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Believe it or not, during Gossip Girl's five-year run, Leighton Meester, Queen B Blair Waldorf herself, didn't sign on for a single fashion collab. Well, those days are over, because Meester just released her first-ever collaboration and it's nothing that her prim and proper, Upper East Side character would even dream of wearing.
Meester teamed with Christy Dawn, a Los Angeles-based sustainable fashion brand, for a jumpsuit that reflects her life as a mom and as a consumer that cares about where her clothes come from.
"In the last five years or so, I really started becoming more conscious and aware of what I'm consuming whether it be what I am watching, eating, wearing or what I’m shopping for," Meester told People. "To top it off, it's a woman-led brand and [Christy] is really an incredible person and very inspiring. I met with her and we talked about the possibility of a collaboration and then it kind of just happened organically after that."
The Leighton Jumper, which retails for $308 online and at Christy Dawn's Venice, Calif., flagship, features a bow on the front — though it's not the perfectly tied kind that Blair Waldorf would wear — and a scooped back. Meester explained that the design was inspired in part by Miss Honey from 1996's Matilda and that the piece also took motherhood into consideration.
"It's really comfortable and just makes me feel put together — that's what I want as a mom," she said. "To be able to throw something on and feel put together."
Though Christy Dawn is more well-known for crafting dresses, Meester insisted on a jumpsuit, because it suited her lifestyle more. She shares 3-year-old daughter Arlo Day with her husband, Adam Brody, and wanted something that could transition from mommy duty to dinner.
"Very early on, I said that I was interested in making a jumper, even though [Christy] is really well known for her dresses," Meester said. "And while I totally love dresses, jumpers are much more practical for me. They kind of translate from day to night, and I can wear them having a child. They're my go-to, really."
Proceeds from the jumpsuit will go to L.A.'s Downtown Women's Center, an organization that helps homeless women find food. Meester was introduced to the charity through her work with Feeding America, where she's volunteered for over four years. It's a cause that's close to her heart, since she's endured food insecurity in the past. Becoming a mother made her look at things a little differently and find a way to help moms that may be struggling.
"A lot of different periods of time growing up, I experienced food insecurity," Meester shared. "That was just how I grew up. There was good, easy times and then a lot of the time towards the end of the month, it wasn't as easy. So, it's people that you work with, it's your friend at school, it’s your neighbor. It's people that you wouldn't necessarily think are experiencing food insecurity. That type of thing, especially as a mother, resonates with me because the most natural instinct is to feed your child. So, I thought it was a wonderful partnership."
While this is the first collaboration between Dawn and Meester, the designer herself explained that the process was more play than work. This could mean more between the two in the future, which is good for both parties and Feeding America.
"When you meet Leighton, you just feel who she really is," Dawn told People. "And she's honestly so sweet and so lovable. It was really easy to work together, and when I say work, it's not even work, because it's like we get to play together and create something beautiful together. Honestly, I'm going to miss having her come to the office, because we had so much fun creating it."