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If its massive HQ isn't any indication, Lucky Brand clearly likes to think big. When we last checked in with the heritage-inspired company, it had just settled into its sunshine-filled digs in DTLA's Arts District. In August, the label will reveal its 6,000-square-foot flagship—its biggest retail footprint to date—at highly-anticipated mega-development The Point.
Founded in 1990, the now-privately-owned brand has since expanded from its signature vintage-washed, LA-made denim to a complete Cali-bohemian lifestyle collection. The label has fresh top brass, too: in addition to nabbing former Restoration Hardware CEO Carlos Alberini, Lucky Brand scored industry vet (and East Coast expat!) Kin Ying Lee as its new chief creative officer.
In addition to unveiling its largest store this summer, the label is in the process of re-launching its non-profit organization, Lucky Brand Foundation. The move is part of new head honcho Alberini's vision to do business better (he's a fan of the best-selling tome Conscious Capitalism), which includes paid days off for employees to volunteer, free in-office yoga classes, and other cool perks.
We recently revisited the brand's 46,200-square-foot HQ, a sunshine-welcoming, two-story space inspired by 1940s architecture. Featuring Art Deco-esque touches like bricked walls, tiled floors, and industrial fixtures, the interiors reflect Lucky Brand's new retail look.
After exploring the Downtown office, we sat down with Lee—who helped launched Madewell and previously designed for Abercrombie & Fitch, among others—to chat more about her new post, how being a new Angeleno inspires her designs, and more. See more inside Lucky Brand's space in the gallery above and read on below.
What are some of your favorite design touches in the space?
One of my favorite things about Lucky Brand's headquarters is the amazing light that comes in. The space has skylights and beautiful windows, so the building always feels bright. There's also a great contrast between the refreshing greenery and cactus right next to industrial elements like the train tracks. I love that juxtaposition. The space also has incredible scale—there are super high ceilings and beautiful corridors with light pouring in—it feels big but inviting at the same time.
What do you love about the office's location?
Our office is in the heart of The Arts District in Downtown LA. There's such a buzz with all of the new coffee shops like Blue Bottle, Blacktop Coffee and Stumptown, restaurants like Bestia, Factory Kitchen, Café Gratitude, Church & State, and The Springs, as well as cool boutiques like Poketo, Matteo Home, Alchemy Works and Hammer & Spear, all of which are within walking distance.
The area is full of repurposed industrial buildings that house an artistic and creative community. It's also great that the office isn't far from my home in Los Feliz!
What's your design process like, and where do you go to find inspiration?
Lucky Brand's heritage is an unending source of inspiration. The brand's pillars are rooted in moto, Americana, music and Southern California, so just looking back at the history of the brand is inspiring in itself.
I'm also new to California, which definitely has a different feel from New York and a style that I've found to be very inspiring; it's a great source of creativity, vintage influences and design. I'm trying to soak it all in.
How has designing for Lucky Brand been different than your work at other major fashion companies?
At Lucky Brand, I'm so inspired by the fact that we are one of the first premium denim brands. The roots are what drive my design and vision, so it all stems from a really authentic place. I'm so excited to bring the best out of Lucky's heritage and design a relevant, elevated product that I would want to wear every day.
How has Lucky Brand's aesthetic changed since you joined the team?
Lucky has spent a lot of time evolving denim and bohemian. We want to pay attention to what women and men want to wear now, while focusing on quality, texture and an attention to detail. California and LA are also having such a strong resurgence—there's so much creativity and energy here, which is all part of Lucky's DNA.
What are a few of your favorite pieces for spring and summer?
It's hard to choose! Our jewelry is a definite favorite. I'm obsessed and so inspired by what we've got going on in the collection. We have a modern metals story that I love as well as more bohemian styles.
Our new bag collection, The Point, is also really beautiful. The leather is incredibly rich and has an amazing feel to it. My favorites are the tote and the drawstring bags. We also have this great indigo kimono jacket. It's casual but on-trend. I love all things indigo and this speaks to that in a really cool way.
What's the one essential Lucky Brand style every wardrobe needs?
Everyone should have an amazing pair of jeans in a fit that works for them. I love our Brooke jean. It's a perfect mid-rise fit and the fabrications are incredible. It comes in our Ultra Luxe Italian Selvedge denim that feels so soft and has great stretch and recovery. It's my go-to fit and looks flawless on everyone.
What can we expect from Lucky Brand in the future?
Lucky is a true lifestyle denim brand—in the future we see ourselves as a denim business that continues to thrive with the expansion of iconic and wearable pieces that work well in a modern wardrobe.