More than 25 years after “Sisters” outsold “Chaplin” at the box office, Emma Watson will get a shot at playing Marilyn Monroe as one of Hollywood’s most iconic movie characters. And that’s not all. Since January, when she began walking her dandelion-white 1962 Chanel suit down the red carpet, three generations of Watson clones have hit the fashion industry’s marquee. Her “Stranger Things” costar, Millie Bobby Brown, modeled for Dolce & Gabbana, Chloe announced her own fashion line and we’re still waiting to see what she’ll do with a “Harry Potter” as diverse as Hermione Granger.
Now the woman at the helm of the CW network’s main fashion channel—and one of the world’s top stylists—is putting her own stamp on trends through a new boutique on the Lower East Side. Known as “One Star Boulevard,” the 1,400-square-foot space, a converted 1920s cigar and baby factory, has also served as a temporary headquarters for Emily Mason’s new eponymous line. The clear spot overlooking Broadway is the perfect canvas for Mason to rethink the industry’s most iconic and sought-after gowns, haute fashion office, with further sales coming in the future.
For her, designing on a shoe-string has always been a challenge.
“I have always been fascinated by starting from nothing. I began working as a designer at 13, doing my own design,” Mason tells StyleCaster. “So I always knew it was something I was always going to do.” Mason even says that her first practice model “fought hard against me being too mean,” though she saved up for 10 months to realize her own dream. The designer didn’t take her schooling for granted, either, and even stayed at school in the midst of her process for a year before heading out into the field.
“I wasn’t content to do it because I wanted the freedom to not find it out first hand,” she says. “In the way that a lot of companies say ‘an artist’s work is unfinished’ but they’re rarely that precise. So, I decided to take the risk.”
Though she held on to her French degree in consumer studies and film, the New York native credits her global background as a publicist and businesswoman for having the work ethic and persistence that fueled her throughout her three decades of industry pursuits.
“For me, it was always about creating a business, creating a real brand, understanding the different cycles of a business, understanding distribution, understanding a global audience, and understanding that people are really looking to see things that are not completely cookie-cutter,” she says. “I don’t really ever want to jump back into doing a job like this without actually understanding that there’s really only one way to do it. Because when you put it together, it’s really cool.”
Since debuting her namesake label in 2015, Mason has stayed focused on the finer points of personalizing the line, eschewing the nearly-invisible cliche of a fashion Instagram “view-through” in favor of her own hand-painted replicas of the A-list designers she’s worked with. (Mason is the niece of legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath.) The original gown she used as inspiration for the line remains top of mind, but she’s keeping old and new closer together than ever with her current incarnation.
“I think the most important thing is to stop listening to what everyone else says and to just keep being true to your own gut,” she says. “If I needed to be making dresses, I would still be working with Chanel, Givenchy, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren. The same way I grew up with how to sew and how to make things, now I’m in a position where I get to follow that trajectory.”