The white shirt: Like a sensible heel or a good trench coat, it’s one of those pieces that’s earned an eternal place on every list of women’s wardrobe must-haves ever published. Of course, a white shirt is a work-wear staple, and there’s nothing like an oversized one to make any pair of jeans elegant in that all-important, not-trying way. And yet the thought of wearing a white shirt doesn’t exactly light up the synapses like, say, a pair of insanely glittery Vans or a cool new piece of costume jewelry. Which is why it’s kind of amazing that LoveHard, a new-ish, N.Y.C.-based label — is making the simple white shirt something to actually get jazzed about.
LoveHard was started in 2016 by Lindsay Cohen, and the brand offers just one item — white shirts in four styles, each an idiosyncratic twist on the staple. There’s Style 001, an oversized shirt in crisp white cotton that’s like the shirt you wish your boyfriend owned so you could steal it (it also looks quite alluring worn backwards). Style 002 is a deconstructed version of the 001, featuring raw-edged side slits that give the shirt a more ethereal feel.
Style 003 is all business in front, naked lady line drawing in back. And the asymmetrical, half-cropped Style 004, shown up top, is the LoveHard shirt that first caught my eye/became my obsession when I spotted it on designer Emily Bryngelson, a woman who looks impossibly chic in everything she wears (but especially this shirt). Some clothes wear their kookiness on their sleeve in the form of bright colors or crazy construction; Style 004 is offbeat in the most offhand way possible. It’s all about that crisp white cotton, bisected by one sexy-as-hell curved line. Is calling it a Richard Serra sculpture in shirt form too much? Yeah, probably. But suffice it to say it is a seriously choice garment, and this comes from someone who looks at clothes for a living.
Once you know this brand, you’ll start spotting it here and there — it’s still far from ubiquitous, but it’s starting to make inroads with a certain type of cool girl who often works in fashion, is on the minimalist tip, and whose outfits you’re always jealous of. Which means only one thing — time to get yours now before everyone else does.
We spoke with LoveHard founder Lindsay Cohen about her path from journalism school to fashion design, why the white shirt inspires her, and her plans for the brand.
Yahoo Style: What led you to start LoveHard?
Lindsay Cohen: I studied journalism at Indiana University, I’ve been with [retail consulting firm] Gogoluxe for nearly eight years, and prior to that I worked at Alexander Wang. I started LoveHard in 2016, and we make everything here in N.Y.C.
What is it about the white shirt that inspires you?
I believe in timeless fashion that adapts to all seasons. For me, nothing represents that concept more than the white shirt, which is a staple across almost all wardrobes. It’s amazing the variety something so simple can provide.
Who is the LoveHard customer?
LoveHard is truly meant to be worn by all. That is why each series will always focus on one classic item with a spectrum of interpretations to choose from. I want people who follow the brand to feel an automatic sense of style with ease when they’re slipping into a LoveHard piece. When you feel good from within, it reflects on the outside. Like the rest of your daily routine, dressing should contribute to the feeling of wellness.
Your customers have a rep for being extremely stylish — how do LoveHard women wear your pieces?
I tend to think of clothing like memory foam; the way it adheres to each person’s body, and how each person’s figure will interpret the pieces, is different. That, to me, is the beauty of clothing. I wouldn’t want to dictate how someone should wear the pieces. Wear them however best suits your style!
So you call the white shirts Series 1 — will more styles be forthcoming? Or are you on to Series 2 next? Variations of the white shirt will potentially be introduced down the line as limited exclusive runs. Series 2 is still in the late stages of brainstorm mode … it’s forming shape, and once it does, I’ll be happy to share!
Advice for anyone thinking of starting their own brand?
Stay true to yourself and believe in what you’re building. Never try and fit into someone else’s mold. The market is always craving newness, so let your ideas run free. With time and care, something beautiful can always be achieved. And most importantly, always go with your gut instincts. They might be quiet, but if you listen carefully they will never steer you wrong!