Exclusive Designer Interview: J.Crew New!

The fashion desk talks exclusively to Tom Mora, the head of womenswear at J.Crew; our new label must-have for city staples and wow-inducing dresses?€¦

What are your career tips on how to make it in fashion?
There are many glamorous aspects to the fashion industry, but it is very hard work - listen and learn your craft.  Pay your dues: everyone wants to be the boss but it is important to learn the small stuff too. Love what you do:  fashion should be more than a job, it should be an obsession.
Find a mentor: it is always great to learn from someone who experienced what you are going through and has life lessons to share.  

Who is your favourite silver screen fashion icon?
The Hepburn's - Audrey and Katherine.

Which fashion commandments should a woman always obey?
Never say never: try things on that you never would, you might like it. Don't be a slave to trends. Try to work them into your look and who you are. Rules about who can wear what colour are silly, try them all on and you will be pleasantly surprised. Don't be afraid to size up - nice clothes in beautiful fabrics should never pull. Have fun with your style.  Fashion should make you smile.

Three items everyone should have in their wardrobe:
A well-tailored navy blazer with or without gold buttons. A great fitting jean in a classic wash.
A pointy toed stiletto and a handbag that are of the best quality.  These are the two items everyone looks at first when they are looking at what you are wearing.

Which design are you most proud of?
Our fall 2012 presentation, it was beyond my expectations.

Are you into functionality over aesthetics? Or vice versa?
They go hand-in-hand.

Women have so many more clothing options than men - is this a good or bad thing?
It depends on if you have self-control. It is very easy to shop, shop and shop some more when there are so many options out there.

Which celebrities would you like to dress?
Cate Blanchett, Gisele, Emma Stone, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna and Adele.

What's new on your iPod?
Frank Ocean.

New collections come out every season, how do you keep your creative ideas fresh under such pressure?
I am inspired by the beautiful and stylish women I work with every day.

Your top tips on styling the classic white shirt are?€¦
Keep it simple. Everyone's instincts with a white shirt are to over accessorise. There is nothing chicer that a woman in a white shirt, a distressed jean, a stiletto, and diamond studs.

Describe the ultimate J.Crew woman?€¦
Chic, smart, not afraid to try something different and doesn't take herself too seriously.