>> Last night, Vanessa Traina launched her 14-piece capsule collection for the French brand Maje at Barneys, which has the US exclusive. She wore a black tuxedo jacket and pant from the collection, and was joined by her sisters Samantha and Victoria Traina and close designer friends like Alexander Wang, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Joseph Altuzarra, and Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, most of whom followed her to a celebratory dinner down the street at Le Caprice.
The idea for the collection, which ranges from $150 to $490, came about while Traina was in fittings for the brand's campaign (which she's appeared in the past two seasons). She told Vogue.com: "Maje asked me to do their campaign a few seasons ago and we all got along really well. We met the day before the shoot to do fittings, and by the end of it, we’d put together the proposal for a collaboration."
Her ideas for the collection — inspired by "a lot of old '90s editorial," she told us — came easily: "I had a whole folder with me . . . working in the industry and doing consulting quite frequently, I knew what to expect from a design meeting, and I think it really helped Maje understand my vision right from the get-go."
The resultant pieces are simple, primarily silk or lace, and sans color. In fact, minus one white silk maxi dress, they're all in black. "I wear black quite, quite often," Traina explains. "Because this was a one-time collaboration, I really wanted to do something wearable and [focus on] really great separates that fit into your wardrobe. And black goes with everything, so I really just kind of went with that." She told Vogue.com, "Although I must admit, I haven’t worn anything outside of my bedroom yet."
The collection also provided Traina with her first opportunity to design a shoe: "I mean, I've worked with Joseph Altuzarra and people on their collection from head to toe, so I've kind of worked with a shoe, but he [Altuzarra] really does the crux of it, so yeah, it's the first time. It's really cool because we initially started with doing a flat, and then I just thought it would be cool if we stuck a heel on it. So it's just a sandal design."
Even though she now has more extensive design experience, Traina says the collection is a one-time thing: "I really see myself more as a stylist, and I work as a stylist and do consulting. I was really grateful for this opportunity, it was really fun to do something like this, but I think the direction that I'm going in right now with styling is really what I'm passionate about, [and] is really what I love personally."