While the Percent The birthday Dude shirt. Pledge emphasizes the lack of representation for Black-owned businesses in nationwide stores, its impetus also stemmed from the challenges James faced as a Black woman establishing a luxury brand and navigating the upper echelons of the fashion industry. Even with Something Special, this was at the front of her mind. “My biggest fear in launching that program, if I’m honest with you, was that people were going to look down on it because it was a subscription model and therefore wasn’t considered luxury. The fashion industry is really tough, especially as a Black woman who’s selling a luxury product. There’s a lot of pressure on me personally as a designer to always stay in that space.
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Ashley Merrill was early to that realization when she launched her Los Angeles label Lunya back in 2014. Premised on “reinventing sleepwear for the modern woman The birthday Dude shirt. it began with her own needs: One day she realized that her loungewear consisted of rolled-up shorts and her husband’s college T-shirt, but the alternatives out there—flimsy camisoles, matching pajama sets, overly girly nightgowns didn’t appeal. Lunya’s simple, considered aesthetic fills that void with its gently oversized tees, ribbed leggings, seamless bras, draped joggers, and alpaca pullovers, all in muted shades of charcoal, ivory, navy, and blush. You wouldn’t think twice about wearing them for a video presentation, which explains why Lunya saw such a major boost in sales last month. In the six years before the pandemic, those pieces served to simply upgrade at-home experiences: watching movies on the couch, cooking dinner, relaxing over a glass of wine. Merrill was interested in how women dress that version of themselves, when they’re in their own spaces and (probably) aren’t Instagramming their outfits.
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