Has cradled them
Along the shores of clear bays
And with a love song
Has rocked my heart for life
La Mer (Translated from French)
Today is the day. Release day. The day I’ve been waiting for La Mer is now available in our Online Store. You see currently I only release new products twice a year so it is a pretty rare thing for me. Today is the day that my La Mer Collection is released into the world. To fill up email inboxes, be the content of blog posts the world over, and hopefully the collection will work its way into your heart, and your closet.
What is La Mer. “La Mer” is French for, “The Sea” a nautical themed collection that my brother and I conceptualized after a particularly relaxing Christmas vacation. As my brother and I drove through by snow spotted harsh Midwestern homes of Chicago on the way to Midway Airport we were in the dreaming up ideas of beaches and boats. Even though the vacation was relaxing, I was not relaxed. My brother could tell as he drove me to the airport to fly back to my sunny California abode. I didn’t know what to make the following year and how my brand should change. So over the next hour and a half he helped me get where I needed to go. Our minds clicked together so efficiently during that drive that I thought that if my brother and I were given enough time we could accomplish anything. It was exactly what I needed at the time.
It started with a classic French song that he had emailed me years prior. One that he scrounged the internet for to find the best version. It was from Julio Iglesias…not the Julio Iglesias that you are thinking of. “La Mer” was the name of the song and he said, “You should make that the name of your collection and use that boat that you used on the Seafarer sweatshirt.” After that a lot of the pieces came together and I started brainstorming what I would make. The collection that I am releasing today is honestly only about half of the pieces that I designed because after 5 years of doing this I learned that you have to optimize. For example I had a tank in the collection, one that I think was pretty great too. I was going to use some embroidery on it and it was going to have a contrasting trim along the sleeves. However tank tops (Or A shirts for you Europeans) do not sell that well for me so I had to cut it out of the collection. What’s the sense of making something that won’t sell? It’s the balancing act that designers and all creative types have to deal with. What do I want to make vs what will sell? If you read most designers interviews they will all say that they just make what they love. This is a lie, or at least not the entire truth. In this industry you have to look at your trends and cater to the buying patterns that your customers have given you. To ignore these patterns is absurd. However it sounds cool so designers say it. They make it sound like they have no concern whatsoever for business, when the reality is that they must.
The downside is that you can guess wrong. You can accidently pull one of your better selling garments from production and never know. I almost did. At one point I had removed the Petit Bateau sweatshirt from the collection. I had subbed in another garment. Then at the last minute I added it back because the other garment was going to cost more to produce. Once I received all of the pieces of the collection in the mail my favorite piece was clearly the Petit Bateau sweatshirt. There is a large disconnect from viewing a design on a screen and finally receiving it after you’ve been designing it for months. It quickly rose to be my most coveted piece in the collection. The story behind the collection is that when my parents French friends saw the Seafarer sweatshirt, the first thing one of them said was “Petit Bateau.” It stuck with me and I created this new sweatshirt. I have to thank her because she inspired my favorite piece.
The most fun part of this collection was shooting on site. Prior to this I had always shot in a studio, or a studio like setting inside where you can control all of the variables. Shooting on the beach was so much fun. One of the most fulfilling things since I’ve started this brand, I honestly want to make my next collection just so I can shoot it somewhere. The added variables are such a joy. The sun, the wind, the sand, the boats, the water, all of it. Before I received the results I already had a great feeling walking away from the shoot. As apposed to feeling drained when I left my in studio photo shoots. I was energized and I wouldn’t shut up. I hope all of your enjoy La Mer.