What a Year!
HRC visiting our new Madison Avenue store (above) was definitely up there on our list of amazing moments this year. Check out the rest of our highlights below. xo Rachelle
1. Tracy Anderson Partnership
Last January, I discovered Tracy Anderson's online classes and had my fitness life changed forever. As a busy mother of two who also struggles with anxiety, these workouts have helped me strengthen my body and calm my mind. Most importantly, they have made me feel more powerful in my own skin, and that is something I wish for all women. We kick-started 2019 with a collaboration that was both fun and motivational:
2. Our First Embroidery Workshop
February marked the start of our oh-so-fun embroidery class series. Can you believe we've hosted ten since then? They have become such a "thing" for us that we are ramping up for even more classes in 2020. Come learn to stitch with us!
3. DVF Collaboration
When Diane von Furstenberg calls you up to schedule a meeting to talk collaboration, you don't think twice. Our "love is life" and "fear is not an option" sweaters launched last February and were followed by a line of "In Charge" sweaters this winter — hand stitched in Diane's own handwriting.
4. NYPL "Love and Resistance"
Also in February, we partnered with the New York Public Library to celebrate the launch of their incredible exhibition, Love and Resistance, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots — a flash point in LGBTQ history. We were so honored to produce these "love and resistance" sweaters in collaboration with the library. Each one sent $100 back to the library and its programs.
5. Extraordinary Women Contest
In honor of International Women's Day in March, we treated 13 remarkably inspiring women from across the country to a well-earned weekend off in New York City. After receiving over 500 submissions in which friends and family nominated the extraordinary woman in their life, a final group was selected — each one a true thread holding their communities together. They stayed in the Ludlow Hotel, met Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, were made up and shot by world renowned photographer Pamela Hanson, and wined and dined with our team. Then they were sent home with giant gift baskets (including personalized sweaters) and new friends to write to. It was a weekend that I know I will personally never forget.
6. Japan Trip
Over Spring break, we headed to Japan to launch a trio of embroidered cashmere travel sets with The Luxury Collection. I will never forget this incredible trip through Kyoto and Tokyo with my family and team. My favorite travel motto (and embroidered saying from our collection)? "Travel light, be heavy." While in Japan, we also managed to sneak some sweaters onto the sales floor at Isetan!
7. "It Takes a Village" Mothers Day Campaign
For Mother's Day, we rounded up some of my favorite mamas to help launch our new cardigan sets. The photos were cheerful and fun, and gave me an excuse to hang with my busy pals!
8. Limited Edition Sweaters
In May and June we got our creative juices flowing. First we partnered with NYC's Fashion Institute of Technology to create these hand dip-dyed indigo, limited edition cashmere sweaters which sent $350 each back to the school's scholarship program. Then, in June, we followed up with our rainbow striped "love is love" sweaters for Pride month. They sent $100 each to the Ali Forney center, who's mission is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.
9. Tiny Pricks Project
We made our first "i miss barack" sweater as a sort of cathartic response to Trump's proposed anti-Muslin travel ban in 2016. My friend, Diana Weymar, similarly picked up her needle and thread in the wake of the 2016 election, stitching "I am a very stable genius" into a piece of needlework her grandmother had created in the 1960s. Thus began a daily practice that magically grew into a beautiful community of artists from around the world. Since then, contributors have been stitching tweets and quotes by #45 into vintage textiles, creating a material record of his presidency and of the movement against it.
We were so excited to bring Diana and her Tiny Pricks Project into our Bleecker Street store over the summer and to help it grow to well over 2,000 pieces. And, the project is still growing! Get involved here.
p.s. – This exhibit got LOADS of press, but I think we can all agree that this Talk of the Town feature was a major milestone moment! We were all so excited!
10. Fight Like a Mother
In July we hosted Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action and author of Fight Like a Mother in our store for one of the most inspiring Q&As I've ever been a part of. You can watch our conversation in full here. Shannon and her posse of badass moms (including Julianne Moore) serve as a firm reminder of the power of a mother's love and commitment to making the world safer for her children. This sweater sends $100 back to Moms Demand Action. Shop here.
11. Summer Wares
We expanded our line this summer with these limited edition Swimsuits (a collab with Rochelle Sara) and our 100% recycled dip-dyed tees. While no longer available, we learned a lot from this experience and are getting excited to bring more warm weather items next season!
12. Margaret Atwood – The Testaments
The collaboration to end all collaborations. A moment in time that I can only describe to you as what living in a parallel universe might feel like, we actually collaborated with THE Margaret Atwood on a super limited, hand embroidered, hand signed and numbered edition of The Testaments this September. When we unleashed said books onto the world, they sold out in six minutes, making my insides all warm — our community dug Atwood as much as me, what a joy! The book and its accompanying sweater series sent money to Equality Now, a cause Ms. Atwood personally picked! You can still buy the sweaters here.
13. Day of the Girl
For Day of the Girl in October, we excitedly launched two items, which both gave back to girls. One, the "day of the girl" dolls we made with Rose & Rex, sold out twice and sent 100% of proceeds to WomenOne, a charity started by my friend Dayle Haddon. Second, our "Educate Her" sweatshirts were such a hit we had to move to sweaters when stock got low. We were so grateful for the support we saw with these — check out Cindy Crawford in hers! Shop products we have left from this collaboration here.
14. FEED "Come Together" Bags
We partnered with my friend Lauren Bush Lauren's company FEED on this limited edition, hand stitched tote in November. We were inspired by the notion of coming together in the spirit of giving. Each bag purchased provided 100 school meals to fight childhood hunger.
15. Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda is a true force of nature. A leading voice in the battle against climate change, she's been getting arrested in DC almost every Friday for the last 3 months! She even spent her 82nd Birthday (December 20th) in jail! I'm sure you can imagine the screams that were elicited by our team upon seeing Jane showing off her LF not once, not twice, but on four very public occasions. You can still purchase this sweater, which sends $100 back to the Arbor Foundation. Jane represents true life goals for all of us here at LF.
16. New Madison Ave Store
In the midst of the usual seasonal chaos, we managed to open a 3,500 sq foot store on Madison Ave — our second brick and mortar location. Hand painted wall-to-wall by the unstoppable Pauline de Roussy de Sales, our new home includes our version of an atelier on the top floor where we've already welcomed new friends with two embroidery workshops. It's been a total rollercoaster in the best way possible and we are excited to see what 2020 brings for us uptown!
17. Paul McCartney
Last Spring we had an exciting email hit our inbox. Paul McCartney had a new tour coming up and was wondering if we could stitch some sweaters for it. After we confirmed that it was the REAL Paul McCartney's team, and had a mild freak out session, we got to work planning what we would create together. The result of months and months of back and forth (with Paul himself weighing in on color and phrase choices) we finally had our two favorite sweater sayings picked out. These limited-edition sweaters have been lovingly embroidered here in NYC. Much like Paul's songs, they're meant to inspire meaningful conversations around issues of cultural and social relevance.
Read more about this collaboration in Billboard Magazine here, and click the photo to purchase!
We introduced a lot of exciting things this year, including two rounds of sweatshirts, a delicate and chic Haute Victoire charm necklace (followed by an equally chic gold charm pin), a hand sculpted porcelain candle, boiled cashmere beanies, and even a trunkshow of things I picked up in India, but below, I'd love to highlight some more of the sweaters we made that gave back to cool organizations:
– "Being human" sweaters for RxArt, whose mission is to “help children heal through the extraordinary power of visual art.”
– "Brave not perfect" sweaters for Reshma Saujani's "Girls Who Code" organization. Watch our live Q&A!
– Rachel Cargle's "decolonize intellect" sweaters, which helped support her work spreading antiracism, intersectional feminism and the dismantling white supremacy. Watch our live Q&A here!
– These "unpave paradise" sweaters for Earth Day which gave back to the Adventure Project. Watch our live Q&A!
– "My body is not a political playground" with Samirah Raheem @thisishowilook which sent money to @yellowfund in Alabama and @amazinggraceconservatory in LA.
– Elaine Welteroth's "more than enough" sweaters, which celebrated her book launch and sent $100 each to The Lower East Side Girls Club. Read more about this collab here.
– "In love there is no violence" sweaters for Sanctuary for Families, the largest legal service provider for survivors of gender based violence. Watch our live Q&A!
– Kristen Bell's "no kid hungry" sweater which sends $100 back to the No Kid Hungry organization.
– "We the people" sweaters for the broadway show What the Constitution Means to Me. Proceeds go back to Supermajority organization.
– "Home is where the love is" sweaters with actress Rachel Brosnahan that sent $100 each back to Covenant House.
– "Let boys cry" sweaters to celebrate Liz Plank's new novel. They sent money back to the A Call to Men organization. Watch our live Q&A!
– Our "Harriet" collaboration with Focus Features, worn by actress Cynthia Erivo. Each one sent $100 to the HBCU Foundation, which provides programs, scholarships, internship and career opportunists to students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
– "It's okay to feel blue" sweaters for "Your Mom Cares." These Hollywood mamas quickly became our favorite people to hang with. We love what they are doing in the world for children's mental health. Watch our live Q&A!
– We partnered with Focus Features on three sweater styles for the Downton Abbey movie —all of which would please Violet Crawley. Each one sends $100 to Stand up to Cancer and are still available here.
Cool Trunkshows We Hosted:
– Carey Lowell's delicate, hand-sculpted Hummingbird ceramics were the perfect fit for our first ever trunkshow in our new store. A portion of her candle sticks sent money to the Caliber Collection. You can still shop this trunkshow here.
– Our Batsheva collaboration this December placed hand embroidered poems on her glorious gowns.
– Edie Parker is an easy favorite for all things accessories. Our favorite picks are still available to shop!
– I've adored Alix of Bohemia's hand made jackets since I first laid eyes on them years ago. We were so honored to feature some of her chic creations in our stores and online. Shop the collection here.
Even More Conversations we've had:
– Author Sloane Crosley on her latest book Look Alive Out There.
– Jessica Yellin, the new queen of news reporting.
– Authors and besties, Lydia Fenet and Mary Guiliani, on their new books that launched on the same day!
– Actor Alysia Reiner and author Jessica Abo on parenthood, gender roles, happiness and Alysia's new film Egg.
– Former Obama White House staffers, Andrea R. Flores, Eleanor Celeste, and Molly Dillon reading from their book, Yes She Can.
– Jason Baumann and Eric Marcus on the legacy of Stonewall and the NYPL's Stonewall exhibition.
– Cindy Eckhart on female viagra and "Women on Top."
– Jordan Salcito and Hilary McCain, founders of Ramona and Sweet Reason, on being woman entrepreneurs in a male dominated field.
– Erin Loos, founder of "She Should Run" on women in politics and what 2020 has in store.
Some things that made us scream out loud included seeing Maya Rudolph on SNL in our sweater (last week!); celebrating Gloria Steinem's 85th Birthday; greeting Reese Witherspoon at our trunkshow in Brentwood; finding out Antoni's a fan, along with NPH, Nate Berkus, Tina Fey and more; having the Resistance Revival Chorus take over Bleecker Street at our TPP opening; making baby favors for a soon to be born Royal; listening to Katie Couric play piano; hanging out with Kamala Harris; and seeing hundreds of you order this Chrissy Teigan inspired sweater.
WHAT A YEAR IT'S BEEN!!!!
Do you want to know my very favorite though? It's seeing all of YOU wearing your sweaters! Wishing you all a restful, hopeful and joyful end to 2019. xo Rachelle