Former Vogue editors editors Valerie Macaulay and Meredith Melling, along with former rag & bone executive Molly Howard, cofounded La Ligne in 2016, offering comfortable, quality stripe-centric clothing for women, ideally suited for today’s stay at home lifestyle. “We dress a woman who lives a full and busy life, so comfort and quality are essential,” explained Macaulay. Even so, understandably, as a small business it was not immune to the coronavirus, which initially presented the brand with challenges, from production and supply chain to sales. But as a direct-to-consumer company, they were in a unique position to quickly adapt new strategies, including—most importantly—ones to help benefit those most in need. “We were able to make changes and act quickly to shift deliveries, launch product on different days and add discounts where we could while giving to charity. At the beginning of quarantine, we launched our “giving back initiative, where we offered a 15% discount sitewide and donated 15% of all sales to a different charity each week. This was our way of giving back to multiple charities aiding the lives of those impacted by coronavirus on many different levels,” said Howard. These charities included Baby2Baby, World Central Kitchen, Food Bank for New York City, ROAR NY, among others.
As the situation continues to evolve, La Ligne is focusing on finding creative new ways to engage with its community—both virtually and through socially distanced events. In terms of giving back, the founders are prioritizing their long-term partnership with the Lower Eastside Girls Club (LESGC), which runs an arts, science, and civic engagement Center for Community for young women near the NYCHA housing projects. “Our partnership with the Lower Eastside Girls Club began in 2017 when we donated our Flight Suits to the organization’s fashion department for their October fashion show. It was amazing to see how the girls reimagined our design using paint and embellishments to make their own creations and the confidence they exuded wearing them. They decorated our same Flight Suits again for their Bee Parade in May 2018 in celebration of World Bee Day. By this time, we had become regulars at their annual fundraiser and knew this was an organization we wanted to work with and support in the long term,” said Melling. When La Ligne decided to board up their Madison Avenue boutique in June, they used it as an opportunity to present the boards as “billboards of hope,” and commissioned five girls from the LESGC to create poetry explaining their feelings to hang on display to open the eyes of residents in New York City. La Ligne is currently donating 100% of sales of its iconic Lean Lines Tee to LESGC and its ongoing work, including a newly developed internship and mentoring program. “As a brand, we want to continue supporting all important causes including the BLM movement and the upcoming presidential election. We have donated to a number of organizations including The Bail Project and Campaign Zero and will be identifying an organization that advocates for voting protection to partner with for a future initiative as well,” said Melling.