Isabel Simpson-Kirsch, Head Designer/Creative Director at Isabel SK, was born in NYC but has called herself a Nashvillian since the tender age of eight months old. She attended high school at the Nashville School of the Arts, where she was able to focus on art and design on a daily basis, further igniting the creative flame in this budding young artist. In 2013, Isabel graduated from the Parsons School of Design, where her senior thesis collection Based made her an overnight sensation, selling out at VFILES in NYC and earning her a celebrity fan in one Katy Perry. Isabel moved back to Nashville after graduation and is a proud member of the Nashville Fashion Alliance.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2013 with a BFA in Fashion Design. My senior thesis collection gained overnight popularity on the internet and sold out exclusively at VFILES in NYC. Ever since then, I’ve had my brand, Isabel SK. I moved back to Nashville after college and have been growing my brand since then as well as doing event planning and styling. I am currently the Creative Director of Concept56 Nashville, a creative pop up agency project by Jagermeister. I applied, interviewed, and was selected to be on a team of five creative Nashvillians to execute the event of a lifetime, I’m really enjoying it! I’ve been doing that as well as run my brand.
How did you get involved with the Nashville Fashion Alliance?
I heard about the NFA when the Kickstarter launched! I linked up with Van shortly after and joined as a member as soon as membership was available last year!
What do you think people should know about our fashion community?
We are here! And we’re making really cool, unique work. I am a huge fan of my peers here in Nashville. I think there’s tons of creativity and talent and it’s only just beginning to be tapped.
Do you think Nashville is poised to be a player in the global fashion industry?
I think the Nashville fashion industry has some big barriers ahead of us, but we definitely have what it takes to be a major fashion city. Like I mentioned before, the amount of creative talent here is endless, and with the NFA, Nashville Fashion Week, Fashion Art Mecca and similar events and organizations, I think we will be able to succeed at putting Nashville on the map for fashion!
In your opinion, what are the biggest barriers and opportunities that the regional fashion industry faces?
I think that a major barrier that our regional industry faces is lack of recognition.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is very relaxed, I wear a lot of men’s T-shirts and sneakers! I’m constantly mixing thrifted items with newer pieces and I’m almost always wearing hoop earrings!
How would you describe Nashville's style?
When you're not working, what are you doing?
Taking my dog Aaliyah somewhere to explore!
What's the one item in your closet you can't live without?
A vintage denim Chanel travel bag that I got from my Grandma!
Click here to view Isabel SK's website.
PHOTO BY ALAINA MULLLIN