Originally posted on Lisa Says Gah
Lyndsey Butler was born in Texas and at the tender age of 18 she moved to New York. At twenty-one, she got her first job in fashion and after spending a few years in the industry, accumulating all the necessary know-how, this Dixie transplant decided to create the perfect leather jacket, thus launching VEDA. With an emphasis on fit and materials of the highest quality, Lindsey sees leather as an elegant layer between you and the elements of modern living.
Now, VEDA has your entire wardrobe covered and still holds fast to Lyndsey's founding principles. Lisa Says Gah takes you to the Chinatown headquarters of Veda for a chat with Lyndsey about the first leather jacket she loved, starting a business at twenty-three and valuable lessons learned through collaboration.
Q: How did you go about naming your company? Does "Veda" have anything to do with the Hindu Vedic texts?
A: It does! In Sanskrit, Veda means “truth,” which is something I cherish and actively seek.
Q: Who do you imagine wearing your designs? Do you have a muse in mind?
A: Initially, I just imagine myself wearing it. That is the easiest mental leap. After that, I think about my friends, the Veda team, and my mom.
Q: How does your community influence your collections?
A: I live and work in Chinatown, and I love the wild print and fabric mixing I see on my daily walk to work. In general, I find downtown NYC incredibly vibrant and inspiring in the way of style.
Q: Do you work alone? If not, tell us about your team.
A: I LOVE my team! I also LOVE being alone, so it’s a tricky dance. I want to be present and engaging when I am at the office, but I also like to put my head down and get lost in work.
Q: Where do you source inspiration and how do you organize it? Do you have a sketchbook, make mood boards or use Pinterest?
A: All of the above, though I am more of list writer than a sketcher. It is easier for me to describe what I am thinking verbally and then create it visually.
Q: What themes are influencing your work right now?
A: Art, literature, and travel are usually big influences every season. We are working on our Resort collection, and we’ve been looking at a lot of work by the painter Ana Mercedes Hoyos, and the photographer Uta Barth. I’ve also been reading some Kinky Friedman novels. He’s witty and great.
Q: Can you tell us about your process of designing a collection? What is the lifecycle of design at your company?
A: We start every collection with inspiration and color. Usually, it begins as a series of conversations between our Design Director, Jess Cambronero, and myself. After that, we start sketching and merchandising. Because we develop 90% of our samples in our studio, we quickly jump into prototype sampling and make changes to each style at the different stages. I am always pleasantly surprised when it all comes together. It’s very rewarding to see that you aren’t crazy and that there were a plan and vision in the final designs.
Q: Materials obviously play a huge part in your line, tell us about why you choose the main ones you do.
A: The original concept behind VEDA was to create the perfect leather jacket. That said, we are always bringing in new materials to work with our leather core. This Fall we’re working with a wide wale cord, and also a lush silk velvet.
Q: What do you think holds people back from starting a business?
A: Starting a business is scary. Typically in life, you have someone telling you what to do in some capacity, whether it is a parent, or a teacher, or a boss. It can be scary to realize there isn't anyone else above you in the hierarchy. You are the end of the line. It can be a lot of responsibility.
Q: As a business owner, what advice would you share with someone interested in starting a company?
A: Have confidence. Be bold, but also flexible. Be humble. Ask for help and guidance along the way.
Israeli-born Nili Lotan launched her line of easy, sophisticated women’s clothing in New York in 2003 and quickly became the go-to designer for modern urbanites. An understated elegance informs Lotan’s collection, which features simple, exquisitely tailored silhouettes and generous cuts that deliver comfort along with style.
Lotan's simple design philosophy is pure and sophisticated. A woman's wardrobe should reﬂect her lifestyle and function as an extension of who she is.
“Selfishly, I design for myself,” says the Israel-born, New York-based designer. “I do what I feel, need, want. I work very intuitively, and the life of a working mother has certain needs and that’s what I’m trying to address. I actually call my collection ‘my wardrobe.’”
Lotan's "wardrobe" consists of subtle, luxurious separates in low-key shades of gray, navy, ivory and black. Everything goes with everything, season to season. In fact, while Nolan lives in Tribeca, travels all over the world and is up on trends, her line doesn’t scream “fashion.” It whispers cool.
That’s why models and celebs gravitate to it, especially when they’re off-duty. Chanel Iman rocked Lotan’s seductively sheer halter dress at a benefit last spring, and Karlie Kloss was dreamy in a creamy cabled sweater and textured winter white wool coat during February’s New York Fashion Week.
Nili Lotan is a favorite particularly with the sophisticated, but effortlessly chic crowd, always nailing the perfect amount of slouch in a sweater or pant. Her knack for dressing the cool girl forever prevails.
Shop her spring 2017 collection in store today.
after taking some time off from the chaos that is often apparent with the fashion industry, rodriguez left his signature line, robert rodriguez, behind to launch a new and improved label that better translates to the modern woman's effortless state of mind.
the exclusive R/R brand is full of elevated essentials ideal for mixing and matching. whereas the robert rodriguez collection was very trend-driven, the R/R Studio line is made for today's modern woman, inspired by the everyday lifestyle of the busy career woman on the go.
keeping key questions in mind like, "how do women go to work?" "how do they go out at night?" "what is their day-to-day like?" rodriguez explained that no one dresses exclusive, head-to-toe designer anymore, and that mixing and matching brands and accessories has carried over from street style to everyday style.
consumers can expect a laid-back, individualistic style from the R/R Collection. from casual, loose-fitting tops and comfortable cashmere to embroidered lace dresses and stunning drape-front coats, pieces are meant to be layered together that can be easily dressed up or down.
stepping away from his label allowed rodriguez the clarity needed to curate a clothing line representative of the minimalist yet luxe aesthetic many lines, and women, are gravitating toward.
Photos Courtesy of Warm
Winnie Beattie and Tracy Feith have shared a love of vibrant prints, ‘70s surf culture, and dreamy imperfections long before they teamed up last year to launch Warm.
In the ‘90s, a young Winnie Beattie—a transplant from the Midwest who had come to the city to work in fashion—was walking through Nolita and became entranced by a “teeny closet of a store filled with vibrant clothes.” The store was the eponymous boutique of Tracy Feith, and the rest is history.
Winnie is chatting with us from her summer shack in Amagansett, where she’s holed up with her “surf-and-skate-obsessed family,” combining her vacation with work for the next Warm lookbook and designing the brand’s Pre-Fall collection with Tracy, who will fly over from L.A. to join the working holiday next week. West Coast to East Coast, city to beach—it’s all part of the lifestyle that Warm is built around. And to illustrate this sensibility, Winnie is taking us back to where it began on the corner of Mott and Houston.
WARM Georgette Canyon Club Dress
“I stood on the corner at a payphone and called 4-1-1 to get the store’s number,” reminisces Winnie about that fateful day. “I called, and Tracy himself answered. I said, ‘Hi, I just discovered your store and am standing about 100 yards away. I’m obsessed with you and have to work for you!’ He said, ‘It’s just me and my girlfriend, but we want to hire someone.” Without putting me on hold, he literally yells, ‘Hey Susan, want to hire somebody? There’s a girl on the phone who loves our clothes, and she’s around the corner.’ I went in right then and sat on the floor with Tracy and Susan [his then girlfriend and business partner], and I told them I had some art school and design experience but that I would do anything. They hired me on the spot!”
Over the next few years, Winnie did everything from design to production—“that exposure was priceless”—and discovered that she had a knack for PR. “I was so obsessed with what Tracy was doing and baffled that bigger designers were knocking him off! I would walk down the street in a Tracy Feith dress, and girls would literally try to buy it off my back. It was very easy for me to help let the world know about his talent.” Eventually, Winnie left the company to pursue her PR career, and the two remained friends.
WARM Floral Petite Maison Dress
When Winnie decided to launch a line to share the name with Warm, the Nolita boutique she opened in 2012 with her husband Rob Magnotta, she knew exactly who to call on. “I certainly understand the vibe, direction, and the Warm girl, but when it comes to bringing that to life, I needed a formally trained design partner, and it needed to be Tracy. It’s our sensibility together that makes it so strong,” explains Winnie. “Warm is different than Tracy Feith was, but there’s still that strong emphasis on prints, color, and ease of wear.”
When describing Warm, Tracy and Winnie often reference an idea of a dream girl. “We both gravitate toward a girl that is natural and easy in her sensibility, a bit earthy even,” Tracy tells us. “We love women who are unfussy and confident in they way they look and dress—who have an underlying sense of cool with subtle nods to skate, surf, music, and decades past.” Winnie adds that she’s, “perfectly imperfect—maybe she doesn’t always wash her hair, and her toenails may be chipped from skateboarding.”
WARM Chiffon Hostess Maxi Dress
That being said, the beauty of Warm is that it works as well over a wet bathing suit with unruly hair as it does at a fancy Hamptons wedding, and versatile dresses are at the core. “I always love a girl in a great dress,” admits Tracy. “We’re driven by color and prints and the surprise mixing-in of trims, texture, and fabrics. I’ve always been known for mixing colors and fabrics in an unusual and surprising way, and that signature is still at the heart of Warm.”
WARM Peasant Woods Wide-Leg Jumpsuit
Inspiration for the Fall ’16 collection came from a Big Sur road trip Winnie took with her husband. “We were so enamored with the natural, rough beauty of that area, so this collection is really dedicated to the central Californian coast in the winter,” she explains—adding that when she and Tracy were designing, they also asked themselves a very important question: “What would people have worn to dinner at Joni Mitchell’s house in Laurel Canyon?” Warm’s answer: rich velvets, shearlings, multi-colored florals, and ethereal silks.
It’s been 20 years since the heyday of Tracy’s stand-alone brand, but Warm is living proof that his vision is as relevant today as ever. Along with Winnie, he’s continuing to make a reality of his his nostalgic, unfussy dream girls. “The Tracy Feith woman has gone on and matured, but she still very much exists,” says Winnie, herself living proof.