It's been four years since I began creating my line of special coats. I was working in the Nordstrom tailor shop doing tailoring and fitting for the Men's clothing Department. It was there that I met so many wonderful tailors, from all different countries.
At the time, there was a lot of talk in the news about immigrants and blaming them for our countries problems. I was stunned! I actually couldn't believe what I was hearing.
When I looked around my workplace I saw the most hardworking, dedicated beautiful people ever. They had all come to America from other places to build a new life. They were all contributing to this country with their skills and artistry as tailors, as well as parents, taxpayers, and members in the community - which brought beauty and confidence to so many. For example, when we had our Holiday party in the tailor shop every year, it was the most sought after lunch all year long! There was food from China, Persia, Greece, Vietnam, Guatemala, El Salvador, Hungary, Russia and many more.
It is this culture that we should be celebrating, the one that brings us all together.
The tailors I work with at Nordstrom
This thought always leads to the thoughts of my own mother. She moved here after WWII in search of a better life. I think of the story she told me of how she came here with nothing but a hand me down coat from a family friend which gave her the confidence to get on that ship and move far away from everything she knew.
It was then that I realized how powerful a coat can be! A coat is like armor, when we feel strong in our coat it can give us the courage to step into the world unafraid, confident and fabulous!
This is my Mom in her immigration photo.
That's why I decided to dedicate my line of coats to my mother and all the other immigrants that come to America and make it what it is today. The beauty and character that each person brings with them is what makes America so amazing.
My coats take inspiration from places all over the world. I would like to honor all those who come to America from other places, countries, and cultures. It is the unity and love which will keep us strong.
Here are a few of the inspirations and stories behind the coats:
Plum Paris - this print of soft monochromatic florals reminds me of the French impressionist paintings I've seen in Paris. So beautiful! I've added the Plum Paradise scarf to give it that classic European Flare.
Persia - This beautiful print is inspired from Persian art, and of course the blue fur trim is a symbolic color from this culture! I also added my Casbah paisley print scarf to this combo creating the total look!
Scotland - This tartan plaid is so classically Scottish...Love! I added the celtic inspired lining, making it extra special.
Japan - The Kyoto Karma coat is made of printed Japanese calligraphy. The classic colors give it timeless beauty.
Russia - I was thinking about "Dr. Zhivago" when designing this coat. The beautiful fur trim is super stylish, just like Julie Christie in the movie, set in Russia
Italy - This combo is so Italian to me, the stylish color combo of burgundy tweed combined with that Blue fur in the stole. Pattern on pattern. The fabric itself was imported from Italy to create this coat.
Mexico - One of my favorite places! Mexico is the inspiration for this coat. Check out the Aztec patterned fabric. I added the magical butterfly print silk lining to make it totally Luxe.
So there you have it. A brief overview of why I started Philine of San Francisco Coats and the inspiration behind a few of them.