One in five people in New York City wears stripes at any given time—at least according to a field study conducted by this chicest trio ever, Meredith Melling, Valerie Boster, and Molly Howard. That may not have been a professional survey, but there's some validity to it, proving that stripes are not only ubiquitous and timeless, but they appeal to everyone. That's why these three women have set out to own the print with the launch of their fledgling fashion brand La Ligne (French for "The Line") that, like its name suggests, is all about the line (aka the stripe). And already, the brand has stirred up some buzz among both the fashion and celebrity sets.
But let's start from the beginning. Melling and Boster were once editors at Vogue, who ventured out on their own to launch a consulting brand La Marque; but it wasn't until they met Howard, the head of business development at Rag & Bone, in 2013 that they put their plans of a stripe-centric fashion line into motion.
"It was really important every piece felt like it was second skin, felt comfortable, and easy to wear," Howard says. "I want it to be the kind of clothing you can keep wearing even after a long day, you can sit down and watch TV, and not feel like you need to take your pants off. It's clothing you can eat, sleep, drink, and dance in."
Comfort was definitely a priority, but the key element is, obviously, the stripe. Well, only one particular kind of stripe, that is. Melling is quick to point out that the ones at La Ligne are less preppy and nautical, and "more French girl cool." "When we were talking about starting this collection, we referenced the fact that even though we had closets full of outrageous clothes, there are always six pieces we go back to," she explains. "In designing La Ligne, we wanted to make something that would become one of the six pieces in your wardrobe, or if we're being honest, all six."
The line is divided into two collections: 1. Essentials, a core range make up the foundation of the brand, comprising pieces like comfy lined tees, terrific shirting, piped pants, and bold color-blocked hems; and 2. Edition, a seasonal rotation of experimental, trendier styles in their continual reinterpretation of "the line." What does that look like for this season? "We're definitely hitting you over the head with stripes, since we aim to be synonymous with the stripe," Boster says. "Going forward, it could be anything from pleating to fringe to seams, playing around with what lines and stripes could be."
Everything is up for grabs starting today exclusively at lalignenyc.com and in two weeks' time at net-a-porter.com. With the launch, La Ligne has started to roll out "In Line" portraits of women ranging from Sofía Sanchez de Betak to Allison Williams, six today, and two a week following (there will be 40 total). Each woman is shot with a piece that she has selected from the collection and styled to reflect her personal style, complete with a playful, handwritten Q&A. "We think it'll help show women how they can make La Ligne their own," Melling says. "It's very personal; we're really excited about it."
Another cool feature? Each sold item comes with styling notes that illustrate multiple ways a consumer can wear it (the pareo can be worn as a scarf and as a dress, if you're so inclined). It's very editorial of them—just the kind of thing we'd expect from two former fashion editors.
While La Ligne is e-commerce only, there are plans and hope for a brick-and-mortar store down the line (pun intended), along with a full accessories range. But in the meantime, we suggest (digitally) lining up for a piece from La Ligne ASAP, and take a look at a behind-the-scenes video of the In Line portrait photo shoot, below.