We are thrilled to announce an upcoming capsule collection: Alexandra Knight for Parker Thatch. Stay tuned for specific launch dates, but in the meantime we hope you enjoy getting to know Irene, the fabulous co-founder of Parker Thatch.
What is your favorite Alexandra Knight for Parker Thatch product and why?
I am most excited about the travel jewelry box - I love family traditions. This is a piece I will be giving to Parker and Thatcher for Christmas along with a special family heirloom inside. I hope that this travel box will make many journeys and be a constant reminder of Christmas 2016.
What are your top obsessions and what can you not live without and why?
As a mom on the go - it is my lifeline to home and work. It is also how I remember all of the inspiration I stumble across.
My Mason Pearson brush
I have been using these brushes since I was a little girl.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Travel Spray - it so light and fresh.
My Belgian loafers
I am a true creature of habit - they are part of my uniform - lately I have been collecting the custom loafers that clients do not pick up from the back room.
My June Flats from Francis Valentine
...in all colors
My Parker Thatch Classic Tote
Size medium - currently I am obsessed with white paint on natural canvas.
My collection of bracelets
I love stacking them; some of my favorites are from Auriel Bidermann.
My Georg Jensen serenity ring designed by Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube
The color navy blue.
My Sleepy Jones PJs in white with navy trim
My Nudo Ring in blue topaz
What is your favorite place you have ever traveled to and why?
Kyoto, Japan. I love seeing the confluence of the modern and traditional.
What are your top 5 prized possessions?
Hands down my kids Parker and Thatcher, husband Matt, dog Bear, parents and sisters.
A drawing of a peony my husband Matt drew for me when we first met.
A Cartier watch my parents gave me when I graduated from college - All the scratches remind me of my experiences and journeys.
Family time and trips with our good friends.
An Elsa Peretti lacquer necklace in dark navy blue.
Tell us about how Parker Thatch started?
Parker Thatch started with the Peony drawing my husband Matt sent to me via email back in the year 2000 when we were dating cross country. I was in New York and he was in SF. We both recognized there could be a market for a beautiful piece of stationery sent via email.
With my background in fashion and Matt's background in strategic management, computer science and graphic design (Matt to this day hand-draws every piece of artwork and pattern on our line), in 2001, we rolled up our sleeves and designed our first line collection of online and traditional stationery. As the years past the line grew from paper to home accessories and now handbags.
Best advice you have ever received?
Enjoy experiences not things.
Personal mantra or quote you tote around with you?
One simple word...BELIEVE.
What are three things that most people would never know about you?
6:30 pm is my favorite hour- it is dinner with our kids and my glass of red wine.
I love gummy candies.
I am a political junkie.
What is your design/fashion background?
I started in licensing at Calvin Klein and then moved on to product development and merchandising at Donna Karan.
What is your favorite app?
It allows for me to read all my favorite magazines.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Collecting vintage jewelry and Kaftans via Etsy and eBay.
What do you consider your greatest moment in life or greatest accomplishment?
Greatest accomplishment was when I first moved to California from Taiwan. It was a really hard transition. I have always believed that you can accomplish anything with hard work, grit and passion. That philosophy brought me to New York to follow my love for fashion and now Parker Thatch.
What is your favorite Parker Thatch item?
My favorite item is our Classic Tote (it also happens to be our best seller). That was the first accessory we made at PT. The simplicity of mixing a pedestrian fabric like canvas and natural leather is how I view all products we make. I love the idea of simple luxury.
Who is Irene Chen and why do we love her?
When I first got married I was desperate to find modern and chic stationary where I could proudly display my new name and get on those wedding thank you notes. Enter Iomoi, which was the chicest paper company I had seen and I felt it was designed for me! With all the stripes, color options and imaginative design, my inner prep went bananas! I then had children and more need for adorable paper products and monogramed items.
Iomoi evolved into Parker Thatch and I still continued to drool for all of the items that Irene and her husband Matthew created. I followed her on Instagram and obsessed over the ease and elegance she illustrated. Every time I saw a canvas bag or personalized item I would dream about how cute would it be if it was adorned in alligator.
One of my favorite things to do, besides design, is collaborate. We can not do it all (nor do we want to) so, on occasion, we seek out other designers who do unique things well in order to merge our talents into fabulous products. I dreamed of bright yellow alligator letters atop blue stripes and that has now turned into a reality.
I recently traveled to the Bay Area to visit Matthew and Irene and see the Parker Thatch HQ. It is my kind of operation...a casual, creative, flexible, dog and family-friendly environment. Irene is crazy creative and effortlessly chic. The talent that she and her husband possess is inspiring and their energy infectious. I wanted everything in the store and had the best time working with them on creating what I hope to be a fun and successful venture for years to come. Stay tuned for the unveiling of the Alexandra Knight for Parker Thatch Collection coming very soon!