I have been obsessed with the way my friend Marsha puts an outfit together from the day I met her--daring and sexy, of-the-moment but never obviously trendy. After stints in the fashion departments of magazines like Lucky and Self, and a plum styling gig at Michael Kors, she was ready for something all her own. I couldn't have been more excited when she took a chance and launched her line, Thayer. Built from her own unique sense of style and the desire to create things her friends would love to wear, the brand was born, starting with 13 dresses sold exclusively on shopbop.com. And the rest, as they say, is history. Thayer is now in its 10th season and sold in 15 countries. The designer took a few minutes to tell us her icons, inspirations, and the best ways to wear her Ã¼ber-sexy looks.
Style Diary: Did you always want to become a designer?
Marsha Welcher: I always loved fashion, but the design aspect was an unexpected turn. When I was working as a stylist, I would make one-of-a-kind pieces for myself all the time. One time, a friend asked me to create a special dress for her birthday, and from that point on people have been buying my designs.
SD: What kind of woman do you think you design for?
MW: Anyone who likes to have fun!
SD: Who are your style icons? The most important influences in the evolution of your designs?
MW: Carrie Bradshaw and Carrie Lasko--my best friend in junior high. They both gave me the courage to be fearless with fashion. Also, Carine Roitfeld, Kate Moss, Chloe Sevigny, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. All of them have impeccable style.
SD: A lot of your designs are very sexy--what's your advice to women who are nervous about taking the plunge and showing a little skin?
MW: I definitely get nervous, too! If I reveal one part, I always try to cover up another--like pairing an open-back shirt with baggy jeans. With dresses, I might do a short one in a loose fit, or a tight one in a longer length. It always feels more balanced that way.
What do you think, ladies? Are you as obsessed with Marsha's designs as I am? Anyone already have a Thayer frock in the closet?