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Peggy Washburn

How did you first become acquainted with Baby and Company? What are some of your favorite memories of the store?

I was fifteen when my mother brought me into Baby and Company for a visit. She had been introduced to the store by her cousin, Ruth Miska, who was a fashion designer (and one of my early inspirations). Though we weren’t in a position to buy high-end clothing at the time, my mother wanted me to see and experience—the same way one would take their teen to a museum. I remember necklaces made of antique found-object French glass. There were straight-legged jeans, French bikinis and striped, translucent Fiourcci shirts strung up the wall like a Cy Twombly painting. I’d never seen anything similar, and it rocked my world. I was left with a profound yearning to be part of something I couldn’t articulate, and I began to save my babysitting money. The funny thing is that I didn’t have a particular garment in mind, nor did I know anyone in my peer group who would relate. I just wanted to wet my feet to what I knew would be a transformation into something I strongly identified with, but couldn’t actually define. When at last I had saved enough (so I thought) to venture back into the store on my own I spent a whole afternoon studying, touching, imagining. I had surrendered to the fact that I might need a few more months of saving when I came upon a paper jump suit priced around $35(really!). Seeing as it was the only item my babysitting revenue would cover, I brought it home and wore it everywhere.

What do you love about getting dressed?

I approach getting dressed as I would a new art project: I love starting with a blank canvas and not knowing where the finished piece will end up after it takes on a life of its own.

Your personal style in three words:

Bold, timeless, and slightly masculine

If you could takeover anyone’s closet, living or dead, who would it be?

A toss-up between Amelia Earhart and Yohji Yamamoto (sorry, that’s two!). I do think both of their wardrobes would fit me, though, and I’d wear everything in their closets. Maybe even mix the two!

Describe your favorite Baby and Company piece in your closet.

This question is so difficult. I’ve been collecting Baby and Company "wearable art” for almost three decades, and I still wear everything I’ve acquired. Some of the earliest pieces look as if I bought them yesterday. I wear a lot of Rundholz and love the possibilities his work provides. My first was a waxed, ruffled tuxedo jacket, which I’ve worn every spring/summer for about ten years. I also have a “go-to” Hannes Roether coat, which I wear every winter. Both pieces work for both: special occasion and everyday staple.