Inspired by her grandmother Nan, Meggie Kempner launched a namesake label that merges subtlety with sophistication, and a dash of sexiness.
WHEN MEGGIE KEMPNER was a child, she would admire her wildly creative and stylish grandmother. The woman in question was Nan Kempner, beloved New York socialite and Upper East Side style icon. Think Babe Paley and Lee Radziwill. “One of the things I loved about my grandmother’s style is that she was always super sophisticated, even if she was just relaxing with the family on a Sunday wearing denim,” she says via phone in New York.
Fast forward twenty years, and Meggie Kempner set out to create her own fashion line. Inspired by her grandmother’s chic attire and her own love for clothes, her namesake label is both sexy, sophisticated and subtle. For Fall 2016, one of the brand’s most standout collections (worn above and below), Kempner focused on tailored, cut out evening dresses, and rich and luxurious prints such as paisley and checks, which she made into a pajama suit and trench coat accordingly. She also added sexy slip dresses with lace necklines and wide leg jumpsuits. Each garment however, is constructed with small details in mind to enhance the female body (like slits in the bottom of the pajama pants). “I think our woman wants to be sexy and confident, but without being slutty. She takes pride in her look and cares about what she’s wearing, and maybe wants to be noticed, but without screaming,” she says.
"ONE OF THE THINGS I LOVED ABOUT MY GRANDMOTHER'S STYLE IS THAT SHE WAS ALWAYS SUPER SOPHISTICATED, EVEN IF SHE WAS JUST RELAXING WITH THE FAMILY ON A SUNDAY WEARING DENIM."
In 2014, after spending four years at Ralph Lauren working with the styling and merchandising teams, Kempner paired up with her brother, Chris, to launch the label. In fact, it was around New Year’s Eve when resolution chatter arose that her brother urged her to follow her passion and launch her own line. Obviously, her grandmother was a huge inspiration. “Even when she was wearing her Levi denim with a fantastic blouse that she had tied in a bow and a crazy hat she was so stylish. Everyday it could have been a look walking down the runway.” It’s a philosophy that Kempner follows as well. “She always had this air of elegance and I think that's the number one thing that inspires me when I’m thinking about design, because our line is more formal than other lines. We kind of focus on always being elevated and sophisticated. We don’t do very much casual wear. I’m into the idea of being the brand that you turn to when you want to look a little bit more elevated and polished. However, I think that if you mix some of our pieces with denim, it does elevate the look in itself.
1. What do you eat for breakfast?
I love breakfast! I like to change it up. When I have enough time in the morning, I'll make eggs. Other days, it's a smoothie or yogurt with fruit and nuts. But always coffee!
2. What was your last dream about?
I wish I remembered!
3. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Flying. Life would be so much easier never having to worry about how to get around!
4. What is your spirit animal?
Probably a cheetah, they always look effortlessly chic :)
5. What is your greatest creative achievement?
Starting my fashion company, Kempner. It's such a rewarding experience watching your dream become a reality.
6. If you could swap lives with anyone in history (alive or dead), who would it be?
Probably my grandmother, Nan. She was constantly traveling to new places and meeting the most interesting people. She really lived life to the fullest.
7. What is your favorite song?
Tough call! Anything Motown.
8. Favorite artists?
Mark Rothko, Jeppe Hein, Monet.
9. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
10. Any hidden talents?
My ability to make a mean chocolate soufflé.