Pauline Nakios founded her line Lilla P in 1998. Lilla P began with a simple tee shirt and has expanded to a full wardrobe of jackets, sweaters and dresses, and is now carried by 1200 retailers worldwide. In 2011, she opened the brand’s first freestanding boutique in the Meatpacking District.
What brought you to open a stand-alone Lilla P store in the Meatpacking District after years of selling your collection of sophisticated separates through specialty retailers?
Our showroom has been on 14th Street for almost a decade. When the small, yet perfectly fitting, space became available on the ground floor, we could not pass up the opportunity. With such great visibility, we knew opening a store would be very helpful from a branding perspective. It also allows us to hear first-hand feedback from the end user, which only betters the brand for our wholesale accounts.
Who is Lilla P? Is there an inspiration that guides the silhouette or color choices?
Lilla was my grandmother and the “P” is for Pauline. Lilla P is a lifestyle collection that caters to the modern woman. She is updated and knows what is on trend but dresses for the real world. We take inspiration from the forecasters but apply it to our line in a more diluted way.
In what way does the line evolve from season to season?
We continue to grow organically and synergistically: adding more tops, new fabrications in cotton blends and textures. We also continue to add categories such as item knit jackets and wovens and we are expanding our sweater and dress categories.
Does your customer return to find the same staple pieces they originally fell in love with?
We have a very loyal following and that customer does come back season after season for some of our core pieces. Some remain the same and others are a version of the favorites.
How does the line relate to brands you are surrounded by on 14th street?
14th Street itself is very high end. The customer shopping at Jeffrey or at Stella McCartney can easily use our layering pieces to pair back with their designer pieces. Our price point is more in line with the stores along Washington Street.
You’ve selected a few accessories to accompany your collection in the store, what can we find when shopping?
We choose pieces that complement our clothing. This season we have done very well with Pono, which is a jewelry line that is known for their amazing resin pieces. We also have scarves, which work so well with our tops.
Has the new store acted as a re-launch in any way introducing the line to a fresh clientele?
We sell to over 1000 wonderful specialty stores and they all represent Lilla P in their own way. The store has allowed us to introduce Lilla P our way- the way we want it presented to the consumer. I love that every day, people leave the Meatpacking District knowing the name “Lilla P!