Q&A: Annie Griffin

I know you've seen the posts I've done recently featuring Annie Griffin's Fall line, and I was able to have a little chat with the designer herself about all things AGC. If you haven't seen the line, you're going to love the easy easy easy to wear shapes and fantastic colors and prints. The most appealing part is the versatility: I have worn one of their blouses to work in the office all day, then tossed on jeans, heels, and jewels and felt good about going out. I find that very few parts of my wardrobe are capable of playing both parts so seamlessly. On to the good stuff: it's so fantastic to see a young (mom-to-be) taking on the fashion industry from such a focused perspective! Read on to learn about what makes Annie Griffin tick, sisterly love, and her take on fashion!

The sisters!
Q&A: Annie Griffin Collection

What inspires you when designing a new collection? 

My inspiration is really everything around me in my daily life.  I am inspired by nature, interiors, my closet, architecture, my travels, you name it...I am always looking for things that catch my eye.

How did you decide to take the leap into designing your own line?

Looking back, I’m not sure where the courage came from. It was very trying at times being out there by myself when I first started.  Design is what I love, but learning the ins and outs of how to run a start-up business were by far the most challenging aspects for me.  When my sister started working with me things became a lot easier, as she was the sales person I desperately needed. Trying to do it by myself was too challenging, and Robin was great at networking and making sales!

Speaking of, you work with your sister Robin (who manages AGC's marketing), how  is working together?

Robin became a partner last year.  Being partners, as well as sisters, certainly has its challenges, but for the most part our personalities tend to compliment each other in business.  Robin has never met a stranger which plays out beautifully in sales, and I'm a bit shy and love to design.  It’s been great having her here to offer advice during the design process & to get her feedback from sales.  

You girls are native Memphians (I hope that's a word), do you plan to keep Annie Griffin's operations based in the South? Is it inherently Southern? 

Yes, we will definitely stay based in the South.  Robin and I have both had brief stints in NYC and have appreciated our time there, but being in the South is where we love to be.  As for the boutiques that carry our line, I'd say we are primarily in the southeast and east coast, but are picking up a nice following in the Midwest and West Coast.

Who is the "Annie Griffin Girl"?

She is youthful, luxurious, and current.  She has an appreciation for classic American style, and is always looking for the best option for a day to night wardrobe. *
*see she thinks so too!

Who are your style icons?

 I have grown up following Milly by Michelle Smith.  I love how she has created a lifestyle brand that has a very devout following.  I remember when you could only find her clothes in boutiques, but now I see the line at Neiman's, Saks etc.  I love how she waited for the big stores.  I want them to be knocking down our door before we head in that direction.  I am inspired by her patience and her desire to grow organically. She grew as her company grew, and I believe that is why she has such a great following. * 
*I absolutely love her philosophy on growing a brand

What has been your biggest moment as a designer?

Showing at our first fashion show in New Orleans and participating for the first time in the ENK Coterie Trade Show have been extremely exciting moments, but I'd have to say my biggest moment as a designer is receiving the reorders. It’s very validating to see stores sell out and order more. Also, today we received some exciting news! Our Rebecca dress was featured on Gossip Girl’s, Alice Callahan, on VOGUE.com. (!!!)

Top 5 Wardrobe Must-Haves from the AGC girls:

Right now, I am loving the structured fit of the Chelsea Skirt and the Lela Ruffle Dress from Fall.  I plan to pair my Chelsea Skirt with my white Kirin Blouse (all from Annie Griffin). I will wear both with ribbed, black tights and pumps.  I am loving my new Lela Suede Wedge Pumps by Rosegold*, and my Falke Elegance Ribbed Tights
 *I want to co-sign these pumps. You need them. EXCELLENT style and price.


Right now my favorite pieces in my closet include my black Annie Griffin tunic, Hudson light wash flare jeans, Rag and Bone Booties, my white Annie Griffin Lucy blouse, which is a MUST HAVE, and my staple necklace from Grayling*. It makes every outfit I wear that much more fabulous.
*Get Rag & Bone Booties. Any of them. They will fill any wardrobe void. Be SURE to check out Robin's Grayling necklace, it IS FABULOUS.

Such a fun sister-duo, and best best wishes to Annie, who is expecting soon! Check out their website to see who carries AGC near you. If you're in Raleigh you can find them in Charlotte's! 

These last two dresses are from Holiday!


Honey I Shrunk The Satchel

I kind of squealed a little when I saw this. Who doesn't want a tiny Robinson Satchel from Tory Burch? I want a tiny Robinson Satchel from Tory Burch. Perfect for the essentials and adds a pop of color. And it's SO prim.  
***So sorry for the lame post title, please disregard***


Moc Shock

Hello Clemson fans? In honor of the official kickoff week of college football I thought I'd share these custom Mrs. P. Hicks orange mocs. I wonder if she'd do the soles in purple? 


Transition Staple...Fall Is Upon Us!

Football season officially starts this season. Pools close. School has started (or so every Facebook friend with a kid says). This means we have to get real about Fall wardrobes. I love the Waverly Grey Rave blouse from Monkee's of Chapel Hill. You'll get a lot of traction from a staple like this, and it stands out with the gorgeous cuff detail. A great option for transition.

Waverly Grey White Rave Blouse $194 J Brand Avalon Skinny Leg $207 2 Chic Tribal Print Scarf $22 .. Tory Burch Hobo Bag $525 Multi-strand Brown & Gold Bracelet $45 Monkee's Thin Hoops $35 Tory Burch Caroline 2 in Mocha $235



via Pinterest
As you all may have noticed, the blog has gotten a bit of a makeover! I would really like to thank Melissa of Melissa Rose Design for all of her work on this "facelift", and for her patience with my 7,000 questions. Just as important, I want to thank Liza Cleveland of Bon Vivant for the shiny new logo; you are my hero and a creative genius. Liza has the patience of a saint for what it's worth. Finally a thank you to Sarah Swan O'Dea, holler, thank you for saving the day. Anyhoo, I hope you all like the new look, and stay tuned for some fun stuff coming soon!


P Lim Is My Homeboy

3.1 Phillip Lim Funnel Neck Dress
Winter white. Or, autumnal white I suppose. I am having a severe reaction to these two Phillip Lim dresses. Both are daytime appropriate but would be fantastic as cocktail. I'm sure you've seen the two-tone look, the black side panels literally make you disappear. An excellent weapon for a fat day. 

3.1 Phillip Lim Long Sleeved Shadow Dress



Adorable and classic. This is a great work look with some added huzzah. Huzzah! I love the jacket with some high waisted skinny jeans too. Via Monkee's of Chapel Hill.

Alice & Olivia Demi Dropwaist Dress $297

Alice & Olivia Estelle Red Jacket $495
Tory Burch Black Kaitlin Quilted Flat $265
Tory Burch Robinson I-Pad Case $195
Gold Monkee's Watch $50
Gold Thin Monkee's Hoops $35

Close up of the Kaitlin Ballet flat. You will wear these with everything, PLUS these satisfy the metal-toed shoe trend requirement in your wardrobe.


Boho Chic: Pucci

I have spent most of my morning deciding if it is a pool day or not; the clouds are being particularly fickle today. In between these stop and go thoughts I have, for some reason, been on a cyber-Pucci hunt resulting in some really mind-bogglingly stunning images. I share them with you, and hope they make you feel as lightheaded as I do. It's too much.


Hyla Dewitt Fall Baubles

Gorgeous Hyla Dewitt jewelry at the trunk show today at Charlotte's North Hills. You may remember a post I did on Hyla a while ago, and these are some of her newest Fall pieces. AMAZING.

Friday Faves

Clare Vivier Green Snake Fold Over Clutch
The National Geographic edition. What I realized when putting together this weeks Faves is that I seemed to be really drawn to nature-based texture: uniquely textured leathers, fur, feathers. Totally unplanned, but feel OK about that.

Stingray (dope) turquoise earrings from Charlottes

Springbok Sam Clutch from Emily Rosendahl. Utterly insane. Can't deal.

Jimmy Choo Teazer feather sandal. I'm pretty sure these would change your life.


Dress Like A Lady

First of all, I love this picture; secondly, I love this print. This Elizabeth McKay dress for Fall is a perfectly classic shape (aptly named the 50's Dress, duh), ladylike but still accentuating a feminine silhouette. I think the sophistication of the print let's it go day to night with a few accessory swaps; it's also in keeping with Pantone's gorgeous Fall 2012 color palette, ultramarine green thank you very much! I threw in some of Elizabeth's other prints for the season, BECAUSE I LOVE THEM.  

Party Lines

What a fantastic cocktail club or party idea! Wine & Design in Raleigh is featuring these lil' guys in light of the upcoming political season, and I think it's a pretty safe way to tackle politics with your friends. Or least least provides a distraction if someone ticks you off. If you're not familiar with Wine & Design let me break it down for you: it's a painting class that encourages wine consumption (responsibly of course), and even if you're not in Raleigh, there's probably one near you-they W&D girls (stylish Raleigh citizens and moms BTW) have been expanding across the South on a hot pace! 


Give A Penny Giveaway!

Give A Penny Contest!
SOOOOO...all you need to do is "LIKE" Southern Arrondissement on Facebook, "SHARE" this picture on Facebook, or "FOLLOW" us on Twitter!

Each one is a separate entry and we will pick a winner on Friday, August 17th!

The Great Bandini

Whilest I don't usually talk about "under" stuff, I wanted to share a really useful product I picked up and have been pretty much living in of late: The Bandini from Barely There. This is not a complex thing, it's a really easy solution to a lot of "wardrobe malfunction" type problems. Wire-free, super comfy, but the best part is that you can really manipulate it to go under anything. Strapless, one strap, two straps-all in one. The other VERY IMPORTANT thing I'd like to highlight from a style standpoint is that the Bandini can serve as a exposed bandeau or cami. I have a few things that dip too low in the front or on the sides to really wear comfortably (non-aggressively), but if you put say, a hot pink bandeau under it you pull the look together and keep yourself crowd-appropriate. Getchu one.


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