Najla & Cynthia Burt
Founder & Co-Founder
Label - Dur Doux
Orange is the new Black
Renowned Washington DC based mother-daughter designer duo Najla and Cynthia Burt is acclaimed for their house blends wearable pieces with edgier, vibrant, and more avant-garde elements. In an interview with Kiran Sahija, the duo talk about their experience at NYFW, and their upcoming spring summer collection.
Fibre2Fashion: What does the name Dur Doux suggest?
Najla & Cynthia Burt:
Najla Burt: These are French words which can be translated as ‘hard soft’. I came up with the name during my last semester at Parsons School of Design.
Fibre2Fashion: How do you strike a balance between work and personal life as a mother-daughter duo and brand founders? What were the challenges faced?
Najla Burt: I think we each individually do activities that make us happy and joyful. I go to the art museums; I go out to have brunch. I do different things that bring me joy. We go on vacations together, but sometimes we go on vacations separately.
Fibre2Fashion: How would you express your aesthetics for your recent collection Le Nouvelle Mosaique?
Najla Burt: We came up with the name Le Nouvelle Mosaique for our collection after doing some research on different forms of art. We saw mosaic art and thought, wow, this is really beautiful, cool, and artistic. They use tiny pieces of coloured glass and other materials to create beautiful portraits. And I thought that it would be really unusual and different to do that in a modern way. So, what you see throughout the collection is different sort of prints that are reflective of mosaic art, but in a modern way. Talking about the overall collection of Dur Duox, I think it's very fun and modern and vibrant.
Fibre2Fashion: How was the experience displaying your collection at NYFW?
Cynthia Burt: It was intense and felt like we had done a much bigger production than we did back in September. We had more staff in our team, more sponsors, and people from many different locations. Flowers that were in the set design actually came all the way from Holland as there was a company, with which we got connected and they donated all of their flowers. We had a huge production this time around, but it was worth all the effort of the dozens and dozens of people. Everybody celebrated because they had done something incredibly unique.
Fibre2Fashion: How has the expression of avant-garde fashion and aesthetics evolved?
Najla Burt: In terms of our expression for avant-garde clothing, it was very pronounced as you can clearly see. We use a lot of voluminous designs for our collection, but it has softened a bit, so we are doing things in an architectural way, but in a softer sense.
Fibre2Fashion: While designing couture pieces, what sustainable practices are taken care of?
Cynthia Burt: A couple of collections back, we started having a close look at the fibres and fabrics that are environmentally friendly for our collection. We have just been very, very diligent with how we examine fabrics, and I must add we buy from all over the world.
Fibre2Fashion: Which celebrities or well-known figures have appeared in your collection?
Cynthia Burt: All of them are American. And, of course, we had Mimi Tao for many of our projects. She has partnership with us. Her look and our clothes make for a perfect combination. She just pulls them off in a way that nobody else can. This year we also had Saje Nicole. She is Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. This was her first time with us, and she did a fantastic job. She loved the piece that we designed for her.
Fibre2Fashion: What Pantone colours and prints will have the most impact in the near future?
Cynthia Burt: The Berry Purple Pantone is going to remain on trend for a couple of more cycles. It is a colour that most women look really great in. Also, I believe orange is the new black as many designers including us are trying to inject Orange Pantone into our collection as it looks too vibrant and fun.
Fibre2Fashion: What are you experimenting with in terms of clothing at the moment?
Najla Burt: Because we are coming up in the spring summer, there will be some elements of flora and fauna that you will probably see in the upcoming collection. It will be full of colour, but you will see more of an injection of some neutrals this time, which a lot of people can appreciate. Yes, so that is currently what we are experimenting with.
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