Just two years after founding the critically acclaimed (and influencer-approved) contemporary label Monse – its debut of deconstructed men’s shirting turned into dresses was an instant success – Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim took the helm at Oscar de la Renta, the luxury behemoth where both designers began their careers in fashion.
Spanish native Garcia studied architecture at the University of Notre Dame; after graduating, he moved to New York to intern at Oscar de la Renta and quickly climbed the ranks, earning the title of senior designer within six years. In 2015, he left the design house to launch Monse with Kim – his co-worker at Oscar de la Renta. The duo joined Carolina Herrera briefly in 2016 but it was Oscar de la Renta who lured the duo back after the departure of designer Peter Copping.
Responsible for ready-to-wear, accessories, bridal and children’s collections, Garcia and Kim – who share both a private and professional life – work together on these in tandem with their own label. Here, Garcia shares some of the possessions that mark special moments from his past while simultaneously shaping his present…
1. Antique windmill: “A few months before I launched Monse, I was in London visiting friends. I decided to take the tube to one of the very furthest stops from Central London and came upon the village of Amberley. I found this charming antique stone windmill in one of the town shops; it’s a good reminder to sometimes take the path less traveled to discover something new. The thank you notes surrounding it are from Meghan Markle, Daisy Ridley and others who we have recently dressed for red carpet events.”
2. Glassware by John Derian: “I love John Derian’s artisanal aesthetic. These glasses were a gift from Chad, the Oscar de la Renta design director. I also have a couple of crystal champagne flutes that I use for special occasions.”
3. Wall of memories: “These are some memories from when Laura (Laura Kim, co-creative director of Oscar de la Renta) and I relaunched the brand under our creative direction; a personal note from Ralph Lauren congratulating us on our CFDA award; a portrait of Laura and I shot by photographer Tim Walker; and a profile in W Magazine with Zoe Kravitz.”
4. A dog toy: “This is for my best friend’s dog…longing for the days when @2dudes_1doodle can come and visit again!”
5. My desk: “…is full of memories from friends and includes Nicky Hilton’s glasses, a watch that my good friend Jesse gifted me, a corgi toy dog from my mom, keys to the office, change from my research trips, and sketches for the new collection.”