Byline: Karyn Monget
NEW YORK — Maya and Angela Mallick think girls just want to have fun — as long as they look cute and sexy doing it.
With this idea in mind, the two sisters created Loveletters Loungewear in 1996, and their whimsical items, which range from camis and thong bikinis to lettuce-edged tap pants and capris, have snowballed into a $3 million wholesale business.
The inspiration for their designs is a combination of pop culture and current art and trends mixed with a “girlie twist,” said Maya Mallick, who was here last week with her sister at a trunk show and champagne party at Purdy Girl, an apparel and accessories boutique in SoHo.
The sisters met owner Corinne Purdy — who also is known as the “flea market queen” — at a trade show several years ago.
“It’s kind of spiritual because we all knew that we would be working together one day,” said Angela Mallick.
Lisa Easton, national sales director for Loveletters, said, “Business has tripled since August, and we are now selling to a few major department and specialty stores. We recently showed at the Intermezzo show, and so far, we have 175 orders.”
Based in Los Angeles, the company recently opened a Loveletters showroom at 325 West 38th Street in New York. Angela Mallick said the reason they selected the ready-to-wear district is because the bulk of their business is generated by rtw boutiques.
The signature look of Loveletters at-homewear is its humorous flavor, whether tank tops that says “Naughty,” “Spoiled” or “Cranky,” a thong with a red hot chili pepper motif, or capris with an allover “FiFi” the French Poodle print. A successful marketing tool has been postcards that feature illustrations of a Loveletters target customer, such as “Daphne Loves Disco,” and “Lola Loves Lollipops.”
Added Maya Mallick, “A lot of retailers have asked us to do a line for babies and kids. We also plan to do loungewear-related products like towels, bedding and bath and body products.”