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Once we sat down to transcribe our notes after interviewing handbag line Marie Turnor's alter-ego and creator Beth Goodman, we almost started to fear that what we were doing was like outing Clark Kent as Superman. While the press-shy Goodman has her own reasons for wanting Marie Turnor to have top billing, the ultra-glam Goodman is no less provocative.
Beth was a beyond gracious host, opening up both her history and her home to our probing. Though she's originally a NYer, she's a true-blue East Sider, who also shared some of her favorite noshing and shopping spots for our benefit
Tell us about your background in fashion.
My first fashion job was working in Bloomingdale's (in New York), selling handbags. It was not a good fit from the very start: I've always been very nonconformist.
Did you go down in a blaze of glory?
No, nothing that dramatic. I was tired of it and finally quit.
What happened after that?
I ended up at FIT, and worked as a waitress until I got a real job. I've worked as a clothing designer for a lingerie company, I've worked as an editor and stylist [with high-profile clients including KD Lang]?to be honest, I'm not so big on the garment side of things, at least in Los Angeles. It tends to be very focused on teeny-bopper fashions and denim.
Have you always had an affinity for fashion?
Yes. Both of my grandmother had fantastic, "vintage" style, and this always impressed me. Even from an early age, I had my own ideas of style?but it didn't always work out well. When I was in 6th grade I wore my pajamas to school. They were so cute, and I thought, "Why not?" It ended up being extremely embarrassing.
How would you describe your philosophy for design and fashion?
I like things to be beautiful. One of the biggest drivers for me is not being able to find exactly what I want?Usually something I want makes me make something. That's how my accessories, then bags, got started.
What about your influences?
Travel, for sure, has played a big role. I've always loved traveling to Europe?cities like Paris, and even Amsterdam. But I'm an American designer, and I respond to other American designers and the ease, comfort and simplicity. I like the classics, like Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren. But then, I also draw from Japanese pottery.
Who are some of the local designers and artists you like?
Some of my friends, including Kathleen Whitaker, Beth Orduna, Gabriela Artigas?all amazing talents.
If you had to make a career outside of fashion and design, what would you do?
Oh, that's easy. I'd be a gardener or a painter.
Make sure to check out some of Beth's picks for great food, clothes and shopping around town?Read More