2011 February 7

Retail Report: Phoenix and Nola's Katja Douedari

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Phoenix and Nola Phoenix and Nola
Phoenix and Nola
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(NEW YORK) Katja Douedari, former VP of marketing for Hugo Boss, left corporate America for a project close to her heart--Phoenix and Nola, a fashion line named after her twins. The newly-launched collection is sold at Bloomingdale's and Douedari's boutique and combination daycare space, PlayThe Daily sat down with the Williamsburger to discuss her newest adventure. MARIA DENARDO

So why the switch?
I worked for Hugo Boss for fifteen years, and ran the entire marketing and PR. I met Wade, my baby daddy and partner, at an event one July in the Hamptons. In August, I found out I was pregnant...with twins. Wade was different from all the other guys. I had my life all set: events, travelling, going out, heels. Then I meet a skater/musician/bartender/waiter and everything changed.

And now you work together on a line?
It’s hard. First of all, we still don’t know each other really. We had babies right away, and I was on bedrest for three months. So we never had that flirty whatever time. I am surprised that we’re still together. I want to leave him at least once a day. We just figure it out. What’s the other choice? We’re running our own business. The other choice is going back into the industry.

Did you get any backlash from industry insiders when you left?
You see it on your Facebook account when your numbers get lower or when invites stop showing up. It happens because you’re not that valid anymore. You don’t get the free hookups and the free suits. But those aren’t friends, anyway. I’m not out and about every night. It’s different. People don’t say things to your face and friends are too kind to tell you anything.

What inspired you to design?
Changing two diapers. I thought it would be so cool to just go to the store and grab a great onesie in 10 colors, or a t-shirt in 20, at a really great price point. 

Where do you produce?
I tried to produce in New York City first, but wasn’t possible. They’ll charge you a fortune. We’ll move one day but for now, we're in China.

How is the line assorted?
We have 8 basic colors and 4 to 5 changing fashion colors every season. We also have limited-edition artist prints. It’s always Phoenix and Nola telling their little story. 

What’s the Williamsburg parent scene like?
It’s very mixed. We get in the kids of designers, musicians, tattoo artists. We have a lot of dads. They can drink coffee and hav play dates while their kids are playing. But then it’s this whole other movement with the new condos. We’re getting a lot of parents from Manhattan, with like, established jobs and a lot of money. The word “hipster” is so over.

Any regrets?
No. Absolutely not. But I still think I’m in shock. I’m 37, Wade is turning 30 this year. Finally! I’m going to celebrate it more than him. But age doesn’t really matter. He’s very mature. I know 40-year old guys who would have run away. But he was like, ‘Sure, whatever.’ When I was pregnant, I didn’t read one book. Actually, I did, but I think it was I Hate My Pregnancy.




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