Walk the Line

La Ligne co-founder Meredith Melling talks to SL about sophistication and the universal appeal of the stripe—and how comfort and style don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

By Ceta Walters

Portrait by Ungano + Agriodimas

May 13, 2019 10:00 AM

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Stripes. They are at once timeless, classic and cutting-edge—and a perennial in women’s fashion. And that’s exactly what former Vogue staffers Meredith Melling and Valerie Boster, along with Molly Howard, former head of business development for Rag & Bone, were banking on when they launched La Ligne in 2016. Following the direct-to-consumer model, the trio’s NYC-based label now boasts a devout following, including their former boss, Anna Wintour. Turning out two collections a year—Essentials (those classic, evergreen looks) and Editions (more trend-forward pieces)—La Ligne is best known for its seasonal sweaters and outerwear, but has branched out into effortlessly chic dresses, pants and pajamas that always prioritize fun over formality. Here, Melling walks us through her day, her must-haves and her muses—and defines sophistication in the process.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Hit snooze. 

Name one thing that you can’t live without. 

My family.  

What is your favorite piece in your closet?

The La Ligne Marin sweater.

What is the most elegant gift to give or to receive? 

Cartier personalized stationery.

Who or what inspires you?

All the women out there using their voice to create a better future for our daughters. 

Who is your muse? 

Slim Keith.

Most sophisticated person ever? 

Marella Agnelli.

Proudest career moment? 

There are two. Getting hired as an assistant in the fashion department at Vogue in February 1999. And launching La Ligne in April 2016.

What are you reading right now?  

Educated by Tara Westover. 

What is your favorite cocktail? 

A vodka Martini (but wine is my first love, always).

Coffee or tea? 

Coffee with oat milk.

Guilty pleasure?  

Candy, candy, candy.

What’s your favorite country to visit?

Italy.

Most sophisticated city?

Paris. 

Place you go for utter peace?

My bathtub. 

Name your top three vacation must-haves. 

Paravel luggage, the La Ligne Molly Jogger and Hoodie set, and my Heritage Jewelry Family Circle necklace. 

Most sophisticated structure or building? 

The Metropolitan Museum, NYC. 

What is your favorite place to go when you come to Chicago? 

The Art Institute of Chicago. 

No one should ever wear… 

Something they don’t feel comfortable in. 

Everyone should own… 

A classic striped sweater, of course. 

Most universally flattering color? 

Black.

Current must-have from your collection? 

The Mini Marin sweater, the Dress D’été and the Bonne Nuit pajamas. 

Describe your line in three words. 

Striped. Essential. Chic.

How do you define ‘sophistication’? 

A combination of poise, elegance, knowledge and wit.  

lalignenyc.com

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Lean Lines sweater, $275
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Le Poncho, $275
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Marin sweater, $295