About Susie Crippen, Co-Founder, J Brand & Founder, CRIPPEN
I was one of the founding partners of J Brand, and it changed my life forever. What started in 2004 took me down a road I had never imagined I would walk down. In 2010, we sold the company and I chose to leave.
From the moment I knew I would be leaving I started thinking about what I would do next. I thought about moving to Spain to learn Flamenco and ride Andalusian horses all day, or perhaps move to Northern California and make pottery and start a sanctuary for wounded birds of prey. Both options would have been very Susie Crippen-like and would have brought a new world of adventures. But... where would I wear my new Givenchy strappy stilettos? And what about my new Roland Mouret long dress? Can I get Vogue in the rolling foothills of the backcountry? It was then that I stopped planning my future and just started living in the present. Day by day, with my two dogs, the newspaper, good books and great movies.
After three months of hunkering down, I got wanderlust and started traveling. I went to Turkey, Spain, Italy, France, Brazil, Argentina and India. With each trip the ideas started materializing in my head. After a year, I was ready to get started.
I realized I missed creating for my customer; I missed the conversation that I got to have with thousands of women when I was in my old position. I missed making things and I wanted to try again, only this time I wanted to step into a totally different arena. I began to think of what I wanted it to be, who I wanted to speak to, and how I wanted to communicate to them.
I wanted to make beautiful clothing that is easy to wear and stunning at the same time. I wanted clothing that defied trends and I would wear for twenty years and never want to give away. I wanted to put eight pieces of clothing and three pairs of shoes in my suitcase and be ready for any destination and situation I would be put in.
And so CRIPPEN began. I turned the garage of my Los Angeles home into an office, assembled my team and in January of 2011 we turned on our computers and got to work. We went through many phases, styles and, in retrospect, very ambitious ideas until it all came together and I was happy with what we had and what I believe is the foundation of the brand.
The CRIPPEN collection is great trousers, easy dresses, simple tops, dream t-shirt and the jacket that works with everything. The styles are inspired by what I love to wear and what I saw women wearing on my travels. The fabrics, from my favorite mills in Italy, Japan and Turkey, are the sort that just get better and better with age.
CRIPPEN is effortless chic clothing women will wear everyday and for years to come.