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Wednesday, March 23rd 2011

LNA Designers Lauren Alexander & April Leight Talk T-Shirts

LNA founders and designers Lauren Alexander and April Leight.

In 2007, LNA designers Lauren Alexander and April Leight single-handedly revolutionized the tee, introducing the slouchy men’s-inspired silhouette to the women’s market. Flash-forward to today, LNA tees continue to be the industry standard, and the label has a few new tricks up its sleeve. We talked with Lauren and April about LNA’s origins, keeping in touch with their fans, and the spring 2011 collection.

Shopbop: You launched LNA as a collection of men’s-inspired tees in 2007, before the slouchy look was ubiquitous. What inspired you to create the line?
Lauren Alexander & April Leight: At the time, we were borrowing all of our guy friends’ T-shirts because we loved the way they fit, and we couldn’t find a shirt like that in a store. It was really just about trying to fill a gap we saw in the market at that time.

SB: LNA has branched out to include other basic pieces in luxurious jersey. How important is fabric selection in your design process?
LA & AL: Before we get started on designing a new collection, we always look to the fabric first. The concept of LNA started with finding the perfect cotton for our tees.

SB: How would you describe the LNA girl? The brand’s aesthetic?
LA & AL: The LNA girl is edgy, laid-back, and effortlessly cool. Our goal is always about offering a range of basics and wardrobe staples that suit a variety of different lifestyles. LNA is about taking something basic and making it your own.

SB: You have a blog and an active Twitter account. How important is it to you to communicate with the men and women wearing your label?
LA & AL: Social media has become one of the most important ways to communicate with our LNA fans! Our Twitter account is how we directly communicate with everyone and get instant feedback about LNA. It’s a place where they can see what we are doing every day at the office and find out about the latest LNA news. Our blog is an inspirational platform for us to post what is currently influencing us. You can really get a sense of the type of music we like and what trends we are following.

A designer favorite from the spring 2011: the April Dress.

SB: Let’s talk about your spring 2011 collection. What was the inspiration behind it?
LA & AL: Spring 2011 is really about bringing back the must-have basics! We reintroduced popular styles in new fabrics and updated the fits. There’s a relaxed fit and drape to everything that makes the pieces super lounge-y and luxe at the same time.

SB: If you had to write a soundtrack for the collection, which bands would be on it?
LA & AL: Oh, that’s an easy one! We have a soundtrack for every season!
The Raveonettes – Red Tan
The Drums – Me and the Moon
Surfer Blood – Harmonix
LCD Soundsystem – Home
Wild Nothing – Chinatown
Small Black – Photojournalist
The Black Angels – Yellow Elevator
Phantogram – Mouth Full of Diamonds

SB: Dream celeb you’d like to dress in spring ’11?
LA & AL: Kate Bosworth for sure.

SB: What are your favorite pieces from the current collection?
LA & AL: The April Dress and the Roper Dress. One is a floor-length tank dress and the other is a relaxed-fit dolman sleeve dress. They literally look good on EVERYONE! We wear them with heels, boots, sandals, leather jackets, sweatshirts—the list goes on!

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