About Us

My Story

It all started with a stitch – literally. No grand plan, no big idea. One weekend I was just looking to burn off some anxiety and turned to embroidery (a craft my grandma Rita taught me when I was a young girl in Nebraska). I picked up an old cashmere sweater, a needle and thread and LF was born – a subversive underground movement to counteract the forces of mass production, mindless consumerism, and the patriarchy. Just kidding (kind of).

Lingua Franca started as a small line of sustainably-sourced, fair trade luxury cashmere sweaters, all hand-stitched by women in NYC. Today, we have expanded to include several categories of hand embroidered items for you to customize as well as seasonal ready-to-wear collections, several accessories, and even wallpaper! Tomorrow? Who knows what we will morph into. I hope that we will continue to grow into a super compelling company that keeps on engaging in our world. I hope we add to the world, not take from it. I hope to stay on my toes, and continue to be humbled and inspired by the people I meet along the way. I hope we are able to see the humor in things and find the joy. And, I hope to call out and celebrate the absurd. I’m excited! -xo Rachelle

We Care. A Lot.

"Give a Damn" has been a motto for us from the start. From day one we've been passionate about creating a community made up of people who care. Using our platform and our customers' purchasing power to give back in such a meaningful way has been one of the best surprises and pleasures for me personally. To date, Lingua Franca has helped raise over a million dollars for more than 200 charities.

If you're curious, we track each organization and the amount donated in this spreadsheet, updated quarterly. We look forward to continuing this journey of giving back together and are so grateful to have your support!

We also care a lot about what and how we make what we make! We strive to produce the best quality of luxury goods in the most ethical, sustainable and thoughtful way possible. We often offer pre-sales before going into production on our ready-to-wear lines to help keep overproduction to a minimum. We carefully and rigorously vet every member of our supply chain. We know we can do better and will continue to listen and learn from leaders in our industry. 

"can't fake the funk" Short Sleeve  Lingua Franca NYC

My Muse

My mother-in-law and muse, Janet MacPherson was a Mexican-American single mom and pioneering force for female surfers in 50s and 60s Malibu. Janet was top of mind during the start of Lingua Franca – she surfed in cashmere sweaters before the wet suit was invented and the first sweater I embroidered was one of her old ones, lying around our Montauk house. She's the woman in the black and white photo that adorns every box, bag and card here, and was the inspiration for our first phrases. I was in awe of her, and I adored her from the first time we met.You can read more about her here:

Janet MacPherson, First Wave Feminist Surfer - NYT

There were so many Janets: single mother, surrogate father, champion surfer, entrepreneur, snob who didn't like snobs, female trailblazer who wasn't particularly interested in feminist politics, and the list goes on. Her stories are endless. This collection hopes to tell just a few. I hope she'll inspire you too.

Familiar Faces

The World Of LF

We have loved harnessing the power of both celebrity and fashion to not only raise money for important causes, but to spread awareness.

Our sustainably sourced and hand-embroidered in NYC sweaters, with thought-provoking and culturally resonant phrases – quickly cultivated a strong following among leaders in the fields of entertainment, art, and politics. Luminaries including Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Joan Didion, Huma Abedin, Ai Weiwei, Mindy Kaling, Martha Stewart and many more have embraced our brand organically for our outspoken commitment to sustainable slow fashion, artisanship and giving back. -You may recognize some of the familiar names and faces spotted in LF sweaters. Start your own custom sweater here.

Email us at info@linguafranca.nyc for bulk ordering or wholesale needs.

Customer Service 

For customization, order inquiries, or general questions, please email us at info@linguafranca.nyc
We look forward to hearing from you!