Carrie Parry in her eponymous spring 2012 collection

Carrie Parry in her eponymous spring 2012 collection

A new face in the sustainable design scene, Carrie Parry wowed me last spring with her first collection of classy and ladylike separates and dresses. She came out strong with a fiery red cocktail dress, pencil skirts and blouses that were any but granola. And no, there were no yoga pants in the CARRIE PARRY collection.

Now her fall designs are finally on the racks (you can find them at Otto Brooklyn) but of course she’s now turned her eye to Spring 2012. I got a peek at her lookbook, and there is more gorgeousness in there than I can handle! Think very French, very romantic, and very ladylike. Check out her inspiration board:


Parry lives in NYC, so I got to ask her some questions about her work and life here. Read on for her biggest design challenges, her fave places to eat and drink, and how she lives sustainably every day.

Do you think interest in sustainable design is growing?

CP: Yes, definitely. A lot of the bigger companies are really contributing to the movement with new tools and education like the Nike Design Tool and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.  I feel that this will really help bring awareness and really push everything forward. Education is really key.

What challenges have you found in designing sustainably? What has been most surprising about it?

CP: Sourcing material. Not having the access to as many fabrics can be limiting but it is definitely much more rewarding to source socially and environmentally responsible fabrics and trims. Also, finding out information on the supply chain of the fabrics can be difficult.  I often find suppliers are really surprised when I ask them questions…I don’t think they are used to people asking and caring!

MG_6404_smWhat you like to do during your time off? How do you spend a typical New York Saturday?

CH: I love people-watching in the city and long brunches. There are always great exhibits going on, and my favorite thing to do over the weekend lately has been going to the Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn—its dinner and a movie—the perfect date night. My weekends generally always include working on CARRIE PARRY too—whether it be designing, research etc.

CH: What’s your favorite NYC restaurant? Your favorite NYC bar?

CP: Ah, there are too many great ones to choose just one!
I love Il Buco. The wine cellar is super romantic, charming, and has such a cool history. They’re dedicated to sourcing local ingredients and wine from small producers. Cafe Moto in Brooklyn is also one of my faves. They have awesome live jazz and the atmosphere always takes me out of the city.
A few blocks away from me in Brooklyn is Maison Premiere.  They have the most beautiful back garden and great cocktails.  It’s perfect just as the sun is going down.

CH: How do you live sustainably in your every day life? What do you find most challenging about living sustainably?

CP: I consider my purchases and buy for quality and long-lastingness. [Find out more about how to buy sustainably by reading my quick primer.] I consider who made it, where it came from and try to support local businesses, and businesses who are doing good.  I recycle, buy used when possible, use natural/organic cleaning and skin products, grow herbs, and lecture my friends and family a bit too often on what they can do! I think of it as more of a mindset, so its not really something I find challenging.  Living in the city, sometimes recycling of certain items can def be a pain though!

Find out more about CARRIE PARRY and see the fall collection here.