These 2 former American Vogue editors, Meredith Melling and Valerie Boster, who departed in 2013 and launched fashion consultancy La Marque in January 2014, are stripes and lines fanatics. “Meredith and I have had a lifelong obsession,” Boster explains. “It’s a graphic that’s timeless, democratic and universal. But there really wasn’t someone out there owning the stripe.”
This obsession-meets-opportunity was the spark for La Ligne, the new label the pair have created with chief executive (and Rag & Bone alumna) Molly Howard, to whom they were introduced in 2013. The label launches on its own website Lalignenyc.com on April 5 and will be available on Net-a-Porter the week of April 11.
They want to get a very high quality product to the customer at a price point that was more in line with where it should be without having to deal with the double markups. “We also love that we have such good access to data about our consumer, what they’re loving and not loving, and you can design and evolve the collection around that as opposed to designing for a retailer, which I know can be a struggle for a traditional fashion brand. And we wanted people to be able to see it and buy it [immediately].”
The trio have spent the last year developing the garments, more than half of which are produced in New York City. “Product with a cool sensibility and aesthetic is always going to find its place in the market.”
La Ligne is split into two ranges. The first — the Essentials line — will be available year round and includes items such as a short-sleeved t-shirt printed with what the label hopes will become its signature wavy stripe ($95) and a 100-percent cashmere sweater with elongated cuffs and contrast ribbing ($275). The Edition range will be released twice a year, in spring and autumn. The first collection features lightweight blouses, kaftans and slip dresses decorated in grey-and-white intersecting stripes of different widths, with many pieces piped in blush.
In one way or another, every piece will incorporate stripes, although some items will reference the idea more loosely, using fringe, insets or pleating. The founders have also established a colour code for the brand, relying on a palette of black, navy, cream, white, royal blue and blush pink.
Given Melling and Boster’s background in magazines, it’s not surprising that storytelling is essential to La Ligne’s messaging both on and offline. “A big part of our branding is this human element,” Boster explains. “Even our logo has a hand-drawn line” — which is used on the aforementioned signature-stripe shirt — ”and our secondary mark is two hand-drawn lines.“We focused a lot on the content experience on the website.”
The trio are confident that the price and quality of their collection — as well as the support of Net-a-Porter and their vast network of influencers and industry insiders — will be integral to its early success.
But, La Ligne’s ambitions don’t end at selling women’s fashion online. The roadmap includes physical retail and category expansion. “We want this to be a total, lifestyle, everything-striped brand: That means men’s, home, sport, kids,” Howard says. “But I think a trap that many companies fall into is biting off more than you can chew at the beginning. We will launch with our website, and we will eventually open a store. But it’s really important to us that we just nail everything exactly.”
Personally i think lets get our hands on this preppy and French chic brand as soon as it launches before its sold out.