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Spotlight — Linder NYC Launches Accessories Line and New Digital Strategies

Continuing to embrace wholesale, the young label is evolving with the launch of their new category and an online platform, designed to offer a unique Linder experience

Linder NYC is a burgeoning label with an excitement for the unusual. Serving up an aesthetic that’s a slice of urban glamour with a dash of raw attitude, their growing sense of authority is becoming hard to brush aside. Now the label is releasing a brand new accessories line and re-launching their e-commerce site - power moves sure to anchor them as a force to be reckoned with.

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Although Linder's collections are often racy and unconventional, there’s a high level of wearability imbued into each piece - an equal tension between utility and provocation, with an added touch of softness. For their latest season, asymmetric drape tops are cut with plunging necklines; wrapped midi skirts are finished with thigh-revealing sleekness; tailored dresses are fashioned with midriff cut-outs; and many feature prints of crossed pistols, AK-47s and hand-painted eyes. The devil is in the detail however, as they’ve often been lauded for their rivet-embellished denim, bold leather accessories, and chain harness jewellery.

First established in 2012, when Sam Linder and Kirk Millar crossed paths in a menswear store, the Linder brand was initially born as a retail concept, with a multi-label men’s boutique opening up in the heart of New York’s Soho. With Millar and Linder as two prodigious creatives - Millar with a deep-rooted understanding of fashion and interiors and Linder with a background in photography and art history - it wasn’t long before their combined aesthetics and unique points of view nurtured the brand into what it is today. Having quietly closed the boutique’s doors in March, the pair reflected over an email interview that “the store made us who we are as a team and prepared us for wholesale, but creatively, the call to design collections became too loud to ignore and it became an obsession we both have.”

Debuting their first collection at New York Fashion Week Men’s in the Fall of 2016, the label launched their first full womenswear line (alongside men’s) earlier this year to critical acclaim. Now, the label is boasting a brand new accessories line, which was unveiled on November 17th on their new e-commerce platform. Staying true to Linder’s DNA, it includes D-ring belts, pleated leather clutches, bucket handbags made from leather chin-strap helmets, and raunchy jewellery fashioned from none-other than kinetic radio antennae. It’s an expansion that’s sure to see exponential growth for the young label.

“These bags were an exploration of our brand signatures. Our popular D-ring belt served as a starting point for a lot of the bags with hardware and detailing. We chose these leathers because even though they are seasonless, they still felt exciting and rich. We love to use everyday hardware to embellish - it’s an opportunity to see the mundane turn into the extraordinary.”

Having developed handbags and leather goods over the course of a couple of years, it was an organic process for the duo to pursue an accessories category. The pair mused “we took a look at some of the best silhouettes and decided to take them to the next level with new luxurious leathers and aggressive details. Women’s in general is a new venture for Linder and we are very serious and excited about this category.”

With a growing list of progressive stockist around the world, including the likes of Opening Ceremony, Boon The Shop, The Feathered, Harvey Nichols, Galeries Lafayette, GR8 and CNTRBND, wholesale remains an important channel for Linder. As well as the opportunity to sit alongside other revered designers on shop floors, celebrated retailers are key to reaching important global markets and can offer Linder customers unique perspectives on their collections. But there's something to be said about a label that's willing to go the extra mile to stand out, and adjust to the way the retail landscape is currently changing. Like many emerging labels aiming to stay ahead of the game, Linder is smart to consider the shifting dynamic of traditional retail strategies.  

“I think the writing’s on the wall; retail as it has stood is not working the way it once did. I think people are becoming more interested in niche experiences, as opposed to the kind of outdated "luxury" experience of the past, which is shifting the models of retail.”

Adapting their business in line with the industry’s changing attitudes, they decided to recently re-launch their e-commerce site on top of continuing to pursue wholesale channels. For the duo, it’s an opportunity to explore the endless possibilities of the booming online sphere, and provide a different, more personalised experience to their customers. While they continue to find it of great importance to work within the confines of the conventional fashion calendar and churn out seasonal-based collections, the pair explained that they also see value in being able to engage with their consumers in between seasons.

“The platform offers a more modern approach to our business. We can release items outside of the traditional calendar, and launch exclusive products that we believe in - It’s a more agile way of operating in the digital age. I think as fashion continues to look for a new identity, this is one portion of the shift that’s been happening.”

For Linder and Millar, it’s about having that extra bit of flexibility and for consumers to be able to experience their brand in a multitude of ways - offline, online and everything in between. Launched on November 20th, the new Linder website promises to be more than just a one-dimensional e-commerce site; it's an immersive portal for consumers to engage in runway collections, capsule collections and smaller accessible products, released when the designers see fit. With this digital brand experience of its own kind, and a pursuit into the accessories sector, Linder offers an ultra-modern point of difference amongst its contemporaries.