Neely & Chloe

In our mind’s eye they are amazingly thrilling. A day filled with bright lights, wind fans, maybe… Gigi Hadid? The photo shoot was always one of those components of the business that we envisioned to be sort of spectacular. We’d pictured ourselves popping out of bed for the call time at the crack of dawn (hair perfectly coiffed and make up flawless, of course), arriving to a set bustling with beautiful people, a day so glamourous we felt were more glamourous just by proxy. We filed this mental image away along with the other beguiling days in our future- visits to Vogue, lunches with with editors, Launch parties and more.

Fast forward a few months, our T.O.P. (top of production) samples were en route and it was time for us to start planning. There were two different projects on our to-do list… First, we needed to tackle the product photo shoot. We were already behind schedule here—stressful, yes, but this is one of those good problems to have. We had editors clamoring for our “high-res” line sheets and we needed to get them out as quickly as possible. Once we checked that off our list, we would be able to get on to our second project, the lifestyle shoot.

As soon as we started shopping out the first job, we knew our sights had been set a little… no, a lot, too high. As prices began rolling in—96 SKUs, five angles per item, retouching fees for every image—we knew we were going to have to get creative. Our day dreams of windswept shots and teams of stylists buzzing with excitement were slowly fading into the distance.

Once we had ruled out all the shiny, big-name agencies for the product photo shoot, we started thinking about the other resources. A quick call to a friend who had done a shoot for us in the past proved fruitful and then we were off to a running start. He helped us secure a studio in Brooklyn and a second photographer to power through the shot list.

The day came and went with little glimpses of excitement here and there. Chloe’s diligence (read: obsessiveness) led to hours of smoothing leather, fiddling with lighting, employing a little sticky tack here, fishing line there. One day quickly turned into two, hours dragged on, and every time we turned around the shot list seemed to multiply. Apparently, those seemingly effortless images on Net-a-Porter of the perfectly strewn cross body strap or tousled tassel are not so effortless after all. The two days passed as many others have since the start of our adventure—tired with swollen feet and hoping all our other fantasies weren’t quite as misguided as this.

With the product shoot complete, we went to planning the lifestyle shoot with our branding agency. Two weeks of planning and it was time to head back to Brooklyn. This time to Root Studios. We piled into the car, trunk and back seat filled to the brim with bags, shoes… and Winnie. We parked the car a block away, and headed to the studio, three sets of arms laden with bags. As soon as we walked in we realized we were in a different world. The bags were whisked away, we were shuffled past the gourmet coffee bar with the handsome barista into Studio 2, adjacent to Rebecca Minkoff and Design within Reach. Our eyes wide with anticipation, we opened the double doors and there it was. Did I fall asleep on the car ride? Was I dreaming again? Two stylists, buzzing around the racks of designer clothes, all pressed and prepped. Make up and hair doting on the beautiful 6’ 2” doe eyed model. And the photographer and one, two, three assistants setting up the set.


The day was long, but excitement ran high through every moment. The model was the perfect look for the brand—natural, fresh-faced, not too stark, and most importantly a look that is approachable and relatable. We got ten amazing shots, a lot for a lifestyle shoot.
We may not have become more glamorous just by being there. And our hair and make-up certainly wasn’t flawless. But the brand began to come to life right in front of us.