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Intermix: Mixology 101

Khajak and Haro Keledjian are the types of guys you want as your best friends. They’re hip, savvy and these days are pretty much writing the book on forward-thinking style with their wildly chi store, InterMix. They are bringing their wildly successful, and inimitable, flair to the southwestern capital of style, Dallas in NorthPark Mall. Their store is the darling of New York socialites and celebrities. And a legion of Texas women who also shop at their stores in cities like Miami, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas.

The InterMix customer finds the stores inspiring, innovative and well, daring. We recently caught up with Khajak Keledijian on a break from his hectic, globetrotting job as one of the founding style arbiters of this successful store. It’s Manhattan meets Texas in a very big way.

Lance Avery Morgan: Your store is the biggest thing to hit Texas from New York in awhile? Why Texas?

Khajak Keledjian: Texas is the number two retail market in the country. It’s a very sophisticated clientele and Dallas is growing so rapidly. We see that because we have Texans, especially Dallas people, shopping on our website.

LAM: People can do their shopping at 2:00 AM on the internet, but now you’re bringing the store to them in person. With 15 locations across the country already, why Dallas as your first one in Texas?

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KK: We feel Texans have a larger-than-life reputation. Dallas women love to look good when they go out. Dallas has so many restaurants, sports and other things to do. Plus, the Dallas woman shops in many different cities – Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and all over Europe. We feel it’s important to react to the shopping habits of our customers. That’s why we carry over 300 designers.

LAM: You already have a huge fan base at your stores in Manhattan – tons of Texas women I know shop there. When it comes to Texas style, how will InterMix interpret that point of view for the Texas woman?

KK: Our success has been largely so that we feel very boutiquey. We are location-specific. We want our new store here to be more like a Texan. We’re not bringing NY to Texas - we’re offering the lifestyle to the sporty look. Each store has its own feel, as the Dallas store will have. We have many colors and sizes – it’s not about black.

LAM: You and your brother seemed focused on making the world a chicer place. What makes The InterMix Woman chic to you?

KK: That’s easy. She’s stylish, confident, and very creative in dressing. She’s a luxurious woman with a personal style who likes to take some risks. She wears the outfit instead of the outfit wearing her. Contradiction is chic, meaning she likes to wear something someone else cannot replicate.

LAM: It seems like InterMix literally hand selects the clothes and accessories you sell – to mix into existing closets, as well as creating completely new and unexpected outfits? How has that been successful?

KK: We’re not for everyone, but we have very loyal customers. It’s mixing a $2000 bag worn with a pair of old jeans. Our philosophy always has a point of view. We like to blend fashion forward and modern. It’s a tank top, a great sweater and pair of heels…and you’re dressed.

LAM: It seems like too many stores are knocking off trends and they’re over in less than a season these days, doesn’t it?

KK: We’re not into cheap trends like H&M. For us, it’s about silhouette, fabric and shape. That works for us. We don’t have things that expire too quickly

LAM: What is the key to finding emerging design talent that you carry in your stores?

KK: Well, we have to have a good eye. For our customers and for what’s happening on the street. It’s not how we go out and find the designers. A lot of them come to us. We have success with designers who already have a following like Valentino. To see a 26-year-old carrying a Valentino bag has a lot or sex appeal. Or wearingMark Eisen’s crew sweaters. Or a Norma Kamali piece. We also help new designers. When we’re able to carry, say, four great things of a new designer, then suddenly they’re in business.

LAM: What trends are you finding in London and Paris that you are interpreting in your store?

KK: We’re not really about one trend. I like the knit dresses from Stella McCartney, and cool, edgier designs. Like Alexander McQueen’s secondary line, McQ. It’s more accessible. Another example is the Lagerfeld fur. It’s edgier and the wearer won’t feel like she’s wearing her grandmother’s fur.

LAM: Architecture in the shopping environment and experience is another element important to InterMix, isn’t it?

KK: We like to have clean, feminine details that don’t distract from the product. Also, we have softer lighting. And our dressing rooms are bigger. Everyone will love this Dallas store. The windows are set back and the floor pattern echoes the twisted ceiling configuration. We like to offer sections the stores into diff. lifestyles without walls.

LAM: Let’s talk specifics for fall fashion. Favorite bag trend this season at InterMix? KK: Oversized bags with a lot of pattern and detail are hot. By Versace. By Valentino. And we have Chloe bags in different shades that we interpreted just for InterMix.

LAM: And your favorite shoe trend this season at InterMix?

KK: That’s easy. Wedgies and platforms. Hosiery is very big with our favorites like Wolford and Fogl.

LAM: If a woman was stranded on a deserted island, what is the one InterMix item you think she should have?

KK: Well, she wouldn’t need a knit dress. Definitely sunglasses… for protection. By Tom Ford. It’s that simple.