Meet Carolina Cordón-Bouzán and Gayle Yelon from Montserrat New York

Montserrat New York, a luxury jewelry and ready-to-wear brand founded by Caroline Cordón-Bouzán and Gayle yelon, redefines style effortlessly. A brand that truly designs pieces you never take off, Montserrat was created to be your must-have, effortlessly chic, that can be worn anywhere from Charles de Gaulle Airport to a night out in Manhattan. Merging the two cultures of its founders, New York and Barcelona, ​​Montserrat evokes the unique spirit of each place, embodying the powerful Manhattan state of mind with Mediterranean romanticism.

High life sat down with Cordón-Bouzán and Yelon to find out how they got started in the industry and where they plan to evolve Montserrat in the future.

Photo credit: courtesy of Montserrat New York

HIGH LIFE: Can you tell us a bit about how you got started in the industry?
CAROLINE CORDÓN-BOUSZÁN: I was reading Diane von Furstenberg’s book, The woman I wanted to be, in my last year of college, which made me wonder about the path I thought I would take after graduation. I was studying global public health and exploring jobs in this field when I started asking myself, “Who am I going to work with every day?” Where am I going to work? And what am I going to wear ?! ‘ Much to the dismay of my doctor father, I told him that there was an industry that I had never tried that I was passionate about, [which was] fashion. A few weeks after graduating from college, I started an internship at the WHIT brand, a CFDA incubator, where I learned everything from steaming to production costs and absolutely fell in love with them all. aspects of brand management. The rest is history.

GAYLE YELON: It was when I worked for Chris Burch that I really fell in love with the brand and at the time I had met Carolina, who was working on Montserrat New York when it was just starting out. Carolina was generous enough to invite me to help with the brand and use it as a creative outlet, which ended up becoming our two full-time jobs.

Montserrat New York
Carolina Cordón-Bouzán and Gayle Yelon

Photo credit: courtesy of Montserrat New York

HL: Has fashion always been something you wanted to do?
CCB: I think I always wanted to work in fashion, but growing up I didn’t believe that working in industry could be a reality, which is funny because my grandparents on both sides worked in fashion. But as a first generation American, I think my immigrant parents really wanted me to fulfill the “American dream” with a job as a lawyer, banker or doctor, so they always pushed me to do internships. and jobs in these fields. And yet, I recently found sketches of clothes and jewelry I made when I was ten – I even wrote down their prices! So I think the dream of having my own brand has always been in me; it just took a bit of courage to say it out loud and go after it.

GY: I’ve always loved fashion and the allure of it all, wasn’t sure where I belonged in it, but I’m still fascinated with how fashion drives culture, especially in New York City.

HL: Caroline, yese are heavily influenced by your family and Spain, can you explain how this inspired you when creating Montserrat New York?
CCB: By creating MONTSERRAT New York, I wanted to bring my two universes of Manhattan and Barcelona closer together. The influence of my family and Spain is reflected in the name of the brand itself, as New York is the city where I grew up running to my Spanish grandfather’s jewelry studio on Madison. Avenue, and Montserrat was my grandmother’s name, who had a garment factory. on the Costa Brava. I like to say that our brand ethic is the intersection where Manhattan attitude meets Mediterranean romance – that choppy New York energy mixed with those carefree summer nights spent partying and falling in love on the beaches of the Costa Brava. My designs are very inspired by the confident and sensual women who trample the streets of Manhattan and Barcelona, ​​especially my mother, who was an immigrant who dressed in bright chic colors in a very black and white New York, and wore her accent as a badge of individuality. Every design I create is created for those who move between cities and beaches, with all styles designed to effortlessly transition between the events that accompany bustling city life and weekend getaways.

HL: What pieces did you first launch with?
CCB: Our first pieces were our Jet Sets (customizable with charms) and the Safety Pin earring. The earring sold out on the first weekend! A month after its launch, the Safety Pin earring allowed us to land our first major collaboration, and our jewelry offering really started to grow from there.

Montserrat New YorkPhoto credit: courtesy of Montserrat New York

HL: What trends do you expect for spring 2022?
CCB: I can’t wait to see how the push and pull of post-Covid loungewear versus glam continues to unfold. The catwalks showed a lot of glam rock mixed with high sporty looks, so I can’t wait to see how these trends evolve.

GY: I can’t wait to learn more. [We’re] so in color this spring, so it will be exciting to see how our client reacts and performs in the powerful shades we have chosen. I’m also excited to see mini dresses and mini skirts making a big comeback!

HL: How do you stay inspired as a brand owner and designer?
CCB: I am constantly on the lookout for inspiration from books, art, music and history. I love to learn and research, so once I touch on the subject of inspiration for the upcoming collection, I like to dive in and learn as much as possible to reflect its essence in the design and creativity of this collection.

GY: I am inspired by the smallest things; even if it’s a tablecloth in a restaurant or an advertisement from the 60s, everything is relevant and can spark an idea.

HL: Can you give an overview of what you are currently working on?
CCB: I just finished working on our Spring / Summer 2022 Collection, which is inspired by Botticelli’s Venus and the mythology of Venus itself. We are really pushing the boundaries of our SS22 collection, with many more pieces in lab-grown diamonds and an extension of our ready-to-wear, which we are very excited about! And now I’m starting to focus on designing our Fall / Winter 2022 collection – it has a really different kind of theme for MONTSERRAT New York, so you’ll have to stay tuned for more!

HL: Apart from fashion and running your business, how do you spend your time?
CCB: When I’m not working, I’m with my friends and family discussing meals and drinks, either at home or at my favorite neighborhood restaurant. My fiancee and I are also currently planning our wedding in Spain this summer, which takes a lot of my time away from work and was a lot of fun planning.

GY: I’m usually with friends catching up on a martinis or exercising! I recently ran the New York City Marathon, which was a major; now that the practice is over, my focus is more on martinis.

Montserrat New YorkPhoto credit: courtesy of Montserrat New York

HL: What lessons did you learn when you first launched the brand?
CCB: I would say one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to stay true to yourself and really believe in yourself. It’s easier said than done, but as long as you remember that there is strength in your individuality and the fact that no one else thinks or creates like you do, I think you do. will thrive in any job you do.

GY: I think one thing we start to learn and really try to remember is to keep our heads down and focus on our work, not to compare or worry about the success of others. Everyone goes their own way and we must always follow our instincts.

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