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Designing Women

By Nathan Coker
In Bayou Buzzworthy
Feb 1st, 2014
Missy Robertson on location

Missy Robertson on location

Missy Robertson For Southern Fashion House
by Maré Brennan

When Duck Dynasty’s instantly recognizable Missy Robertson steps in front of the camera, she wants viewers to know who she is and her wardrobe has always told the story. Since the beginning of the popular television show, Missy has trusted her friend and style guru Kelly Block, owner of West Monroe’s K-Sera, to help her define and refine her look. From humble Southern roots has come an amazing new clothing venture when these West Monroe ladies met the designing women behind 30-A’s Southern Fashion House, Stephanie Carter and Christy Carlisle.

Says Missy of her own previous personal shopping experiences, “I was always frustrated when I would go shopping. My eye was drawn to the latest trends in the Juniors section, but when I’d try on those clothes I would get disappointed. If only those skirts were two inches longer, right? What I began to find was that there was a void for more clothing that was more on-trend for moms like me. I don’t want to look like my teenage son’s girlfriend.”

Lucky for Missy, her “right hand” of fashion lived right down the road. Kelly explains, “When Missy would come in looking for clothes, I could tell she was not a big shopper, but she definitely knew what she liked.”

Adds Missy, “Kelly made me think outside the box. She knew my style but would push me to try things in a different way.”

All of the pieces came together when Kelly arranged a meeting between designer Stephanie Carter, who is best known locally for her clothing brand Judith March, and the burgeoning star. At their first meeting last August, Stephanie presented a well-rounded collection of clothes that appealed not only to Missy but also to her 19-year-old cousin and her 84-year-old grandmother. “The details are what’s so appealing,” says Missy. “And Stephanie is really good about details, like fitting cuffs with lace or crotchet.”

Says the reality television star with roots firmly planted in the Twin Cities, “My style is classically simple. My clothes have clean lines with a basic fit that flatter me as a mom, yet I like to bring in trends, too. We’ve made our dresses a little longer with cuts that fit and flatter busy, working women.”

Two of the outfits Missy wore in the Duck Dynasty Christmas Special were from the Missy Robertson for Southern Fashion House collection. Says Missy, “After each show, we get tweets from fans asking, ‘Where did you get that outfit?’” Now fans will be able to find the clothing that Missy wears easily.

“My goal in life was not to be in the fashion industry. But God has given us a platform to show the world how you can be modest and classy, but project a youthful and fresh image at the same time,” explains Missy of her new venture.

Southern Fashion House’s Stephanie Carter does seem to be a life lived on the creative fashion cusp. With her clothing companies based in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida with Dejavu retail stores in Key West, Fairhope, Panama City Beach and Seaside, this fashion dynamo is creating a Southern fashion empire far from the crowds of L.A. and New York City. She and her friend, CEO Christy Carlisle, who worked for Kay Unger, are making a splash with the Judith March, Jacque and Janis and now the Missy Robertson for Southern Fashion House lines of clothing. “I love that we are not tainted by what everyone else is doing in New York or Los Angeles,” says Stephanie. “We listen to what our customers tell us and let our creativity flow at the beach.”

“I’ve always had requests for longer hemlines and sleeves with my Judith March line which is designed with ages 16 through college in mind,” explains Stephanie, who could easily pass for a college co-ed. “But I didn’t want to fix what wasn’t broken. Missy Robertson inspired me to do this women’s line that was at once respectful and still cute. Missy is really hands-on with the design process and her honesty gives me great direction.”

The designer and staff was already aware that Missy had been wearing their fashions on the hit TV series based on fashion blog posts, social media and a spread in US Weekly in which Missy was wearing a Judith March dress. When Kelly approached them at market, they knew that this was an opportunity sent from God.

One of Missy’s favorite pieces in the new collection is a crochet-trimmed dress. “That’s my go-to dress,” beams Missy. While Stephanie tends to like the casual hoodie for a more casual but put-together look.

The new line’s logo says it all. Stephanie wanted to use the water oak to symbolize Missy’s being a confident woman with strong roots who can preside over a PTA meeting one minute and walk in a fashion show the next.

As the camera and film crews set the stage at local Monroe homes for filming footage that has helped launch the Missy Robertson for Southern Fashion House line of clothes to the nation’s retailers, Stephanie surveys the handiwork her collaboration with Missy and Kelly has achieved in such a short time. At that moment, they are on the edge of creating a signature line of clothes with the potential for bringing a whole new look to women across the country. Ever thoughtful, she offers a few words of wisdom, “If you love what you do, you can do anything.”