Now, for our kick-off feature, and LA community event this month, we tried to think about who perfectly encapsulates LA style, and who also happens to embody the entrepreneurial spirit we so admire. And naturally, Bo Carney came to mind.
Join Garance, Bo, and Women and Whiskies’ Anne-Louise Marquis at The LINE Hotel on Thursday, 10/18, from 6:30pm – 8:30pm for an inspiring evening. The event is free but be sure to RSVP because seats are limited!
In addition to running three locations of Mohawk General Store, a go-to style destination that Bo Carney opened and runs with her husband, Bo also designs their clothing line, SMOCK, and is about to open an additional shop for said line, yet she still manages to keep up with an adorable toddler and two dogs with a calmness we envy and a chicness we can only dream of.
Bo welcomed us into the Highland Park home she shares with her family, introduced us to Baguette and Crouton, her two dogs we considered kidnapping, and shared with us some of her current favorite pieces. We also chatted about her love of a good white shoe, the jewelry she wears in honor of her son, and how moving around while growing up influenced both her style and approach to design.
Fashion wasn’t always part of Bo’s plan, and if you’re in LA next week, you should join us for an evening of cocktails and conversation, to hear Bo and Garance talk about what happens when you give yourself a year to try something new and how it can change the direction of your life entirely, leading to unexpected adventures and careers!
Describe your style in three words.
Simple, timeless, effortless
What’s most important when it comes to style: comfort, beauty, or innovation?
I think comfort is most important. For me, style is something that enhances your day to day experience so if you are physically not comfortable then that will affect your attitude, mood, and therefore your overall image too. I think it also has to do with my age and lifestyle.
What is the most valued thing in your closet?
Honestly everything is valuable and disposable at the same time. I really don’t have a most valued piece…I do treasure vintage pieces a lot, like my favorite military jacket or the perfect vintage jean. I also treasure the expensive, classic pieces that I have splurged on that I will wear forever and only I would really notice. Like an Hermes black turtleneck or a simple Celine coat.
How has your style evolved, if at all, since having your son?
It has changed a bit. Clothes definitely have to be more functional and comfortable than before. Not wearing a lot of fitted tops or silk pants because I need to be able to chase down an active toddler at any given moment. Also I don’t wear high heels anymore (I got rid of all my high heels this year because my foot size grew just enough that all the heels were uncomfortable). That being said, I still value dressing well and looking put together. It’s just with different priorities.
What are some of the brands or designers you carry at your shops that you feel perfectly encapsulate your ideal style?
My favorites are Dries Van Noten for the magic and inspiration and Lemaire for just beautiful minimalism…also jacquemus for the drama. I love finding the perfect piece and figuring out how to make it work for my own lifestyle. I can keep and wear these as wardrobe staples and pull them out again season after season.
You design your own line, SMOCK, for your stores. Where do look for inspiration when you’re designing each season?
I look at my own closet first. I think of SMOCK as a uniform. Every season I want to have a small selection of clothes that anyone can wear and easily incorporate into their wardrobe and style but still special enough where it will enhance and empower the wearer. I look at my own closet and ask what are the pieces missing here that I need that will make dressing easier every morning? Like the perfect pant, the shirt, the jacket, or the t-shirt, etc. Basics, but beautiful and interesting.
Your family moved around quite a bit when you were growing up. Do you think this influenced your approach to style or design?
I do. Growing up and studying in different cultures has definitely molded my sense of style and aesthetic. I grew up in Austria, the US, Korea, and also studied in China and Italy. I think the Korea in me appreciates simple, minimal, and pared down style. And the American side of me appreciates the utilitarian and rebellious. The European loves the sensual. I love the sometimes clashing of ideas and I find it really interesting to reconcile these elements into one outfit.
Blouse, Lemaire; Pants, Smock; Shoes, Maryam Nassir Zadeh; Earrings, Sophie Buhai; Rings, Grace Lee, Hermes and Chinatown; Bracelets, Kristen Elspeth, Grace Lee and Jessica Winzelberg; Necklaces, Celine, Jessica Winselberg, and Chinatown