Welcome back to our column, Desk Side! Sorry, PRs, we stole your lingo and in this feature we’ll go to the desks of some of your favorite designers, editors, stylists and assorted industry insiders to see where the magic happens–and then share it with you!
Lyndsey Butler is the mastermind behind Veda, the line of buttery leather goods that pretty much everyone in the industry covets. We caught up with Butler in her office to get her take on what makes the perfect leather jacket, why she picked the name "Veda" and the key to success when it comes to running your own business. And we snooped around her studio of course.
So, where does the name VEDA come from? Veda is a sanskrit word that actually means truth, but I just always really liked the word. And the most ancient Hindu texts were the vedas and that's where the word itself comes from. I also just liked that it was a word that can kind of be a brand within and of itself. It's not a name, it's not a person's name, but it kind of resonates as a word that you might be familiar with but you don't necessarily have another association with it. Which I like. And it looks good as a logo, the 'V' and the 'A' balance nicely.
Who would your dream customer be? If you could picture anyone in your designs, living or dead... Our girl that we're designing for shifts a little bit every season. Like, this season it might be Marilyn Monroe and then next season it could be Erin Wasson. It switches kind of in terms of the clothes we're making or the mood that we're in. But, if I could dress one person, I feel like right now I would love to put something on Iggy Azalea because she's really fun and cool, has a great body. She would be a lot of fun.
What's currently playing in the studio? Yesterday I was listening to a lot of UB40 we definitely like A$AP Rocky...we like Guards too. We actually worked on a project with Guards recently. The band is four boys and one girl and we made them kind of like, band jackets, and that was really fun. It was our first jaunt into menswear. My girlfriends are all in a band called Bad Girlfriend and they're really cool. And I like the idea of an all girl band for Veda.
So leather is your thing--tell me about it. What do you love about it? I personally am always drawn to this super-thin leather--it can be either lamb or goat, but it's usually just the most thin. Almost to the point where its really drapey so it behaves like a silk. A heavy-weight silk, but something more like a fabric. I never realized leather could be like that when I first started doing this. Because I feel like a lot of leather jackets you would see on the market maybe five years ago were a bit heavier and tough, like what you think of a vintage leather jacket. I really like being able to take this material that's known for being tougher and use it in a soft way.
What has surprised you most about having your own business? You have to learn to be flexible. So, being able to to have a design meeting for half the day and then go into a meeting about financing or like, payroll or whatever and balance those two. I have a job where I get to be creative and that's awesome, but I think if it was just the vacuum, where all I did was be creative, I might not like it as much. I think having the balance of crunching numbers and doing spread-sheets and looking at sales numbers, I enjoy that probably as much as I enjoy the designing part, if not more.
What's your guilty pleasure? Coffee and the other one would be--this is actually a new habit, but I feel like I always do it now. I don't have a TV in my room or watch that much TV. But, I like to have the iPad on when I go to sleep. I'll watch something on Netflix and fall asleep to it. It's basically like falling asleep with the TV on, which I really don't like admitting!
I noticed a lot of glitter in your office, are you doing anything with glitter that you want to tell us about? It's leftover from last fashion week. Nine West was nice enough to sponsor us, so we got a lot of really simple plain, black boots from them and we just went to town with glitter and spray paint and stuff like that. So we made these crazy silver, shiny boots and glittered them . But I like to have it around just in case of emergencies, it kind of spices anything up!
Your offices are located near Chinatown, what do you like best about the neighborhood? Well all the glitter and that stuff come from Pearl Paint. So, we have these awesome resources. There are all these fun, weird places that you wouldn't really know about unless you were in Chinatown all the time. And even just the little shops that sell like, jade statues and Chinese lanterns are great.
Do you have an office nick-name? Yes, everybody calls me Laser.
Laser? Whats the story behind that? So, I've been working with a lot of the same girls even since before I started Veda and one of the girls we used to work with...it sounds like a silly story, but I think I was reading the book A Razor's Edge or I think we were just talking about it and somehow in some sort of cockney rhyming scheme, that sort of became 'laser's edge'. Then I became Laser, I don't know! So, now I'm Laser.
Photos: Ashley Jahncke