Jessica Moss and Lisa Guajardo are coupling Renaissance romance with the grittiness of the open road at the ENK Vegas debut of their women’s line Leyendecker.

Inspired by the unlikely pairing of motorcycle-riding rebels from the Sixties and Renaissance maidens, Moss and Guajardo have created a fall collection that blends hand-dyed silk chiffon trimmed in Chantilly lace with perforated fake suede. The palette merges from cool, romantic hues like dusty lavender to warm, rugged tints like chocolate brown and wine streaked with tie-dye.

“Leyendecker is all about opposites,” Moss said. “We love juxtaposing things that don’t necessarily go together. There’s a modernity to it.”

The designs reflect the relationship between Moss, 29, and Guajardo, 36, who acknowledged that they’re polar opposites. After bonding as neighbors in Hollywood with nearly identical pet Chihuahuas, they collaborated to launch Leyendecker five years ago with six dresses and tops. Named after Guajardo’s paternal grandmother, Leyendecker now sells at Barneys Co-op, Saks Fifth Avenue, Shopbop.com, Intermix, Planet Blue and Singer22.com.

With wholesale prices running between $45 and $155, Leyendecker is still a small business, which produces everything in Los Angeles, with sales totaling less than $5 million.

“We’re all about making very special and unusual details extremely accessible and wearable so the girl feels amazing,” Moss said.



For her first appearance at ENK Vegas, Evelyn Riddle is bringing a touch of nature with her knits line Capote.

Riddle is integrating intricate weaves that evoke the shape and texture of trees into the tops, dresses and skirts in her fall collection. Muted shades of gray, mauve, brown, camel and brick conjure images of autumn leaves. Using bamboo fleece, yarn-dyed rayon, silk, Tencel and Modal, her designs feel nothing like the tree bark that serves as inspiration.

“I really do focus a lot on fits and making sure the clothes are very comfortable but at the same time a little edgier,” Riddle said.

What gives her classic knits an edge are nontraditional elements such as an asymmetric hem on a scoop-neck top and overlapping panels on the front of a long-sleeve shirt.

Capote has been embraced as alternative career wear by women between the ages of 20 and 50 who want to spend wisely. Wholesaling from $25 to $80, the entire line retails for less than $200. Capote is sold at Anthropologie, Bloomingdale’s, E Street Denim and Atrium in New York, among other stores. Riddle hopes to attract more specialty stores and grow beyond the $1.2 million in sales she tallied last year.

Capote’s success has been somewhat of a surprise for what started two years ago as a one-off collection of ponchos and capes (capote, no relation to Truman, means “cloak” in Portuguese). It’s also a change of pace for Riddle, who merchandises flashy streetwear at Salvage, which, like Capote, is owned by Vernon, Calif.-based Jrid.

“What really interested me [at Capote] was the challenging aspect of finding the element that works with different ages and body types,” she said.

— K.T.L.T.

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