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Adding to the Line: La Ligne Steps Into Jeans

Denim is the latest addition to the effortlessly cool uniform forged by La Ligne, the direct-to-consumer women’s ready-to-wear label known for modernizing Breton stripes. 

The New York City-based brand launched its first jeans collection Wednesday with three styles named after its founders, former Vogue editors Valerie Macaulay and Meredith Melling, and Molly Howard, Rag & Bone’s former head of business development.

The collection, available in sizes 23-34, includes the Molly, a vintage-inspired rigid straight high rise in a dark and medium wash; the Valerie, a stretch slim fit in black and indigo that feels like second skin; and the Meredith, a semi-stretch cropped flare in cream and black made with 20 percent recycled cotton. 

All La Ligne jeans have a vegan leather back patch, and in a nod to its signature striped tops, feature a singular, linear contrast belt loop. The jeans retail for $195 and are available exclusively at La Ligne stores and on the brand’s website. Actress Selma Blair is featured in the launch campaign.

It was always an ambition to extend into categories beyond the core knitwear it launched with in 2016, said Howard, La Ligne CEO. 

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“We wanted to be super thoughtful and take our time really getting to know who our customer was and what she wanted from us,” she told Rivet.  

Over the years it became clear that La Ligne’s clientele wanted denim, evident by the deluge of inquiries the brand fielded for the jeans it styles with tops in its marketing and e-commerce photography. 

“It was an obvious pairing,” Howard said. However, the jeans used in the photos were mined from the trio’s own closets.

Fate would have it that development for La Ligne’s own denim collection would begin in March 2020, just prior to covid locking down most of the world. 

“Val and I were in L.A. at different wash houses meeting with a denim specialist who was showing us everything about the process start to finish but we had to leave,” Howard said. “There was this day when the NBA got canceled and then Tom Hanks got covid and everyone was like ‘oh, this is for real.’” 

A short pause, however, allowed for more research and learning remotely. “If we were going to enter different categories, we’re doing it right because each category requires different knowledge and a different understanding that you can’t just explode into every category you eventually want to be in,” she said.  

Howard said the denim collection will evolve beyond the initial three styles but stay focused on timeless styles with longevity. “I think of denim as a lifelong purchase. I don’t want people to buy it and move on to a different pair the next season. The idea is really that you can wear these and live with these for a long time.”

La Ligne jeans are produced in Turkey and all trims and fabrics are sourced from Turkish suppliers to minimize its carbon footprint. The brand continues to work with specialists in L.A. and is building up its denim team internally. 

“I think it’s important to understand who you are as a brand and who your customer is as a shopper, and thread the needle on giving them everything they want but also really staying true to who you are,” she said. “And I think the denim does that so perfectly for us because it really is what they’re asking for, but it really is who we are.”