Interview: Molly Nutter, ByGeorge President
Interview by Brittani Lepley
Images by Alexandra Valenti
We’re so grateful to have you on! Can you tell me a little bit about your background before landing here with us in Austin?
I’m so happy to be here!
I’ve been involved in retail forever. When I graduated from college, I began working for a small boutique in San Francisco (I’m originally from California), whose owner was hands on with everything, was with clients each day and had the highest taste level I had ever seen. When I decided it was time to venture to New York, she was instrumental in landing me an interview with Barneys, which is where I essentially grew up. I was there for 19 years, during a real golden age under a legendary merchandiser and fashion director. It was so much hard work, but probably the most fun of my life. It was magical. As I neared my 20 year anniversary, I began to wonder about the world outside Barneys. That’s when Céline entered the picture – and off I went! There I was buying director for all US retail locations, overseeing Visual Merchandising, Training and Clienteling as well. I was there for 3 years when I began thinking about life outside of New York City and work outside of large companies. I began consulting for some independent brands, and that’s when ByGeorge and I were introduced (although I had known of them for years)! I’ve been so fortunate to keep going from best, to best, to best. ByGeorge is no exception, and really, I’ve come full circle to where I started – back in a wonderful specialty store.
What has been the most exciting moment of your career thus far?
I feel so fortunate to have seen Phoebe Philo’s last show at Céline. And I probably nearly fainted years ago when I met Dries Van Noten backstage after one of his shows. Really though, it’s been a series of constant exciting moments that has kept me going. The most satisfying has been finding and launching new brands and nurturing them, as well as working alongside talented people who love what they do.
What is the most often worn piece of clothing or accessory in your closet?
At the moment, it’s a necklace with several charms that I wear every day. One is a brass football that belonged to my dad (I nicked it from him back in high school), a quartz pendant from Kazuko, and my “N” from Céline.
Do you have any big, exciting plans for ByGeorge in the near (or far!) future?
Building upon the great legacy of ByGeorge is, of course, at the heart of it all. Constantly fine-tuning the amazing brands we carry as well as searching for new and unexpected things – it will always be a work in progress.
Building a new location is also in the works, and I’m thrilled to work side by side with Larry and his team to bring it to life. Stay tuned!
What is your idea of a perfect day out in Austin?
I’m so happy to be in such a beautiful city that loves its outdoors, yet also has such rich food and music scenes. Working for an MMH company has its perks (and constant temptations) too:
Basically, a perfect day would involve going for a run, having a breakfast and coffee at Swedish Hill, then spending some time at Barton Springs. From there, it could go one of a few ways:
Martinis and dinner at Jeffrey’s
Margaritas and enchiladas at Joann’s followed by live music at the Continental Club
Dinner and many drinks at Justine’s – stretching out as late as possible
Luckily, I can keep trying these and other versions until I get it right.
As one of our newest team members, what has been the most inspiring thing you’ve learned about ByGeorge so far?
The clients at ByGeorge are incredible – some have been shopping here since the beginning, and others have found us more recently. They are so varied, interesting, smart, accomplished, and often hilarious. I love spending time on the floor meeting them – and I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface. The team at ByGeorge is also fantastic – we’ve had a great time getting to know each other and have hit the ground running!
What book are you currently reading? Which book would you recommend to a stranger?
At the moment I’m leafing through books on Gio Ponti, Martin Puryear and Frank Bowling. On my nightstand, Mable Dodge Luhan’s Edge of Taos Desert is calling, as well as Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women.
I would recommend Just Kids by Patti Smith to just about anyone.
What are you most looking forward to right now?
I’m in it! We have lots of things going on in celebration of the ByGeorge 40th anniversary, we just finished Fashion Week in New York, and we head to Paris next week to discover more things for the store! And any moment I think we get to turn the AC down a little bit too.
Dress by Dries Van Noten, jewelry by Alice Waese, Eli Halili and Molly’s own
Blazer and trousers by Nili Lotan, shirt by Loewe and sneakers by Golden Goose
Sweater and blouse by Nili Lotan, trousers by Loewe
Shirt by The Row, trousers by Co