10 q’s with the founder of With love, Lenny.
With the successful relaunch of Lenny, we’d like to (re)introduce Lindsey Davidson, the founder of With love, Lenny. Read below to learn about Lindsey, the start and evolution of With love, Lenny, advice on starting your own brand, major style inspo, and more.
Q: Give us some background info - who are you, where are you from. The basics.
A: OK, so my name is Lindsey for those of you who didn't know. Lots of people think it's Lenny, but that's a nickname. I’m from Los Angeles - born and raised and been here all my life. I went to the Claremont Colleges, McKenna specifically and studied advertising. Right out of college I ended up with a job at Fox Sports and worked there for almost four years. The people I worked with were the most incredible human beings, but sports was just not my passion so I started doing wholesale for a fashion brand that no longer exists, which ultimately led to the creation of Lenny. So there’s sort of the long winded answer to that question.
Q: So when it came to choosing a career, you were kind of in between sports and fashion?
A: Correct. When I moved out of the sports world and into the fashion world, my mom asked me, “Do you want to be Marc Jacobs, or do you want to sell Marc Jacobs?” And at first I thought - sell for sure. I love people, I love talking to people - I could sell you this pen if I had to - so I jumped right into sales. But as time went on, working on the sales side of fashion made me realize I wanted to be part of the creative and design process. The beauty of fashion and style is that it is so individual, and I didn’t want to push a product on someone who didn’t really want it because that sort of defeats the purpose of personal style in my opinion.
Q: Tell us a little bit more about the onset of Lenny.
A: Right. Well when Covid hit, the fashion brand I was working for went under. I was out of a job - for the first time in basically my whole life - and I got Covid too so I was stuck in my house for, I think it was 21 straight days, with literally nothing to do. And I’m not a person like that, I can’t sit still, ever. So my husband, Evan, reached out to this company who needed a bunch of stuff tie-dyed. It was mostly just t-shirts, but I really started to gain traction when I decided to start experimenting with other clothing items. In particular, this jacket, I don’t even remember who designed it, was amazing and I thought “I can do that.”So I made a version of this super cool tie-dye jacket and put it on my Instagram and the response I got was just incredible. People wanted it, and were asking for me to make them one, and Lenny just sort of evolved from there.
Q: What were some of your initial thoughts or fears when starting With love, Lenny?
A: I think starting a brand, or your own business is always a little bit scary and uncomfortable. I was initially thinking I would just get another job at Amazon, or Hulu. A job with a steady paycheck and benefits, because that was what I had been trained to do my whole life. But I just decided that I was going to take the leap and I was going to try to do it. And I think that would be my advice to anyone who is thinking about maybe starting their own thing - just try. You never know what might happen until you try.
Q: How did Lenny evolve into what it is today?
A: When I first started, I was making capsule collections with tie-dye pieces. I had no idea what I was doing, I just wanted to make everything that I thought was cool. But I ended up having so much inventory, and felt like I had to continuously crank out new stuff and come up with new ideas. I was exhausted and burnt out, and what started as a passion project became an annoyance of sorts. It wasn’t sustainable and I knew I had to figure something else out. And then, like a gift, I received an email from a woman asking me to tie-dye 5000 custom sweatshirts for Instagram’s first ever Creators week. This was an amazing opportunity, and it was ultimately the first step that allowed me to pivot Lenny into what it is today.
Q: Can you tell us more about what With love, Lenny is today?
A: Yes. So I decided to shift my focus from tie- dye, to denim. I have always been obsessed with denim. Some people collect shoes, I collect denim. Denim is timeless, something you can keep and wear forever, but I wanted to offer something unique while remaining classic. I use vintage denim, and hand-embroider each piece to give the jeans that special touch. Every jean is one of a kind - no two stitches are the same - and I really liked the idea of expressing your individuality with the patterns and colors you’re able to custom choose on the website. I wanted the jeans to work from day-to-night, and just loved the idea of wearing the perfect outfit- jeans, cute top, and heels, but with a little twist to stand out. Your personal style is an extension of yourself, and I think being able to express yourself through fashion is just really beautiful. We are all unique, and so is every single jean. They are all truly made with love.
Q: Explain why sustainability is important to you?
A: The fashion industry in general is especially bad when it comes to sustainability, and I didn’t want to contribute to that. The technical definition of sustainability is the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level, while avoiding the depletion of resources. So, instead of creating our own denim, which in itself takes a ton of resources, we are simply repurposing denim that has already been worn.
Q: Who is the Lenny customer?
A: In my mind, the Lenny customer is anybody. Any age, fun, free spirited, quirky, cool, a little edgy. They want to stand out from the crowd, and I think just do good and look good while doing it.
Q: Where do you get your fashion inspo from?
A: Everywhere. Of course, celebrities like Zoe Kravitz, Kendall Jenner, and Hailey Bieber I mean they always look good. But when it comes to inspiration, I’m more inspired by the things I see in my everyday life. Like the cool looking guy with the rad, crazy, bold jacket - where did he get that? Or this girl I saw the other day wearing a puffer jacket with huge, gorgeous, colorful flowers all over it. Everyday people who dress well and live their lives to the beat of their own drum - that’s what inspires me.
Q: Last question, what are your future plans for With love, Lenny.
A: Right now, we have our core collection which is always available and something we are constantly adding to and evolving. In addition to that, we’re planning very thoughtfully curated capsule collections. Probably 4-5 per year. The next one drops in October - stay tuned, and we’ll have another one out for the holidays that I think everyone is really going to love. I’m super excited about all of it and so grateful to share With love, Lenny with all of you.