Stylists Turned Designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott Launch Youthful Spinoff Emily + Meritt
Following collaborations with Kate Spade and Pottery Barn, Emily + Meritt introduces "soft knits for strong girls" — plus stationery.
Adding to their track record of building denim-based brands The Great. and Current/Elliott, L.A. designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott are launching Emily + Meritt, a new youthful and lower-priced brand with knits sold directly to consumers on their website.
Fans of pen and paper, they're also designing stationery, including postcards, thank you notes, big blotter calendars and lists for compiling groceries and things to do.
"Over the last few years particularly, we've been getting a lot of questions about how we started and our friendship," Current said. "We started realizing there was this dialogue we needed to have with our customer that was slightly different from ourselves and The Great. customer."
The new project "speaks to a young person or a person our age or beyond who recognized that youthful spirit," Elliott said.
Indeed, with the tagline of "soft knits for strong girls," the capsule collections break from the traditional fashion calendar, opting for monthly drops that fall under different themes. "The first one is friendship, which is obviously really important to us," said Current, who initiated her decades-long friendship with Elliott when they bonded over vintage jeans and sociology exams as undergrads at UCLA. Flash forward to Sept. 20, 2002, the day noted in one of Elliott's saved date books, when they decided to quit their jobs and begin working together as stylists.
They began experimenting with Emily + Meritt as a brand through collaborations with Kate Spade and Pottery Barn, trying their hand at designing handbags, made of worn leather and sequins, as well as sheets, desks, lamps and other home decor.
One of their favorite items from their new line is a T-shirt printed with half of a broken heart emblazoned with the phrase "best friend," which can be paired with another T-shirt featuring the other half of the heart. Alongside this, the notebooks and calendars are printed with motivating messages, such as "you got this."
What they're trying to radiate is, in Current's words, "a positive influence on the marketplace and positive sentiments about friendship and working hard."
Elliott said they're designing for "anybody who likes soft knits." In her family alone, "I have a 13-year-old daughter. I know she and her friends will like the prints. I plan to wear them with my vintage Levi's and The Great. boots this week."
The prices allow them to reach a wide market. T-shirts, both oversized and slim, sell for $42, while sweatpants are $68 and sweatshirts are $72. The paper goods retail from $9.99 to $34.99 at 3,000 stores, including Amazon, Office Depot, Staples and emilyandmeritt.com.
Between setting up this new venture, growing The Great. and raising kids, the busy duo are deciding to take a step back from styling celebrities. Their former clients have included Jessica Alba, Emma Roberts and Mandy Moore.
"It's been an impossible balance," Elliott said of trying to do it all. They still flex their styling muscles on photo shoots for The Great. They also have remained friends with people they've worked with over the years. "We’'ll send ideas or things from our line," Elliott added. "Once a stylist, always a stylist."