When fashion designer Richard Lowe was appointed as international creative director of Spiegel in 2013, considerable buzz surrounded their women’s fashion brand, Newport News. Namely, what would become of the 30-year-old label beloved by stylish women everywhere? It’s been almost three years since, and by all accounts the label is not only thriving but also growing, expanding to a number of cruise lines where it’s now sold exclusively. We spoke with Lowe in between sketching sessions (his favorite part of designing) to get the scoop on Newport News’ latest collections, his take on cruise fashion and the one piece every woman should own.
How would you describe the fashion you design for Newport News?
It’s affordable luxury. I want women to have that Oscar de la Renta beaded moment but at a price that makes it approachable. Think the nicest detailing and the nicest fabrics at prices she can afford. I like to make sure that we can give her the best price and the best quality.
What’s a must-have piece for any woman’s wardrobe?
Jumpsuits. She can step into one and in minutes have a full outfit — on board and at home. They’ll never go out of style; you’ll be able to wear them forever. It’s a great investment piece.
What are some of the Newport News staples guests can expect to find on board?
Some core items always on rotation are wrap dresses (they’ll never go out of style, thanks to Diane von Furstenberg!) novelty tees and wide-leg palazzo pants. We’ll repeat styles [over various collections], but we don’t repeat colors or prints.
So once a certain style or print sells out, that’s it?
We have a lot of repeat cruisers, so the whole idea is for them to get something new every time they go on board — and that they won’t be able to get ever again.
Talk about exclusive! Are your designs tailored to specific cruise lines too?
We’re producing a capsule collection for Holland America with a fun art deco theme, for instance. We took design elements from the ships and incorporated it into the fashion.
What else inspires your designs?
I love street fashion — walking the streets and seeing what’s going on in the world. We have a customer who’s in the know and wants to shop at a reasonable price. She wants to be current and trendy without looking like she’s trying too hard. [Newport News] stays ahead but not too far ahead.
What can we expect from Newport News in 2016?
Incredible prints with a modern edge. We’ve focused on warm, tropical hues and overstated florals, with collections that vary by theme. The spring/summer 2016 capsules feature Casablanca Nights, Castaway Couture, Maritime Madness and Santorini Sunsets. We take into account different locations and design specifically for the customer and what she might need while she’s on board.
What do you shop for on vacation?
I shop for prints. I buy a lot of scarves and end up with these bins and bins of scarves because they’re the easiest vehicles of print and color for any brand.
The Newport News collection is exclusively available on board select ships on Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line, Pullmantur, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises nd Norwegian Cruise Line. Sailing on one of these cruise lines? Leave us a comment with the name of your ship and we’ll tell you if the collection is available.
By: Virginia Gil