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Inside the LNA Offices with Lauren Alexander and April Leight

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Photos by Elizabeth Daniels

LNA founders Lauren Alexander and April Leight, both SoCal natives, met through a mutual friend in May 2006. Two weeks later they were seriously plotting a clothing line and the next week, samples were ready. "I remember her saying, 'What do you do?'" Leight said of their first meeting. "I told her I wanted to start a t-shirt line and she said 'Me too.' That was literally it."

LNA began with two t-shirt styles and two tank top styles offered in black or white and since then, the collections have been born from a natural design evolution of wardrobe basics. The line now includes everything from sweaters and skirts to dresses, overalls and those staple leggings that reside in nearly every woman's closet. "[We are] looking at the idea of what a wardrobe staple is," Alexander explained of the brand. "What is basic? Then, expanding on that."

Alexander and Leight, who heard the word "No" on a daily basis when their venture first began, credit their success to their relationship as business partners from Day One rather than simply best friends who started a clothing line. Alexander heads up all design and creative, while Leight keeps track of all things business related, including PR and social media. While the team has been busy wrapping up Fall 2014, celebrity fans like Jessica Alba, Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine are being photographed all over Los Angeles in LNA gear. How's that for a name-drop?

We visited the LNA girls at their spacious Culver City office space and saw where everything from e-commerce to design, fittings and a healthy amount of kale salad talk goes down.

How long have you been in this space?
Lauren: "Six years."
April: "I remember when we signed our five year lease and I thought, 'Oh my god, we have to stay in business for five years!' We're still here and we just had to sign our lease. We're here to stay."

What is your favorite thing about this space?
April: "The location."
Lauren: "I feel like we are removed from all the chaos. There is a very calming vibe here."

Where do you get your inspiration for the line?
Lauren: "Inspiration changes from season-to-season and month-to-month. Sometime it's my friends, who I'm exposed to on a daily basis, sometimes it is a trend or it's a musician. I'm very influenced by music and bands and their sense of style. Travel. It is always something new and it's very organic and instinctual. I like to loosely follow an inspiration. We like to do our own thing and it's very real, it's very wearable for everyday life."

April you handle the business side and all of the social media?
April: "I have to check my Instagram a lot, literally every five minutes because if people tag us or like a photo I'll miss them. I really try to make our fans feel like they know us. If they have a question, I answer it. I don't miss it. I try to favorite their tweets. I'm also hash tagging, looking for LNA, I find hashtags all day long. We did not buy one of our followers on Twitter or Instagram."

What are your favorite off-duty spots in the area?
Lauren: "We go to this one restaurant called Cabbage Patch for lunch because it's farm-to-table organic, really great lunch place."
April: "A friend of ours owns it."
Lauren: "I'm making them put a kale salad on the menu."
April: "The location is great because if we want to go to Venice it's just a fifteen minute drive. It's nothing. There are a lot of really great places."
Lauren: "We get our B12 shots in Culver City."

Who is the LNA customer?
April: "Courtney [of Always Judging] is always in LNA."
Lauren: "The LNA customer is a 16-year-old girl to a 60-year-old woman, the vastness of that is pretty crazy."
April: "We have a photo of Madonna and her daughter wearing LNA."
Lauren: "That kind of sums it up."

Discount alert! Racked readers will get 25% of their next LNA purchase from now until December 31st using code: RACKEDLA. Happy shopping!
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