After more than a decade each at Vogue, Meredith Melling and Valerie Boster struck out on their own two and a half years ago. It was a bold move—Anna’s top editors tend to stay put—but clearly they had plans up their (perfectly tailored) sleeves: Today, along with former Rag & Bone exec Molly Howard, they’re venturing into the world of design with the launch of La Ligne, a direct-to-consumer clothing line inspired by stripes in all their myriad forms.
Live today on lalignenyc.com and Net-A-Porter April 20, the debut collection includes classic oxford shirts, silky pajama pants, and technical knit sweaters featuring lines of various sizes. Ringer tees read “I’m with La Bande” (a cheeky play on the French word for stripe), and cropped, kick-flare denim features a contrasting band of ivory at the hem.
“It’s been a dream for years,” said Boster at a breakfast toasting the launch in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood yesterday. “We really hit the ground running a year and a half ago for our first meeting, and the last nine months we’ve ate, slept, bled creating the line.”
“Stripes, especially being at Vogue, were always the fun part of getting dressed, something that was very personal to Meredith and myself,” she continued, pointing to the hand-drawn stroke underneath the brand’s logo, which they blew into an all-over print on slouchy white tees. “Part of the voice of the brand is having this human element to it and not being so serious. This hand-drawn line is very much part of our branding.”
While the name of the brand may sound familiar, it’s not to be confused with The Line, the ultra-luxe minimalist retail project helmed by Vanessa Traina. La Ligne, aside from its francophile leanings, is online-only, and prices are on the lower end of the luxury category (and because they’re selling direct-to-consumer, you’re avoiding the usual wholesale markup).
The collection is divided into two parts—Essentials, which encompasses classic pieces that will be available all year round, and Edition, a seasonal interpretation of the theme (for Spring/Summer, this means Hamptons-ready off-the-shoulder tops, wrap skirts, and easy slip dresses in pink and gray stripes). Prices start at $85 for a tank and top out at $550 for a maxidress—a range the founders strived to maintain while still producing the bulk of the pieces in New York City.
“Being at Vogue and seeing the best of the best, quality was hugely important to us. There’s a huge appreciation for craftsmanship—and that’s really expensive,” explained Boster. “We also wanted the line to appeal to people that love fashion but aren’t going to spend $1,500 for a pair of pants. We realize that at $300 and $500, that’s still an investment for a lot of people, so making that still a feel-good purchase and getting the quality and a fabric you love that feels good on your skin and that’s not going to fall apart.” And that, they hope, will have shoppers lined up out the door.
Click through to shop pieces from La Ligne’s debut collection.