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The Great's Emily Current & Meritt Elliott on Their New Line's Cali Story

Photos: The Great
Photos: The Great

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From designing best-selling denim (and penningtell-all about it), styling leading ladies (Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon, and Emma Roberts, among others), and collabing with brands like PB Teen and Kate Spade, it's clear why creative duo Emily Current and Meritt Elliott tackle their many projects as a team. Since founding their jeanswear label Current/Elliott (which the pair left in 2012) the LA-based multi-hyphenates can't stop, won't stop—and their dreamy new lifestyle label, The Great, proves just that.

Launched late last month, the Americana-meets-Cali-cool spring collection ($95 to $725) is comprised of flouncy basics with deconstructed hems, Victorian-esque lace dresses, collegiate-cool sweaters, slouchy military pants (no denim; that's coming for fall) and more vintage-inspired pieces. Essentially, it's the It Girl version of Little House on the Prairie.

Unsurprisingly, the line was designed for the girl who "treasures her designer pieces as much as her thrift store finds," Current and Elliott tell us. "She wears denim with lace, silk dresses with beat up chucks, something new with something old, like her mother’s locket with her father’s old Levi's." (Sounds a lot like our girl Alexa, no?) Pint-sized style stars also have reason to rejoice: the designers's The Great Little offers tot versions of their brand's silhouettes.

We sat down with the designer duo to find out how the Golden State inspired The Great, where they shop in LA, and more. Read on below and shop the line online here or in-store at Barneys, Ron Herman, a host of other local shops.

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How has California inspired your new line?

Emily and Meritt: We both grew up in Northern California and then met in college at UCLA, so the West Coast has always been the backdrop to our lives and career. While we consider ourselves kindred spirits, the spirit and freedom of California has also played an unspoken role in everything we do together creatively.

What's the story behind the brand's name?

Emily and Meritt: The launch of our first multi-category line is a huge milestone in our own personal and professional journey. To us, "The Great"—which is often used in conjunction with some of the most significant people and historical references, like The Great Depression, Alexander the Great, to name a few—perfectly encapsulates this part of our story.

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What are your favorite pieces and what's your favorite way to style them?

Emily and Meritt: We love the Swingy Army Jacket as an update on proportion to a wardrobe staple. The Ruffle Tee is also favorite—it's our charming take on a simple, classic, American tee.

Where do you go in LA to find inspiration?

Emily and Meritt: We love how it is always summer in LA! The weather allows for people to dress in creative ways, so just walking down the street can prove inspirational. We also love vintage stores, flea markets and vintage dealers who we sometimes coerce to come to our office to show us vintage goodies.

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Where are a few of your fave spots in LA to eat, drink, shop, and relax?

Emily and Meritt: For relaxing, a massage at El Leon or facial with Shani Darden or movies at Hollywood Forever.

We love Abbot Kinney for a stroll, breakfast, and some shopping. The Farmers Market on a sunny day with our kiddos and Griffith Park with a group of friends and a picnic. Echo Park for vintage stores.

For eating and drinking, the sweet latte at Short Cake in the Farmers Market on West Third Street and Fairfax, a green juice from Erehwon, Tinga tacos, or a Larchmont hang with Salt & Straw ice cream or Babycakes.