Meet the Designer Behind Carrie Bradshaw’s New “Converted Closet”
In season one Just like that, we saw Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw mixing vintage (from her Fendi Baguette to her Chanel boots) with buzzy new pieces (the Gucci X Balenciaga Hourglass bag comes to mind). It’s an approach to dressing that feels very 2022: combining much-cherished pieces already in your wardrobe with investment buys that’ll stand the test of time.
As filming gets under way for season two, it seems that Bradshaw has added a series of upcycled pieces to her wardrobe, although the designer behind them—Kate McGuire—prefers the terms refashioned, or converted. “I’ve been converting clothes my whole life,” the founder of Converted Closet and former headhunter, tells Vogue. “I always like to wear something a bit different or unique.”
In fact, she was the first to meet one of them. AJLT costume designer’s, Danny Santiago (after being introduced by a friend), he instantly described her as a real-life “grown-up Carrie”—thanks to her wardrobe of high-end, yet one-off, pieces. “There’s this sweet spot where vintage becomes really wearable and modern,” McGuire explains of her style. “[On AJLT] they’ve been layering original pieces with new pieces; my clothes bring that all into one garment.”
So far, Sarah Jessica Parker has been spotted on set wearing a converted ’60 flight suit from McGuire’s own closet, which she—naturally—paired with JW Anderson’s pigeon clutch. Then there’s an ’80s lace wedding dress that the designer converted into a flared jumpsuit. Carrie has been working at the sewing machine since then. “I think she’s probably outsourcing it,” McGuire responds. “She’s found a great dressmaker and is having fun doing what I do—collaborating.”
The costume designers at AJLT currently have a number of McGuire’s most treasured pieces, the designer has just launched her first shoppable collection on curated resale site Dora Maar. Highlights include an Hermès print scarf that’s been combined with a quilted Victorian underskirt, as well as a neon-pink party dress that one could easily imagine Carrie wearing.
“It’s really about a mindset shift,” Lauren Wilson, CEO and founder of Dora Maar, says of the decision to collaborate with McGuire. “Our belief is that if you have a human connection to what you’re buying and really understand the craft, the quality, the story and why it matters, it doesn’t become something disposable—it becomes a real collectable for you.”
McGuire is confident of the positive impact her Converted Closet Carrie collection will have on sustainability. We may have to wait to see the new pieces, but McGuire is certain. “My mission is to influence,” the designer says. “I need to show people that there are alternatives [to shopping brand new]—celebrities are the people who can amplify the message more than anyone else.”