An Introduction To Loup NYC
One of our favorite aspects of working in this industry is having endless opportunity to broaden our community.
This extends specifically to our work with emerging fashion designers. For today's studio visit we turned to The Style Line, who wanted to share more of designer Danielle Ribner's journey in building her brand, Loup NYC - a french inspired label that is made in New York City. After meeting Danielle, we were happy to find a shared connection through Rachel Kozin who works with and knows a few other designers in the Brand Assembly community. For us unifying fashion and friendship is what it's all about. We're excited to welcome Loup NYC on The Assemblist and look forward to meeting, as well as sharing, the stories of more talented emerging designers like Danielle. Check out our chat below and head over to The Style Line for an exclusive second part of this feature.
Please introduce yourself!
I live in Brooklyn and have a relatively quiet life when I’m not working in Loup’s LES studio. I spend my free time reading, being creative, seeing friends and heading upstate some weekends to get away from the hustle of the city.
From fashion to art and everything in between what are your thoughts on the contemporary mentality/movement? How do you think your brand fits into this market?
Now is a really incredible time for expression and creativity. The lines have been blurred a little and there are less rules which make the fashion, art and music worlds so exciting right now. Loup has always been less about trends and seasons, and more about expressing yourself and letting your personality shine through. It feels great to have a brand in a moment where we can experiment and take some risks.
How much of a role would you say community plays in the evolution of Loup? Talk to us about a few key people/places in your network/community that have really helped shape the brand.
Community is huge for Loup – I know every person who works on the line; from the fabric and trim manufacturers all the way to the sewers, cutters and washers. Without that community Loup wouldn’t exist as it is. I constantly learn from them while trying to push them in new directions and get us all out of our comfort zone. Right now I’m developing sweaters for the first time and learning from a manufacturer who has been knitting for 40 years! I’ve been working with some of the same factories, mills, photographers and sales people for years, and feel a real bond to them and the business we’ve grown.
What comes first: design or business? How are you able to prioritize?
It doesn’t matter how great your business skills are, if you don’t have a product people want, it won't sell. I try to immerse myself in the design process as much as possible before I shut that part of my brain off and focus on the business side. Sometimes the day is literally split in two – design in the morning then running the company in the afternoon. The reality is that most of the job of owning a company is dealing with the business side.
Being that you your designs are heavily influenced by Paris what are three authentic elements of French style that you believe are essential?
1) The “no hair and makeup” hair and makeup - trying to stay as natural as possible and true to your personal style, with maybe a swipe of red lipstick once in a while.
2) Mixing masculine and feminine styling - mixing more traditional masculine pieces into your wardrobe, like a workman jacket, sweatshirt or worn-in jeans with something a little girly like heels, ruffles or pinks. I love seeing something incredibly masculine but still letting your femininity shine through.
3) Stripes! I’m the biggest stripes fan and I love how Parisians style a striped shirt with everything.
What is one challenge you think NYC-based contemporary/emerging fashion designers face and how have you been able to overcome this in your own experiences?
NYC is an incredible place to start a business, there are so many resources around and other entrepreneurs going through the same thing. But the fast-paced environment can sometimes be a little overwhelming and you feel that you’re always catching up and trying to achieve what everyone else wants. Over the years I’ve learned to understand my business and my customer much better and make sure to take my time and really do what I believe is true to the brand.
What do you assemble daily?
I will always be somewhat casual and undone. My hair will mostly be messy and I’m never the most dressed-up person in the room. I think this has a huge influence on Loup, as I want to give customers pieces that feel comfortable and will blend seamlessly into their life and wardrobe without feeling like a victim to trends or that they’re trying too hard.