“Stripes are a classic design standard with a versatility that allows for endless interpretation.” That was the idea of Meredith Melling, Molly Howard and Valerie Boster (two former US Vogue editors and a Rag & Bone alumna) when starting their own brand back in 2015 with La Ligne. With this philosophy, La Ligne wants to offer a mix of both classic and current styles that enable women to distinctively make the stripe their own. La Ligne offers two lines: Essentials include signature stripes available every season as fundamental wardrobe staples. All pieces are made of the highest quality silk, cashmere, and cotton with delicate precision in every stitch and detail. The Essentials color palette includes black, navy, cream, white, royal blue, and blush. The Edition line includes evolving seasonal silhouettes and designs which explore a myriad of stripe variations. The concept: Direct to consumer. The collectionis sold exclusively through Net-a-Porter and its own website. Here, the founders explain why.
What was your motivation to start your own label?
Valerie: When Meredith and I were at Vogue, we saw that no matter the season, stripes had proven to be timeless and classic staples- and they still do. Stripes are a classic design with a versatility that allows for endless interpretation. Once we met Molly, her obsession with stripes not only equaled ours, but her business savvy and experience scaling a retail brand really turned the idea into a business. With La Ligne, our goal is to become synonymous with the stripe and continuously explore its possibilities. When customers are seeking stripes - whether it’s a classic design or new interpretation - we want La Ligne to be their go-to destination.
What are the core items? What product do you provide? What does the collection look like?
Meredith: La Ligne is divided into two categories; The Essentials and Edition. The Essentials are an assortment of our signature stripes available every season as fundamental wardrobe items, while Edition includes evolving seasonal silhouettes and designs which explore a variety of interpretations of the stripe delivering unique, stylish and adaptable pieces. All pieces are under $550, with most less than $300.
Why do you launch your label as direct-to-consumer product?
Molly: Selling directly to consumers allows the brand to completely own the entire customer experience: product, service, and most importantly our relationship with shoppers. Through this model, we’re also able to adapt quickly and not necessarily adhere to a strict fashion calendar. We can introduce products when consumers are desiring them most.
Do you think direct-to-consumer is the future of being successful as young brand?
Meredith: At Vogue I worked very closely with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and witnessed first hand the many challenges new brands face at launch and in the ensuing years. It’s an interesting moment for fashion in general right now - both established and new brands are reevaluating the way they reach their customers. By taking the direct to consumer route we are able to own the entire process, control brand integrity and learn more about our customer, her desires and how we can improve for her.
Why did you start with Net-a-Porter as partner for selling?
Molly: Net-a-Porter was a dream collaborator for us to test the water with wholesale. We want to be able to reach our customers through a wholesale experience that feels true to La Ligne as a brand. Working with Net-a-Porter also allows us to sell internationally since we don't right now via our own website.