Back to Global Conversations 3.06: Patrick Robinson, Fashion Designer
How do you find meaning in the work you do and leave your mark on the world? Melissa Biggs Bradley talks with fashion designer Patrick Robinson about what it means to have a connection to the clothes we wear (and the people behind them), his journey from early days with Giorgio Armani to his sustainable brand Paskho and building a marketplace for makers across America. Plus, how to shop sustainably, break bad habits and support local communities; why travel helps unlock creativity and much more.
Patrick Robinson is a fashion designer who is creating clothes specifically meant to travel well, and travel everywhere, and he’s doing so in a sustainable manner — using less energy, less water…eco-friendly dyes and materials…while paying socially responsible wages to everyone involved, from the thread maker to the warehouse worker.
If you’ve followed fashion in the last decades, you might already know his name — Patrick has worked on the prestige side of the industry, for Giorgio Armani, Anne Klein, and Perry Ellis; had his own high-fashion line; and he’s designed also for one of America’s most popular brands the Gap, where he became the creative director in 2007 and in 2010 he co-chaired the Metropolitan Museum Costume Insitute Ball with Anna Wintour.
Born in Memphis, raised in California and now based in New York, where he lives with his wife, Virginia Smith, the fashion director of Vogue, and their son, Patrick—who taught himself to make clothing patterns from newspapers at the age of 10—is a longtime fashion insider’s favorite. When he set up his current company in 2013, focusing on men’s and women’s clothes that could be worn climbing mountains and going out to dinner—”less clothing that can do more,” as he describes it — he named it Pashko. That’s Greek for passion, and for him, that’s exactly what it is.