Designer Lyndsey Butler is the mastermind behind leather centric womenswear line VEDA. The Texas native turned New Yorker launched VEDA in 2008, with her sights set on creating the perfect leather jacket. Since the collection’s launch, Butler’s ode to leather has expanded beyond the year-round wardrobe staple to incorporate tailored vests, skirts and pants in the covetable material, collaborations and a new shop on Mercer ST.
What was your first job in fashion?
I had an internship at the NY showroom of the Los Angeles-based collection, YA-YA, which quickly turned into a full time position.
Have you always been attracted to working with leather?
I wouldn’t say it was an inborn love. The desire to work in leather was more about filling a void in the market. I wanted to create the perfect leather jacket—that ultimate layer that you never want to take off.
You just opened your first stand-alone store on Mercer Street—how’s it going? Any major surprises?
Well, actually it’s the second coming of the VEDA store. We had a small store on the LES (132 Ludlow Street) from 2009 to 2010. So far, 19 Mercer Street has been amazing. I love that block and we have great “neighbors” (Alexander Wang, V Magazine, 3×1). This month we are doing a soft launch for our custom leather jacket program. The biggest surprise has been that a lot of guys come into the store asking about leather jackets for themselves. So we are cobbling together a small men’s collection that will be available exclusively at 19 Mercer.
Why did you choose SoHo?
Truth be told, it was more about convenience than being in the desirable shopping district. Our office is just around the corner from the store. We are a very small team, so it’s important that we are able to pop by the store regularly to bring over new product or to meet with a customer.
How did your most recent collaboration with Pamela Love come about?
Pamela and I have been tossing around the idea for a couple of years now, but the timing hadn’t been right. Fortunately, we were able to come together last winter and solidify the designs and put the whole thing into motion. I loved the idea of working with someone who was a master of their craft and instead of having her design clothes, or me design jewelry, we sort of married our talents. Pamela focused on the hardware and I focused on the design and fit of the jacket.
Is the Pamela Love collaboration available in your store?
Yes! And it is also available on our website with an assortment of classic Pamela Love pieces that informed the collection, like her signature Eagle Claw bracelet.
We also made the jacket in three limited edition colors that are only available through VEDA or Pamela Love directly.
Are you open to stocking any other lines in your new store?
Right now, I like that the store is a pure VEDA experience. We make one of a kind pieces or limited edition runs in our Broadway studio/factory just for the store.
What is the price point? Is there another edgy, collection you would compare yourself to?
Most of our classic styles range from $800 – $900. We also always have some styles that are mixed with other fabrics like wool, cotton twills or silk to offset the cost and give our customers more affordable VEDA options.
How do you keep your price points reasonable when using real leather?
Price is something I am very conscious of. When working with a raw material that is so expensive (like leather), I try to be conscious of doing other things to keep the price point approachable without sacrificing design or quality.
Do you wear a piece of leather every day?
Yes! This season we introduced several new pant options so it makes it even easier for me to mix it in everyday.