We are very proud to host a herman and herman clothiers trunk show this Friday, August 3 from 6-8pm. Here we chat briefly with ex-sisters in law, designers and co-founders of herman and herman™ clothiers Susan and Tracy Wohlgenant about muses.
The Muses were nine Greek goddesses presiding over the arts and literature whom artists and poets called on for inspiration before beginning work. Poems often began with a summons; thus, Homer's Odyssey begins, "Sing to me of the man, Muse."
Tracy: I think that the muse piece is very important to us because what happens is these muses become a touch point for the brand. When we started the brand we listed muses, be it fictional characters like Addie Pray or real people like Jean Seberg. We had a list, and Susan, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe our first muse was Addie Pray, the little girl from "Paper Moon"?
Susan: Yes, yes-
Tracy: She’s a little girl but she knows herself extremely well, she’s really smart. I think having a strong sense of self is part of our brand. And that tomboy aspect, you know, wearing a sweet, sweet little feminine blouse with overalls--that’s kind of her, that’s what she wears in "Paper Moon"--that’s sort of what sealed the deal for Susan and me.
Susan: And I have three very prominent muses for the line. One is Audrey Hepburn, because of her minimalism. I feel very strongly about saying more with less and I’ve always, always kind of felt that way. My father was an architect, I actually grew up in a Frank Lloyd Wright house so I think being around that sense of design...I was imbibed with this sense of simplicity and design and construction. And that's really at my design core—Audrey Hepburn definitely speaks to that. At the other end of the spectrum is Iris Apfel, who is anything but minimalist. What I get from Iris is her unflinching sense of being herself. There is nothing more important—it doesn’t matter what designer she's wearing—the only thing important in what she wears and what she combines is that she feels herself. When she’s finished getting dressed, she feels herself. And my third muse is Tracy. Watching Tracy over the many years I've known her, I have been incredibly inspired by her sense of fun and relaxed chic. She ALWAYS looks smashing! Her bar is incredibly high, and I feel like by watching her in action I'm able to give myself more permission to raise my own style bar.
Tracy: Awwwww...Susan! I feel the same way about you!
Susan: Tracy and I always bonded over fashion-
Tracy: It's really a strong connection for us-
Susan: I was interested in fashion since I was born--
Tracy: And, I mean, my mom got Vogue when I was really little and I would spend nap time just thumbing through that magazine...
I recently posted (on Instagram) a shot of Julia Child-she doesn’t necessarily seem like a fashion designer’s muse-but it’s her interior world that inspires us. She has a strong sense of identity. Our muses don't have fashion thrust on them, they use it to express identity. Their choices come from within.
Susan: And that’s related to the philosophy of our brand: we’re not selling a style, we’re selling a tool for everyone to use to express themselves....
You know how sometimes you just don't know what to wear? We talk a lot about how we want our customer to be able to reach into her closet, grab a herman and herman piece, put it on, and feel instantly chic.
1. Learn more about herman and herman and shop the line here: https://hermanandhermanclothiers.com/
2. Join us Friday for the herman and herman trunk show at Common Threads Denver from 6-8pm (Susan and Tracy will be there!).
3. Entertain use of muses on the daily: we seem to have gotten away from the practice, or named it something exclusive to Creatives with a capital C.