PB: So just in general, we saw you last April and wanted to see what is new since then.
John Truex: We’ve been very busy with our stores. They are our babies. They have introduced us to a new type of business. We’ve always been working with retail stores, but this has been a new way to get our stuff out there with everything – belts, accessories, men’s wear. Another thing we have been working on is e-commerce. We are launching our e-commerce site soon. It is a lot of work, but we are a small company and we are out there with the big boys and big girls. We are a little stone in a broach. We want to do this one step at a time and we have been working on this for a year. It is going to be very limited, top 10 of LT and there will be your die hard favorites to the really brilliant snakeskin. There will be a cross section of our lifestyle brands and it will be handled by us, that is why it will be very limited. It won’t be our entire collection, so we will start small. A lot of people visit our website and it has been very successful and people have been very complimentary, the way it navigates and such. It has been down for a while as we work on e-commerce. It has been a really big project.
We also teamed up with the the Whitney Museum Vanity Fair, American Express – they invited us to do a special project with them and Donald Baechler. We collaborated together. We designed the silhouette, Donald did the painting and we married them together. It was a big launch. We did 200 limited edition pieces signed by us. We did the transformation of the silk screen painting. A collage of colors and textures – proceeds go to the Whitney Museum. Richard and I really love and support art and any art programs. It is all about rediscovering; use it or put it away or make it a collectible. For collectors it is kind of special. We also did a canvas tote called the Gertrude, there are 1000 of them. They are signed by Richard and I only – a special piece we did for the Whitney only. It is really sporty and fun! For $120 bucks, it is a great bag for men and women. Gym bag, tote bag, tennis bag, it is good for whatever you’d like it to be. The time frame was really tight. It seemed like we had minutes to pull it together. We wanted to launch it in time for the the Vanity Fair thing. It was all around Madison Avenue and we wanted it to be a fun Fall thing.
PB: Which stores do you have open now?
John: We are in New York for over a year, we are in Las Vegas opened in March and we are in Los Angeles.
PB: Do you have more in store?
John: No, that is a lot for now. 3 stores in a year and a half really wiped us out. It was a huge accomplishment. So we really focused on that. I think we will take this and then focus a bit more internationally. We are pretty domestic, we are at Harrod’s and a few in Germany. But we really want to go out in more of a force.
PB: Tell us about Spring 2009 line.
John: Spring is really an explosion of color for us. We are always inspired by leathers and textures. We design into the leathers, saying wow this drapes so wonderfully. But this season it is all about color. Color and texture. I know it is something we say all the time, but it really is the soul of our line. Everything is colorful but mysterious. This season we use some seamless silhouettes and designs. It explodes out. You can see it is a play with the texture and a solid. It seems like a bit of a surprise. It gives volume but also your eye moves around. There is nothing harsh about it. It is more abut a whispering of elegance. You turn it to a side and see a new texture, look at the bottom and see a new contrast, then open it up and see the color there.