By Karen Rempel | Fashion Editor
Diana Broussard is a creative force of nature. She’s a true pioneer in fashion design, from Calvin Klein’s eponymous underwear for women to the latest in wearable tech—exclusive, sleek handbags with customizable video displays. She has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including Dior and Gucci, and started her own line in 2004, yet she is as modest as a shopgirl and serves customers personally in her store on Christopher Street.
Diana’s mission is empowering women. She likes the personal connection of meeting her customers and having the opportunity to dress women. She says, “My goal is to make women feel powerful by looking good and helping them with their potential, to look modern and cool. Today it’s important to have your own point of view.”
Diana’s jewelry is carried in stores in Paris, London, Moscow, and Japan. Her famous colorful chain-link Nate necklace was a breakaway success. She explains, “These are power statement necklaces. Put it on and you’re dressed. It’s bold, but it’s not bling. It’s now carried at MoMA and MoMA Japan and that’s been really fun.”
Her new jewelry collection just arrived from Italy, and brings playful surprises, including rings and earrings with tiny gold, embedded eighteenth-century animals. There’s a new signet ring, and jewelry with swans and bunnies captured in Plexiglas.
Diana grew up in Dallas, Texas, sewing her own clothes, playing flute, and studying the stars through a telescope in the backyard. Her physicist father designed microchips for NASA. When he suffered a stroke, she canceled her Julliard plans and got a degree in textile chemistry locally. But New York still called to her; she moved here and got a degree in fashion design at Fashion Institute of Technology.
Soon she got a job at Calvin Klein. She thought she was going to design ready-to-wear for him, but he wanted her to design underwear and sleepwear. Diana said she’d never designed underwear, but CK said, “I don’t care, I want your taste, so bring your fashion sense to the lingerie.” She dove in. “I designed transparent ones and the classic logo waistband that Kate Moss and Christy Turlington wore. We started doing all these sleepwear separates, which nobody had done before.” After two years, CK sent her to Italy for shoe training, and then she did some jewelry for him. “He made me this multifunctional designer.”
Diana “got poached” by Dior in Paris, and then she worked for Gucci. Returning to NYC, she began freelancing while she started her own brand. By 2004 her shoes were in Neiman’s and Bergdorf’s. She opened a shop on Christopher Street in 2007, and started making chain necklaces that coordinated with the shoes. She showed her jewelry in Paris, and everybody wanted it. Diana said, “It took over my business!”
Diana loves her boutique, and her customers have become friends, drawn by her welcoming presence and her desire to uplift others.
Diana Broussard, 19C Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014, 646 336 6365.