How did you decide to start your own clothing brand, Le Lion? Have you always wanted to go into fashion?
I have been obsessed with all things style since I was a little girl. When I was graduating college, my dream was to work for Ralph Lauren and I truly would have taken any job there!! I magically landed a job in collection accessories and remained there for about 3.5 years in product development. It was an incredible place to start out and has definitely continued to influence a lot of what I do! After I left RL I went to Parsons in NYC to complete an intensive 2-year fashion program – it was really the most valuable education I received in terms of being the most applicable to my actual career. After I completed the program, I was connected to Stephanie von Watzdorf, found of FIGUE, and I started working there and remained there for 5 years. I was the director of sales at FIGUE and helped build out their wholesale business. It was a true education – I sort of look at is as my business school because I was able to witness and participate in the development and growth of a brand and business. While I was at FIGUE, I came up with the idea for Le Lion. It originally came to me from a sweater I already had that I found myself wearing every day. It had a burst of sequins on the left chest and there was something about it that just felt really special to me. But I couldn’t seem to find other sweaters like it except for way outside of my budget! One day it hit me over the head as I was walking home from work and I thought why don’t I make these!?!? Based on the experience I had at FIGUE being sort of the frontlines of retail I developed a brand strategy focused on the importance of customer connection. I wanted to put something into the world that people could provide people with an experience, that people could connect with, create, hold on to and even pass down. The idea of something heirloom-like and old world has always been at the core of the brand.
Your brand seeks to oppose fast fashion trends by offering pieces that are both timeless and personal to each customer’s individual style, and a lot of your personalization options are based around the zodiac. What inspired you to combine astrology with timeless knits?
Absolutely! I have never been trend-focused and always really just loved style, not necessarily fashion. Style is inherently personal and is such a wonderful form of expression – I wanted to find a way for my customers to be able to express something personal to them, whether that is their love of a certain color, their own monogram, letters that are of meaning to them or, their zodiac. There is something about astrology that I find to be beautifully whimsical and I love that it connects us all while make us feel individual at the same time. It just worked perfectly both from an aesthetic standpoint and from an customer expression standpoint for the brand.
What is your go to Le Lion piece? And if it’s different, what is your favorite piece that you’ve created for Le Lion?
My go tos are always the cardigans, just because they are so easy to layer over everything. I wear my grandpa or popa cardigan on every single flight!! I am obsessed with the puff sleeve cardigans for every day over t-shirts or dresses. I don’t have a favorite piece necessarily but my favorite collection I have created is collection 6 which is coming out this March/April!
Have you ever made a custom sweater that was really meaningful to you?
Oh yes! Most of them really are meaningful to me. The one that stands out to me is the first pet portrait sweater from collection 1 with my sweet dog, Leo, on it!
Right now, you’re focusing on sweaters and cardigans. Do you see Le Lion expanding into a wider range of clothing options?
Absolutely! I am starting to dabble into some other clothing options. I have a collarette coming out for spring/summer that can be worn under all of your new or old Le Lion sweater! A sweater accessory if you will! In addition, I am working on a Men’s sweater for fall with the pet portrait option. And ,of course, more to come!
Spill it! Can we take a look inside your bag?
My Hermes cardholder – I hate a big wallet!
My keys, which are on a Louis Vuitton Tintin Groom Bellboy keychain pouch from 2006!
Bastide Rose Olivier travel size perfume – I put on vetiver at home and like how they mix together
Dr. Bonner’s lavender organic hand sanitizer
Listerine cool mint pocketpacks
Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl Color Enhancing Lipstick – 16 Noir Revelateur
Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in Love
Blistex Lip Medex