Lawyer-Turned-Fashion Designer Batsheva Hay Schools Us In Cute Clothing

Two parts vintage, a million parts cute, Batsheva Hay’s ready-to-wear collection has that want-abilty factor.

Rewind a little, and it all actually came about as a hobby for Hay, creating dresses for her and her daughter.

It wasn’t until 2016 that she fully migrated into the fashion world and established her namesake line, debuting with a range of Little House on the Prairie-type dresses, but a chic, mischievous interpretation. Just how we like it.

And these characteristics have become a signature of hers. Expect dainty pink-hued florals and frills but then dresses that really ramp it up too, with lamé, PVC and bold, bright prints, as to cater for the multiple facets of a woman’s personality.

This appeal hasn’t gone unnoticed as the brand is available in leading stores globally from MATCHESFASHION to Harvey Nichols, and is worn by the in-the-know fashion crowd (case in point, check Busy Philipps styling the heck out of her dress!)

Felicity Carter: What was your first fashionable memory?

Batsheva Hay: My mother’s Mexican lace wedding dress hung in her closet and I spent my entire childhood admiring it and trying it on. From a very young age, I would sneak into her closet and try on her amazing hippie dresses from the 1960s. I was in love.

FC: Tell us about your transition into the fashion world…

BH: I quit my job as a lawyer at a big firm and got pregnant, and really had no plan. I had such an elaborate collection of vintage dresses that were all tearing in tatters and figured— I am on NYC, I can find somewhere to get a dress like these made but fit to all of my specifications. So I got a recommendation for a pattern maker from a friend in fashion and just sketched one dress and made it in a few different fabrics. They were attention-seeking dresses—- puff-sleeved, extra-ruffled, bright-patterned— so they soon got attention and I got an article on It started there and grew to more styles and some interest from retailers who found me on Instagram.

FC: How would you sum up your brand aesthetic?

BH: Fun and interesting.

FC: What is luxury to you?

BH: Wearing and doing exactly what you want.

FC: Who is your customer?

BH: Women (and some men) young and old, conservative and radical. It is a broad spectrum.

FC: Which was the first piece you designed and how did it come about?

BH: The first piece was based on a Laura Ashley dress I had worn to shreds. I added dramatic double ruffles at the neck, sleeves and bottom hem. I exaggerated the waist and did it in vintage fabrics. I wore it every day for a week after it was made and I got compliments everywhere I went.

FC: What is on your current mood board?

BH: House dresses that women wore in the ‘50s and ‘60s— by Claire McCardell, etc.

FC: Currently, which is your favorite piece?

BH: My vinyl dress that is currently exclusive on

FC: What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given when it comes to handling the industry?

BH: Not to take fashion people too seriously. There are a lot of follower-types who get off on acting better than you. You have to be confident and not be bothered if they are being rude or rejecting. I always felt confident in my personal style and figured, if they don’t like it, that’s ok; others will. Sometimes fashion is not ready for what you are proposing but, screw them, you should feel free to put it out there anyway! Dressing is supposed to be fun, after all, and if you approach it with a sense of adventure, people will see that.

See more on the Batsheva Hay website.

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