New York Fashion Week Spring '09: Erin Wasson X RVCA

NEW YORK—It was a scene one might expect at a RVCA party. A dingy room on a rooftop on Manhattan’s Lower East side with the requisite musicians, artists, advocates and fashion insiders. Oh, and Erin Wasson. The model–cum–fashion designer was selected to design the Southern California–based company’s Spring ’09 collection. It will be a three-year collaboration, according to RVCA marketing director Skye McRae. “We do everything organically; we don’t just want to hire someone as a face and take photos,” she explained. ”She’s an L.A. girl, but she’s a N.Y. girl. She surfs, she skates. It was a perfect mix,” she added. A sexy ad campaign with photos of Wasson lined the walls at the presentation, and models showcased the casual-meets-chic collection of blazers, floral-print dresses and tiny vests paired with shorts. Wasson said she tried to blend the California beach culture with the street culture of Manhattan. The result? A sophisticated but wearable collection of affordable looks ranging from $80 to $350 retail. Many surf/skate companies are growing into the higher-end contemporary market, and for RVCA, this was a strong move in that direction. —N. Jayne Seward