“It’s fur, for Monday through Friday — and Saturday and Sunday as well,” said Maria Murray, Wednesday afternoon from the fourth floor of Barneys. Murray is the creator of Lilly e Violetta, a three-year-old fur line Murray started after a career in finance at Goldman Sachs. To celebrate the line’s presence at Barney’s, Alina Cho threw a lunch in her honor — which, fortunately for sales, happened to fall on the first truly cold day of the season.
As guests like Nina Garcia, Olivia Chantecaille, Jessica Joffe and Jennifer Creel browsed the collection, Murray explained that the line is designed to be approachable and wearable, a concept not usually associated with fur. “It’s not just for the opera or statement pieces,” she said. “We believe some of our fur definitely is statement. We do very formal pieces, but our best seller is the fresh and fun minis, which we offer on a palette of 35 shades. These little things are what made us famous. We had 80 pieces sold last year. It’s fresh and young — more like a cashmere.”
The line, in its infancy, has already attracted notable fans. “We did a beautiful scarf for Madonna, we’re the sole provider for her ‘Rebel Heart’ tour, and we made three custom pieces for Jennifer Lopez, she’s using them now on her ‘All I Have’ [Las Vegas residency]. She’s already been in Vegas for three years,” Murray explained, showing a photo of Lopez onstage in the floor length white piece. “She’s naked under,” she added with a smile.
Madonna and JLo aren’t the only celebrity fans of the line. “Kendall Jenner wore our lynx, which is quite spectacular,” Murray said. “We wanted to bring it in today but we felt it is a bit too risky — it’s about $80,000 and above.”
The line is named after her two daughters, ages 10 and 12. “Fur is heavy, and I think it’s beautiful to have flower names for the brand — it lightens it up a little bit,” Murray said.