VEDA, knows a thing or two about, well, obviously leather, but also, Texas -- San Antonio is the former NYU religion and philosophy major's provenance.Lyndsey Butler, the fashion designer and entrepreneur behind the ultra-chic, New York City-based leather line,
With fall just around the corner (and New York Fashion Week happening riiiight about now), we sat down with Lyndsey to discuss her line, all things leather, and, just for fun -- what exactly one might pack before journeying to San Antonio for the weekend.
StyleList: How did you end up in NYC from Texas?
Lyndsey Butler: I came to New York from Texas and went to NYU for college, and then just stuck around. It's really hot, it's really beautiful, and it's really spread out. Surrounding San Antonio is really beautiful Texas hill country.
SL: Did growing up in Texas influence your style at all?
LB: I think it definitely did. I went to private school for twelve years, so I wore the same uniform, but I actually really enjoyed that. There's something about being able to express yourself while being confined to certain rules or things you have to do, which translates to what we do at VEDA. It's specifically leather, and that's how we started out, and then to be kind of always working within that box, and shifting it around a little bit, and projecting some sort of point of view through leather.
SL: How did you get into fashion?
LB: I studied philosophy and religion at NYU. I thought I wanted to go to law school but on a whim, I got an internship at a fashion show room.
SL: And then how did that turn into starting your own company?
LB: I worked closely with the owner of the company that I was interning for. I moved to Los Angeles and I think that after being able to work at a small fashion brand, I got to test the waters in all the different departments -- from wholesale, to marketing and PR, to production and design, and I kind of got an amazing crash course in how to run a fashion company. So for me it was wanting to design, but I also really liked this small, creative business atmosphere.
SL: So why leather? What do you love about it?
LB: At the time, it was sort of 50/50 -- half something I wanted to make because I think they (leather jackets) are great, and I wanted to start something, again, that was confined in that way -- at the time, there were a lot of t-shirt lines, denim lines, things that were really singular in nature. I thought that was a great way to learn how to be a designer, and I also felt there was a dearth in the market.
SL: How so?
LB: There were $1500 or higher (leather jackets), and I knew they didn't have to cost that. I felt there was a hole in the market, and there was a desire for us. That was the thought originally -- 'how can we get $700 or $800 leather jackets?'. It's (leather) is definitely an investment piece. But maybe you buy your one pair of amazing boots that you love for the year and then you buy your leather jacket, and you don't have to buy it every year. You buy it once.
SL: So, what's next for VEDA?
LB: We've launched ready-to-wear. We do a small collection, we sell it on our website and to a few of our smaller stores, but people still look at us an outwear brand -- which is totally fine. It's fun to put together the whole look when you're designing. We'll do wool coats now, or parkas, covering the outerwear market -- not just leather. And we're opening a store in a few months -- I have something in the works.
To see Lyndsey's tips for packing like a pro on your way to her hometown of San Antonio (or really, anywhere, as we have to say her picks are pretty cool) for a long weekend, click through the gallery!