Gray Gardens owner and Maverick maternity brand Liz Lange chart a new course with Fig


When Liz Lange noticed that she and her friends were running out of chic wardrobe choices during their pregnancies, she created the first brand of designer maternity wear. In a new stage in her life, the designer who bought the infamous Gray Gardens estate once home to Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ eccentric aunt and cousin Big and Little Edie Beale respectively, acquired the wealthy and hippie kaftan brand Figue. intended for its population. The Resort 2021 collection unveiled this month on is the first offering under Lange’s direction and just the start of the designer’s plans for her new project.

“I was looking for a new brand to build but didn’t want to start from scratch, and I understood Figue perfectly since I’m his target demo,” Lange told me, adding “I was a fan and a customer from the start and I knew its founder Stephanie Von Watsdorf through mutual friends. When I heard it was ending at the end of 2020, I knew it was supposed to be. ”

In December 2020, Lange had officially bought Figue with a 100% property meeting this premonition. She sold Liz Lange’s maternity hospital in 2007 to a private equity firm, but remained the face of the brand’s highly successful licensing deal with Target.

until 2018 and was ready for a new project. Lange remained determined that the clothing industry would rebound from post-pandemic closures and that the sartorial comfort it offered would not go away.

Lange maintains that Figue feels suited to the way women want to dress right now, both glamorous and easy and comfortable. “For me, Figue is the warm weather version of a tracksuit but with a lot more panache, ” she says. The collection features dresses and kaftans that go everywhere from beach to town and daytime to black tie.

She is also determined that Figue can be a powerhouse, much like her first brand, with which she sees synergies only for different stages of life. Both can offer wardrobe solutions 24/7, 365 days a year. “I know how women my age want to dress and feel, and this is exactly the woman Figue serves.” So, expect to continue to see the heavy embellishments, bold prints, hand-cut tassels and rich flowing fabrics in euro-fabulous kaftans and glamorous dresses.

Beyond that, although the brand will be making year-round deliveries, Von Watsdorf and his team had dropped the fall delivery, which will return for fall 2022. “Fig will be an option in any season. , not just a “it’s always summer somewhere” brand, “Lange notes. They plan to add knits and more separate pieces such as blouses, sweaters and stockings using new materials and a plan to add swimwear and table tops. In terms of price, it will still be luxury but generally a bit lower in the $ 295- $ 495 space with a few specialty items at $ 895 and up. “I have always found the prices for Fig a bit high, so while we always do special pieces at higher prices, I am very focused on those price categories.”

Figue plans to focus and invest heavily in DTC sales, especially via Instagram and Facebook as sales platforms, unlike the previous positioning. “Right now it’s about expanding Figue’s existing business through our existing channels, wholesale and private customer purchasing with a new focus on relaunching our website,” she continues.

The outlook so far is optimistic with the business returning and in some cases surpassing pre-close sales levels. “We believe there is a great opportunity for the brand to potentially become two to three times higher, not more, than it was before,” she added.

While the track was once the place to market a brand, Lange does not feel the urge at the moment. “I love the way we talk to our customers through social media. Maybe we would do a virtual show. Who knows, though, never say never?” It’s a very different feeling than it had 20 years ago when Liz Lange was the first maternity brand to debut at NYFW. However, he was infamous for other reasons.

The Liz Lange fashion show was scheduled for 9 a.m. on September 11. Feeling naturally excited, Lange says she arrived at the Bryant Park show tents “filled with anticipation for what should have been a career defining moment” as Good Morning America and CNN covered the show live. The Today show had planned to follow up on the next one with a recreation of the show in their live studio audience. “I launched my new Liz Lange for Nike

(LL for swoosh) partnership and I was already in talks with Target. The world watched the first ever maternity wear show during New York Fashion Week. What followed, of course, had nothing to do with how I envisioned the day, ”Lange recalls.

As she watched the show from backstage, she noticed the team after the team ran away from the tent, which confused Lange as they had scheduled hours of interviews after the show. “We didn’t know anything because it was before the iPhone and before social media; the news did not travel as fast as it does today,” she said.

As soon as the show was over, security guards rushed the guests and crew out of the tents. This annoyed the designer at first as they didn’t know what had happened. “It was after that that I decided, with all the uncertainty in the world, that of course I wanted to move forward with the Target partnership. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. . “

For those who love her traditions, another big decision was her purchase of East Hampton’s decrepit estate, Gray Gardens, made famous in the 1975 film starring the infamous eccentric mother-daughter duo who owned it. Lange and its designer and contractors restored the Hamptons-style shingle cottage over three painstaking years, even rebuilding the famous walled gardens. “Frankly, although I’m a fan of the documentary, we bought the house because we love the house itself; it’s next to the beach, and you can hear the ocean. Its gardens and grounds are magical,” she admits. However, it is not without curious people who sometimes creep in to take pictures.

Additionally, the house is near where Lange grew up, spending his summers in the East. This is the kind of place where Fig’s wife can be seen spending her weekends from the farmer’s market to the beach to lunch, drinks and dinner or a fancy night out in the Hamptons. Lange takes his management of Gray Gardens with a great reverence. Exactly the guiding spirit she brings to Figue for her next chapter.

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