La Ligne (the Vogue-Loved Label That Perfected Stripes) Launches Denim


Meredith Melling, Valerie Macaulay, and Molly Howard, the three co-founders behind essentials label La Ligne, are no strangers to the pursuit of a perfect garment. Behind their striped staples are decades of observation and image references that have left lasting impressions on what they want to wear (and design) today. Of their musings, one feels most timely: “Meredith won’t say it herself, but she is a bit of a denim icon,” Howard says of her co-founder. “There is this one photo of her wearing a denim-on-denim look that still floats around the internet. I remember the photo from before I even knew her.” 

That very image might have been a sign of things to come for Howard and her co-founders. After nearly seven years of styling La Ligne’s signature sweaters, such as their bestselling Marin or Toujours, with their personal vintage jeans, the three are making their foray into denim with a new launch: La Ligne Jean. 

Photo: Courtesy of La Ligne

The collection—which launches exclusively at La Ligne online and in stores on February 9—is reflective of each of the founders’ ideas of ideal denim. While Melling, Macaulay, and Howard can all agree on stripes (a unanimous yes), their preferred jeans are different. “We all came up with a style that has personal resonance,” Melling says of the new category. “We wanted to get the jeans right—three styles, two washes, all under $200,” Macaulay adds. “It’s robust yet edited. It’s in the spirit of how we launched our main collection.” 

It makes sense that the founders would integrate their individual styles and personalities into their denim launch. Bringing over thirty years of fashion experience to their brand (Melling and Macaulay are Vogue veterans, while Molly Howard is the former Head of Business Development at Rag & Bone), the co-founders’ perspectives are unique. “I have been a jeans girl since I was really young,” Melling says with a hint of nostalgia. “There’s a picture of me with my mom. I’m wearing a cropped flare and Dr. Scholl’s clogs. To this day, that’s the signature silhouette I always wear.” Describing her own take on the wardrobe essential, Macaulay shares, “I’m a tailored tomboy. I borrow from the boys a lot. I love a skinny because I can pair it with a huge sweater or big boot, or something over-the-knee if I’m really going for it.” That’s when Howard chimes in: “I would start by saying, I learn a lot from them. They influence my style a lot,” she says of her two co-founders. “I look my best when I’m in something comfortable. For me, jeans are the core centerpiece of my personal style.” 

Photo: Courtesy of La Ligne

After spending three years developing three signature styles—The Meredith, a high-rise, mid-stretch cropped flare; The Molly, a high-rise, non-stretch, straight leg; and The Valerie, a high-rise, stretch, skinny leg—the trio was pressed to find La Ligne Jean’s campaign lead. Who could embody each of their ideas of the dream denim it-girl, wearing all three styles with ease? One person came to mind: Selma Blair. 

“Selma has layers,” Melling says. “We all remember the Cruel Intentions kiss. We remember her as the nemesis in Legally Blonde. Now, we know her as an individual going through life hurdles [Blair was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018] and coupling that with parenthood. She’s a whole person, and she could give character to each of our styles. She really brought our denim to life.” As it turns out, Blair’s style is the amalgamation of all three co-founders. “Every single jean I put on fit! And I trust I won’t embarrass either my punk or my preppy crowd,” the actress shares. “Honestly, I am just confident I will find a way to style anything they have. Understated perfection, actually.” 

Staying true to their original mission to empower women by encouraging self-expression through personal style, the founders agree that launching a denim capsule collection was always on La Ligne’s radar. “Our whole motto is centered around the idea of luxury essentials, classic pieces that carry you throughout the day,” Melling says of the brand’s direction. “And what’s more classic than denim?” Macaulay answers with one final statement: “It’s a perfect fit, no pun intended.” 



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