Owner of Grayse Gives Us the Inside Scoop on Fashion
Written By: Elaine Morgan Cutting
Photographed By: Adam Gentry Kelly Gray
Expert: Kelly Gray
Credentials: Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Grayse Clothing
Q: Why are you passionate about the fashion industry?
Kelly Gray: I think it’s in my blood. I was raised in the fashion industry. It’s in my DNA. I don’t think I had a choice. The passion has always been there since I was a child.
Q: What sets Grayse Clothing apart?
KG: Uniqueness of design, glamorous style, and exceptional quality; the contrast of edgy glamor. Today, there’s a vast span between low priced merchandise and designer, and there’s very little in-between. That’s one of the emphases of our brand. We love to help our ladies get dressed up and celebrate and party.
Q: What inspires your designs?
KG: Having our own retail stores, I get to connect with the customers directly. Sometimes the chemistry between myself and the customer translates into ideas for designs. I would say it’s the fusion of that combined with my travels. I love to spend time in trendy hotels where the sharp designs inspire my creative eye.
Q: What materials do you enjoy working with the best?
KG: We use a high quality Italian modal. It took us a long time to research and develop this fabric. It wears beautifully, it takes our sequence and stones beautifully, and you can hand wash it. We also work with an American ponte that is the base of a lot of our collections. It’s exceptional quality and woven specifically for our brand.
Q: What has surprised you the most about maintaining your own brand?
KG: How many people we dress for weddings; bridesmaids and mothers. We have a small bridal collection, but it’s surprised me how few places there are for mothers to shop. We started focusing on cocktail and evening and when you translate that to pastels, it takes on a bridal formality. There’s no greater honor than dressing a wedding party, it’s a niche business that I hadn’t planned for.
Q: What is the highest compliment you could receive?
KG: ‘My husband or boyfriend told me how beautiful I looked last night wearing Grayse.’
Q: I understand you work with your mother. What’s that like?
KG: Our creative energy today is probably better than it ever was, and our look is completely different. We have a lot of strong differences and lot of strong connections, and the dichotomy and the diversity is what makes the product fluid and unique.
Q: How has your background in modeling shaped the way you run your business?
KG: It’s helped me to have a strong eye for art direction and to be able to translate our designs to print or to social media. It’s given me experience with the camera on the other side.
427 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Grayse
Adam is a Southern-California native, a photographer and an entrepreneur. He is passionate about profiling interesting people whether they are a break- through artist, a fledgling stylist or simply someone with a compelling story to tell. www.gentryimages.com