Yeah, for a cruise ship!
Or like Purple Unicorn or something.
Ooh, I like that one.
Maybe your shoe collection could be called that.
We were sitting on this couch, and Laurel had just found out from Kid Robot that she’d be able to work with one of the factories local that could do our labels, just like the little I Love Factory labels that we could sew onto everything. And I was just being myself, being stupid, and I said “I love factories…” And she was instantly like, “THAT’S the name. That’s what the name has to be. It’s gonna be I Love Factory.” And at first I was almost a little like, “Oh, really? Um, alright…” Like I wasn’t totally onto it, but after that she designed our logo for us, and after I saw a logo, I was like, “Oh, I like it.” And it’s funny because, there is no factory. Like, we are the factory.
You are the factory. And that’s why I love it. I Love Factory. But I remember when I was at work with [my friend] Hannah and I was like, “Your friends are in Teen Vogue!” That was really quick, right? When did you start getting press?
We launched in October with Womens Wear Daily in 2008, and Teen Vogue interviewed us for their blog the following February, February 2009, and we were in the September issue of Teen Vogue. That was our very first editorial placement.
How did WWD come about? How did they find you?
A friend of ours was working in PR and she was really excited about what we were doing, and she was like “Oh, I have a contact at WWD, let me send pictures of your stuff to them and see what she says. You never know.” We didn’t really take it too seriously because we didn’t know what her affiliation was with this person, and she ended up emailing the woman and the woman got really excited about them… and these were like initial pictures too. These were like, mock-ups. The editor she spoke to was Caroline Tell. I think she’s the head of accessories there.
And from there on… can you talk about your rise to the top?
I went to school– I majored in PR and marketing, and as soon as I saw what we were doing, I thought “Wow, this could be really interesting,” And we were really getting out there and talking to people about it. And coming out of WWD, DailyCandy [wrote] about it on their website, and then it was on Gossip Girl, and then New York Magazine. It was just one thing after another and another. And we were like, “Wow, we could really run with this and see where we go.” And I started reaching out to people I knew from the industry because I styled for a while, and they were really receptive to it, and we just started meeting more people. And once we started talking about it and getting it out there, people were really interested in it.
Do you feel like styling is a big part of what you do in terms of creating the hats? Because it seems like you both have a stylist’s eye. And that’s interesting to me, because not all designers do. Do you feel like that’s a big part of creating the hats, that you’re creating a persona for each hat?
I think more so in the photoshoots. I feel that in the design, to me, it’s more about the cohesiveness, and how does it translate from one collection to the next? Like, can you tell it’s the same brand but not the same product? And that’s really important to me, and all the designers I love keep that aesthetic. Like one of my favorites is Miu Miu, and I love that it’s always so different, but you can always tell it’s Miu Miu. And same with Prada.
You guys should do hats for Miu Miu.
Oh my god. I don’t think I could even do it. I’d die. I’d just drop dead.
Seriously, they’d be so cute.
That’s one of Laurel’s favorites.
So I know you have a million things on your plate, but what’s a typical day like?
We have to make coffee. Café Bucello. That’s the coffee of choice of the factory. I make it really strong, because I like my coffee black. But we start kind of early—unless we have something really pressing we have to do, we’ll wake up at eight—but normally we’ll wake up around nine and start working on things. I automatically get up and the first thing I do is go through all my emails I have from the day before or the morning and answer everything and forward everything on to Laurel. We look at our calendars and see what’s coming up and who we have to meet with. If it’s like yesterday, which was a typical I Love Factory day—
We don’t speak.
…We don’t speak at all. It’s like we’re not even here together. She’s upstairs, I’m contacting people about venues…
And I’m upstairs sewing, listening to Nirvana or something. I’m sweatshopping upstairs. And he’ll come upstairs like, “What? You weren’t even making noise!”
Like, “You just finished all those?!” But overall a typical day would be us waking up, having coffee, talking about what we have to get done for the day… we have like a little meeting or we walk outside over to the coffee shop and talk about it. And then we’ll come back and Laurel will be upstairs working on the order for Korea and I’m down here figuring out how we’re going to do the invite for the party and who’s going to be there, and all the logistics. I work really closely with the people who throw all our events, a group called We Came In Peace.
They do our party every year.
They do our events, and they’re also working with our friends The 2010 right now.
They’re really high-concept, and it’s always scary to work with them, but in the end you’re really happy you trusted them. They’re really just above. I have a really hard time explaining my aesthetic and my concept to anybody, and especially when no one’s seen it except Chris, so I just put together this random assortment of pictures and they just look at it and they get it. They just totally get it without me having to say anything; they say it better than I could ever say it.