MM.Lafleur Work/Shop Champagne Power Lunch
I’ve been a fan of the brand MM.Lafleur since I first learned about them last spring – I’ve talked about them here and here. Their mission of helping career women look chick effortlessly spoke to me immediately. While in New York, Jenny and I were invited to join the team for a champagne power lunch at their Work/Shop in New York and to preview the spring collection. It was inspiring to see the where the magic happens – you can make and appointment to visit their actual workspace and shop directly in person. The team is warm and friendly and reminds me how much effort goes into every single piece of clothing sold and shipment sent. Below is part of our lunchtime conversation with CMO Annie Thorp and Editor in Chief Tory Hoen.
Me: Everyone in the office looks great! What is the fashion culture like in the workplace here?
MM: Each year we have a team offsite to set goals for the year and Miyako (head designer) sets fashion goals for each person in the office based on who they are as individuals and their role in the office. She tells us the designers we should be looking at, the style she sees for the person, and a couple of things to think about trying out this year, etc. She does a photo inspiration to go along with it – for Annie as head of marketing, the inspiration was Angela Houston holding a gun and Prada pumps. Then she got pregnant with her second child and wore flats the whole year. : ) But Annie’s pregnancy was what helped the team realize that a lot of their dresses were already stretchy and made great maternity wear. Now the Ever Collection takes that into consideration. We realized that maternity wear doesn’t have to be something that you wear only when you are pregnant, but something that is just a bit more flexible.
Me: So how can people from the public come here? This really is a Work/Shop – it has such a great, personal feel!
MM: We do one on one appointments here and we also do small events and cocktail parties to bring people in. We do accept walk-ins if people can find us, but since we aren’t ground-level, we generally rely more on appointments. We are still working out the right balance of online and offline business. We are planning to open a pop-up shop in New York for three months in the spring to see how that is received and what it looks like.
Me: Who do you view as the MM.Lafleur woman?
MM: In our heads we want it to be every woman, but we have to narrow it down, even though that seems limiting. She is probably in her 30s and maybe a good 8-10 years into her career and wants to look great in a hurry. She reads Vogue but also the New Yorker…we check in with Miyako when she is designing and ask “would this woman appreciate what we are doing here?” We all have so many choices to make in the day, we don’t want busy women to have to worry about what they are going to wear. The ideal is that you have a closet and you know you can go in and grab something and you know it will look great. That is the kind of clothing we try to make.
MM: Miyako is going for a lot of more swingy, drapey look this spring, which is in contrast to our more structured look from the fall and winter. The outerwear is a good place to start – we are working on a trench. It’s not as structured as a traditional trench and it drapes very well. The trench will be more like a very glamorous bathrobe. We’re also considering introducing a few more prints and separates, so perhaps you’ll wear a structured pencil skirt and a looser top. The idea with the separates is that all the tops go with all the bottoms so you can mix and match.
Thank you for hosting us Annie, Torey and Sarah! What a treat. Looking forward to watching the progress – and getting that trench! : )