a classic line like Black Halo?
LB: The aesthetic behind Black Halo is obviously very clean, and architectural. To me, the most important things in the garment are the fabric, and then the fit and proportion.
So, that being said, we want to be on trend, but never trendy. What we do for example–to be on trend–is color. There is nothing hotter than tangerine orange right now. So what do we have? We have tangerine orange dresses. Now, it’s in my classic silhouette, so, if that color looks good on you it doesn’t matter in two years if orange isn’t the latest, hottest color this season, because you look great in this color and it suits you and the dress fits perfect. It becomes timeless and on-trend at the same time.
SF: Why do you think that the “Jackie O” appeals to so many different types of women?
LB: The Jackie O is so successful for two reasons, first of all celebrities love it. Now, I think that they look at this $350 dress and go “Hey that’s a bargain.” I wear it once, I’m photographed, and then I’m done with it. I think that the career girl—that’s who is really our customer—my girl is the working girl. She’s wearing that Jackie to the boardroom, the power meeting, she’s wearing it to a power lunch; she’s wearing it to business meetings or a luncheon and events.
SF: Your “Jackie O” dress was in the premier episode of Girls this season. How exciting was that?
LB: I love Girls! Super exciting! I didn’t even know about it. I found out before the episode because all of my east coast friends were like “It’s on Girls! It’s on Girls!” It was super fun, and I am very proud of Lena Dunham. She is an inspiration to us all. She is so comfortable in her skin. She is so gifted with her writing and her talent. Her skill is off the charts.
SF: What has been your proudest moment as a designer?
LB: There are a couple of them. Eva Mendes on the cover of a French magazine was pretty big. Fergie on the cover of Cosmo was pretty big. Marie Claire in 2005, my first true editorial. It was our dress on a super model. A beautiful brunette styled just the way I would style her, with her big hair, her simple jewelry, statement cuff and she had on incredible shoes. I’m a huge shoe fan. She had on Roger Vivier, which I love–$1500 shoes with my $300 dress. The page next to it was a $4,750 Prada dress. So, that was a pretty big moment. First of all, it was a real magazine editor, fashion editor, true model with hair and makeup, and a stylist. It was all the stops pulled out. It was a high-low story and there was Vivienne Tam, Calvin Klein, Prada, Gucci, YSL—Black Halo. It was such incredible company. Such a beautiful shot.
By Kristianne Young