Designers Elizabeth Thurer and Lisa Daniel of Elizabeth Daniel NY dish about designing the perfect button down, fashion do's and don'ts, and more!
-PJ Gach, BettyConfidential.com
We've all been there: Winter is coming… it's getting colder… you're trying to layer up to stay warm… but you still need to look professional for work, and gosh darn it, your button down keeps bunching up under your sweater! What's is a girl to do?
But wait! Elizabeth Thurer and Lisa Daniel, the masterminds behind Elizabeth Daniel New York, have heard your cries-and they have a solution! EDNY's clean, classic button downs are designed to be layered over, getting rid of that pesky bulk and messy un-tucking and leaving you with a sleek, tailored, perfectly layered look. Is it a miracle? We think so-which is why we're super excited to share EDNY's fabulous fashion innovation with you at BettyConfidential Shop!
Business is booming for Elizabeth and Lisa, whose shirts were recently featured on The Today Show. These two lovely ladies sat down with us to chat about designing the perfect shirt, their fashion do's and don'ts, and how a chance meeting led to a glorious partnership and friendship.
Go casual yet classy in EDNY's Sleeveless Ruffle shirt. Photo credit: Alexandra Frumberg Photography
BettyConfidential: Elizabeth-was there a particular incident that made you decide to create your shirt? Or was it just a culmination of getting so irritated at shirts that wouldn't behave?
Elizabeth Thurer: I had always loved the look of a crisp, classic white button down shirt. It was SO Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. But while the look was fantastic, the feel never was. Interestingly, I also found that when I became a stay-at-home mom, people would comment when I wore one and ask if I was going somewhere! The simple act of adding a collar beneath a sweater instantly gave me a more polished look. But iInevitably, the discomfort of wearing said collar would drive me to execute a wardrobe change by day's end. I thought that there must be a better, more comfortable alternative!
BC: Lisa and Elizabeth-did you ever think you'd be fashion innovators? How does it feel to conquer misbehaved clothing?
ET: For me, necessity was always the mother of invention, as the saying goes. I had always loved fashion and clothing, but I had never really thought about having a line of my own. Filling an unfulfilled need for women in the marketplace really drove me to pursue EDNY.
Lisa Daniel: YES. I've always LOVED fashion, ever since I was a little girl. When I got my driver's license, my mother told me to go get a job at the ice cream store down the street. Instead, I went into Polo Ralph Lauren on Greenwich Avenue and landed my first job in the clothing world. I think my foundation in fashion allowed me to be confident in coming up with a concept and executing it. Hearing from our customers about how comfortable our shirts are and that wearing them has changed the way they feel about layering makes all the hard work worth it.
The Sleeveless Classic works great under dresses! Photo credit: Alexandra Frumberg Photography
BC: How did the two of you meet? Elizabeth, you lived in Rye, New York, Lisa, you lived in Stamford. Ct.-how were you introduced?
LD: I was running an online store that required me to do these small boutique and trunk shows that were in our area for marketing purposes. Elizabethwas at the shows as well. So many people had told us that we both reminded them of one another and that we really had to meet. We hit it off, formed a partnership-and the rest is history!
ET: That's really the whole story! Once we met and started talking, the light bulb moment occurred where we realized that we could work well together and that we'd be able to make the business truly grow.
BC: How did it feel when you decided to go for it?
LD: Excited and nervous. We had put so much time into previous businesses, but we knew that the end result of this one was changing how people think of women's shirts and layering.
ET: We just dove right in because we believed in it so much. We couldn't wait to find a way for ALL women to learn about EDNY.
Need to dress up a sweater? Try EDNY's Ruffle shirt. Photo credit: Alexandra Frumberg Photography
BC: What was it like when you made your first big sale?
LD: Actually, even more important than the BIG sale is the REORDER. That is the BEST compliment of all-women keep coming back for more!
ET: Absolutely! We are making converts of women everywhere! There are a lot of lonely button downs hanging unworn in closets these days.
BC: Can you tell us more about the shirts? They're both cute and functional-what was the process like designing them?
LD: We wanted to create something that is stylish, functional, comfortable and user friendly.
ET: We spent a tremendous amount of time pondering the best fit, the best fabrics to use, and the most efficient way to create something that was "wash and wear." We tested and tweaked quite a bit as we went. The ultimate goal was to create a classic, clean look that was slimming and stylish, but which also didn't bunch, bulk or un-tuck… and I think we've achieved just that!
The Tuxedo makes you look like you mean business - in the best way possible. Photo credit: Alexandra Frumberg Photography
BC: How did you know when you had finally made the perfect shirt? How did it feel?
LD: We knew it was perfect when people started coming up to us and telling us that our shirts are their favorite piece of clothing. They even described exactly why they love our shirts so much. Also, since the shirt was developed as a layering piece, it's also pretty great when we find people wearing them unlayered, too!
BC: Do you have a favorite design?
BC: Was there a design that you loved, but decided not to use?
LD and ET: Nope!
The Tuxedo looks terrific on its own, too! Photo credit: Alexandra Frumberg Photography
BC: What are your fashion do's and don'ts? Do you have any style tips to share?
LD: Less is more. Too many patterns mixed together take away from every piece. That's why I LOVE our shirts-they bring out your favorite jacket, sweater, vest, or even pants when worn on their own.
ET: I'd have to agree with Lisa. I think we both lean towards elegant simplicity when selecting our clothing. Classic pieces with fabulous accessories and shoes are ALWAYS a "do." Though of course, there is always a place for a little sexiness and an edge when the occasion calls for it!
BC: You've conquered the shirt world; what territory do you want to conquer next? If you can make a skirt that doesn't move around on you, I want to buy the first one
LD: Wouldn't we all love that! Maybe one day.
ET: Hmmm… These are the things that keep me up at night. Stay tuned! As for now, look for new styles and colors to be added to the line in the near future.
Snap up one (or two, or five) of these miracle shirts at BettyConfidential Shop!
PJ Gach is Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.