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La Ligne Will Expand Into Denim for Fall, Opens Store in Greenwich, Ct.

·6 min read

La Ligne, founded in 2016 on the universal appeal of the stripe, is broadening its repertoire.

As it opens its fourth freestanding store in Greenwich, Conn., Thursday, the New York-based contemporary sportswear company revealed it is branching into the denim category for fall — its first official product expansion.

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Founded by chief executive officer Molly Howard, chief brand officer Meredith Melling and chief creative officer Valerie Macaulay, La Ligne looks for its new denim offering to reflect the individual founders’ preferences.

The three different denim styles are based on the partners’ preferences for jeans, which they wear everyday to the office. “Meredith is a cropped flare, which she truly wears every day. Valerie is a skinny jeans girl. She has amazing legs and she loves to show them off in a pair of skinnies and she makes them look so chic and effortless. My style is more of a mom jean,” Howard said.

Howard said there’s a “line” mark throughout the styles, reflecting the brand’s heritage.

“It’s the first new category for us. We’ve dabbled in some accessories here and there and we’ve done collaborations in a lot of different categories. This is a true new offering for us. It has new branding and is a totally different beast,” Howard said.

While the denim prices haven’t been set, she said they will be priced in the contemporary range. As a direct-to-consumer brand, she said it can pass on the savings to its customers and it will be very competitive to its peer group. La Ligne typically styles its product on its website with denim brands such as Frame, Slvrlake and Khaite Jeans. (Howard noted La Ligne Jeans will be less expensive than Khaite.)

According to Howard, they started planning for the denim division pre-COVID-19. “It was really obvious to us that this was the next thing we should launch. Sweaters still are our biggest category by far, and it’s what a lot of people know us for. When we think about styling our products on the website and the e-comm shop, or editorially, a lot of the times our style is influenced by our personal style and the three of us are big denim wearers,” she said.

She said the denim goes back to the original intention for the brand, which is “pared down, not fussy, not precious, French-girl dressing, just a striped sweater and a pair of jeans.” She said they’re constantly getting emails from customers saying they bought the sweater and asking what jeans are they showing on the website, and they end up sending people to other brands. “Why are we not capturing it ourselves?” she asked.

This fall, the jeans will be sold exclusively in the La Ligne stores and lalignenyc.com.

In addition to blue denim, La Ligne is also offering black and cream. “The plan is obviously to evolve the category the way we evolved our main category and to be able to offer many, many colors and many, many styles. Denim jackets, denim shirts, we want to expand in the category, but want to launch with these three specific styles,” Howard said.

The jeans are being manufactured in Turkey.

Expanding brick-and-mortar is another key priority for La Ligne. The 1,250-square-foot Greenwich store at 229 Greenwich Avenue is the fourth in the fleet, joining those in Manhattan, Dallas’ Highland Park Village and Palm Beach, Fla. In addition to its freestanding stores and website, La Ligne wholesales at Net-a-porter, Nordstrom and Matchesfashion.com, as well as Elyse Walker, Hero Shop and Capital.

Along Greenwich Avenue, a bustling shopping street 35 miles from Manhattan, La Ligne joins other well-known retailers such as LoveShackFancy, Rag & Bone, Alice + Olivia, Frame, Saks Fifth Avenue, Club Monaco, The Westside, Lululemon, Great Stuff, Intermix and Richards.

Asked what she anticipates will be the bestselling category in the new Greenwich store, Howard expects dresses will be a key category, especially during the summer months.

“We’re opening the store [Thursday] and we’re in the real summer selling season. Dresses are our bestselling category in the warmer months, especially in our East Coast stores. We can not keep the dresses in store. We launch new product every week. Every week the store will receive new dresses. In the last couple of months, in fact, we’ve been going through our dresses when we launch them. Within the week, they’re sold out at the stores. We’re anticipating this will follow suit,” Howard said.

She said dresses retail from $295 to $595, but the bestselling ones are in the $395 range. The company introduced cotton cardigans to layer over its dresses.

Its bestselling style has always been the Marin sweater ($295) and is available in 20 different colors. Howard said cream and navy are always in the top 10. Now there’s the mini Marin, Marin cardigan and Marin for kids. The original is wool and cashmere.

The Greenwich store carries the newly launched summer 2022 collection featuring dresses in vibrant tones and colorful seasonal prints, including its bestselling Lola ($395) and Stella ($475) dresses, seamless essentials and evergreen styles such as the iconic Marin sweater ($295), and Bastien sweater (295). Custom monogram services are also available.

The shop was designed by Lien Liu, who designed the previous three boutiques. A warm and inviting aesthetic mirrors the shopping experiences in New York, Dallas and Palm Beach, adding some design elements, particularly colors that align with Greenwich such as a deep blush, and the coffee table books. Liu incorporated brass fixtures and detailed crown molding to convey the look and feel of a chic, Parisian apartment, as well as personal objects from the cofounders’ homes.

In celebration of the opening, an exclusive embroidered T-shirt will be available for purchase in the Greenwich locations retailing for $115.

Howard declined to divulge first year sales for the Greenwich store. “All the stores are doing very well. Madison is our best-performing store. Dallas and Palm Beach are pretty neck and neck and are really performed strong, and Greenwich will be the same, if not better than those two,” Howard said.

As for more stores, Howard said she’s hoping to open at least one more store this year and several more next year. In its future is a downtown store in New York, one in Los Angeles (its second biggest market after New York) and next summer, “we’ll definitely do something in the Hamptons,” Howard said.

 

FOR MORE STORIES:

La Ligne Talks Growth and Opening Third Boutique in Palm Beach

La Ligne: Being Nimble in the Age of Coronavirus