Lisa & Lucy Takes Made in New York to Heart

by Vanity Room

The company founder said she’s been using local manufacturing for 20 years in her private-label company, Vanity Room.

By Arthur Friedman on June 23, 2016



Made in New York is nothing new to Geneva Goldsmith and it’s a vital part of the strategy for her new line, Lisa & Lucy.

Goldsmith, interviewed in the company’s showroom in the heart of the Garment District on West 39th Street, said she’s been using local manufacturing for 20 years in her private label company, Vanity Room. This includes facilities in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, as manufacturing in New York dwindled and now is in the midst of a revival.

“I’ve always been able to find the right factories,” Goldsmith said. “What I’ve found is that a few larger companies have now moved their production back here, so it was really helpful that I had great relationships with the factories because some of the factories have kicked out the smaller guys. I’ve had the same sample room since the day I opened and many of the same contractors.”

The company founder noted that the sample room is just a block away on West 38th Street.

Goldsmith said when she started Vanity Room 20 years ago, it was a combination of being a new mother and having familiarity with local manufacturing that resulted in the sourcing strategy.

“The reality is that if you are going to make things overseas and you’re going to do it right, you have to go there,” she said. “For me, that was just off the table. I understood domestic production and I thought, stick with what you know. I like the fact that if there’s a problem, we can go fix it on the spot.”

She agreed with some people that one of the bigger challenges to Made in New York can be the ancillary aspects, such as finding trimmings suppliers.

“What you do is you work backwards,” said Goldsmith, while reviewing Lisa & Lucy’s line, now entering its second season for fall. “There are certain things you can’t do here, so you adapt. But there really hasn’t been anything that we haven’t been able to find.”

Goldsmith said she started Lisa & Lucy as a counter to Vanity Room and its private-label focus.

“It’s been great to us; however, it’s not consistent – you don’t have as much control,” she said. “I thought ‘what can I do that’s branded, where I have more control, something I could grow with my employees,’ a group of women who have been here a long time.”

She noted that when she was trying to come up with a name for the new line, everyone said she should make it personal.

“I said I don’t want to make it personal, since I was behind the scenes for so long,” Goldsmith said. “So I named it after my mom and my grandmother.”

Lisa & Lucy wholesales for $34 to $74, ranging from tops to day-to-evening dresses, with nothing retailing for more than $200.

Fabrics are sourced from all over the world and include woven jacquard prints, heavy knit suede, stretch gabardine, geometric laces and tissue chiffon.

Goldsmith said when she and designer Paola Aguado create the collection, “we make everything we want to wear, we don’t necessarily look at the trends. We look at fabrics and what we think we want to wear and go from there.”

For now, Lisa & Lucy has a boutique store clientele. In the future, the company would like to create capsule collections for individual larger stores, potentially highlighting that it’s Made in New York.

Meet Lisa & Lucy, the New York-Based Clothing Brand You Didn’t Know You Were Waiting For

by Vanity Room


Immediately upon entering the Lisa & Lucy showroom, you know you’re about to see something special. It’s got that classic, Instagram-worthy vibe of a brand that knows itself, led by women with a clear eye for design. Pieces from the upcoming spring launch, the company’s grand entrance into the public eye, line the racks around the office, giving me a clear view of what I’m there to talk to founder Geneva Goldsmith about that afternoon. The clothes were familiar by then—we’d been to the showroom before—but being able to talk to the mind behind is what makes a launch real.

(Related: Supermodel Coco Rocha Debuts Her First Namesake Clothing Line, Makes Us Swoon Forever)

The first thing Geneva said when I asked her about the line was not about the clothes themselves, but rather, about the people that made it possible. She said,

“I think we’re known for making clothes for other people, and I thought it would be nice to do something for us. And when I say ‘for us,’ it’s because a lot of people who work here have been here forever. One’s 10 years, one’s 15 years, and that’s a really, really long time. It’s definitely like a family. We weren’t finding what we wanted out there, so that’s how it all started.”

The idea of family is apparent throughout, especially given that the name of the company comes from Geneva’s mother and grandmother.

The collection itself draws inspiration from Hitchcock, Grace Kelly, and the shopping style that preceded the need-it-now attitude of today’s fast fashion industry. “People took the time to actually enjoy shopping—it wasn’t such a rushed thing,” Geneva said. The whole theme of ease, comfort, and accessibility rings true throughout the line:


Each piece, has its own unique look, that special something that sets is apart, but the bold patterns, colors, and hems unite the entire line. Styles run the gamut from daywear (think striped jersey dresses, skirts, and tops) to workwear (there’s a matching cropped-pant-and-shirt set that comes in both black and blush that could easily transition from the office to a night out, as well as a draped vest that I’d do terrible things to acquire) to flouncy skirts, dresses, and tops with horsehair hems that offer a shape that we’ve never seen before in an affordable contemporary line.

The first run of clothing features more black, blush, and olive green pieces—think on-trend neutrals with lace-up detailing, soft pleats, and updated basics that you might find at ZARA or Mango. It is, to put it simply, clothing that you want to wear, no matter where you’re going. Their lookbook, which you can see in full here, will give you an idea of what I mean.

And that’s what’s so great about the brand: while there’s a piece for every occasion imaginable, it’s possible to transition just about every single one of them into different seasons, venues, and moods. The ease of being able to find the same dress for everything only adds to the appeal of the line, which falls into a comparable price point with other popular high-end brands. Think dresses for around $150, which, considering it can be worn over and over again (and given the comfort and structure of some the pieces, you’ll want to), it’s more of an investment in your future clothing happiness than anything else.


That horsehair hem was practically made for twirling.

The aforementioned horsehair hem, though, is probably the most unique aspect of New York-based collection. Geneva explained,

The horsehair hem was my designers’s idea. It was something she loved and really wanted in her wardrobe, so she dreamed it up. She’s from Miami and has that airy vibe. She’s an incredibly positive, happy person, and her designs reflect that. There’s nothing dark or heavy about the product. Plus, it feels amazing when you twirl, which is just a fun, girly thing.
— Geneva Goldsmith

With a pre-sale launching in the first week of February you’ll want to get your hands on more than a few pieces to stock up for the coming months, if only to prepare yourself for the bright colors and prints (there are some absolutely beautiful poppy-colored pieces that I promise you’ll be obsessed with) for the more summery collections rolling out in the coming months.


Since Lisa & Lucy was founded by a professional woman, they understand the needs of their target audience: other busy, professional women. “Our target audience,” Geneva explains, “is women who have full, busy days and lives. We want to help women feel polished and comfortable throughout the day.” They also recognize the importance of appealing to everyone in terms of size and availability. She said,

When we were which size range to go to, we decided to offer a larger size. That was important to us because it makes everyone feel included, which I don’t always think is happening is fashion these days.
— Geneva Goldsmith

While the brand’s pieces cap out at a size 12 or XL for now, they have plans to roll out styles in 1-3X in the future, once they feel as though the brand is more firmly rooted and can adequately develop those relationships with retailers and productions teams.

As for the future of Lisa & Lucy, Geneva wants to stick to what she knows. Having worked in apparel for over 20 years, she understands the importance of realizing this dream of having her own line, and putting her heart and soul into creating something great. She’s not ruling out expansion in the future though, saying their next move might be more along the lines of outwear or swimwear, though “home decor would be incredible, too.”

For now, though, it’s clear that Geneva has put her all into something that’s bound to be successful. My advice: keep your eyes peeled for Lisa & Lucy in some of the biggest magazines and on some of the biggest names in the coming months. If their previews are any indication, and I think they are, there’s nowhere to go but up.

Lisa & Lucy’s spring collection is available purchase now! Enter the code THEGLOSS20 at checkout to get a special exclusive discount!

and be sure to follow Lisa & Lucy on Instagram

(Photos: Sara Steinfeld/The Gloss)