By Alison Syrett Cleary
May 01, 2017 @ 11:15 am
Courtesy of R|Label

Have you ever suffered through the near impossible task of finding a reliable pair of leather leggings? Maria Peevey, founder of The Reset, an online community for women embracing change in their lives, can relate. “I’ve bought many pairs,” she says with exasperation. “And they all got baggy after one wear and never looked good again.”

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Going forward, that won’t be a problem for her or, she hopes, for you either. What she touts as “buttery soft” faux leather leggings that look impossibly real and never, ever stretch out are one of the key wardrobe building blocks coming up in her new basics-focused R|Label, debuting on The Reset today.

The rest of the selection is packed with equally classic and flattering fare, like elegantly draped trench coats and easy silk tops, specifically designed to streamline the often overwhelming process of getting dressed.

Courtesy of R|Label

“I felt like I was stuck on ‘the freeway of fashion,’ with too many options and nothing to wear,” Peevey explains of her initial inspiration. “I just wanted effortless, go-to pieces that look great on my body, but there wasn’t one single brand that had everything I needed. Looking good shouldn’t be so hard!”

She doesn't want it to be expensive either. So to keep R|Label’s markup to a minimum (nothing, not even the motorcycle jackets, costs more than $185), Peevey is selling every item direct-to-consumer on her website—an intentional move to complement its empowering ethos.

“Our company’s entire reason for being is to give our girl tools to be the best she can be—whether that's with our dot com content, or clothes she feels confident in.” Meanwhile, without any extra overhead to accommodate, the label can put more of its resources toward sourcing premium fabrics, such as sumptuous 18mm silk (most labels use 16mm or less, aka too thin to properly conceal a bra), and the aforementioned faux kidskin, made in Japan.

Courtesy of R|Label

On paper, this seems like a professional departure for Peevey, who made a name for herself in the early aughts by launching SimplyShe, a range of cheeky female-focused greeting cards and lifestyle items that soon evolved into the country’s largest pet apparel distributor through the next 15 years. But after selling the empire she built to a private equality firm four years ago and officially stepping down as CEO in early 2016, she realized her own personal struggle to start over was actually the key to her second career. “At that point in my life, I was looking to find passion again. And for me that’s always been about helping women in any way, shape, or form I can. Everything I’ve done so far has led to this place.”

Now, after an entire job overhaul in just 12 months, the debut designer is refining her work with small, impactful changes. "These are evergreen pieces you can wear throughout the year, so we aren't modifying or taking anything away," she promises. "Instead, we will expand with new colors, materials, and silhouettes that fill the empty slots I call 'the white space of your closet.'"