November has been a busy month for Laure Hériard Dubreuil. Within weeks of opening the fifth location of her luxury specialty store The Webster, a 12,000-square-foot, six-floor outpost in New York City’s SoHo, she is introducing her own women’s ready-to-wear collection called LHD.
Launching as see-now-buy-now with resort 2018 as the first season, the line will be available Nov. 29 online at lhd.us and in store — at The Webster exclusively to start. Yet Hériard Dubreuil wants to make clear that LHD is not The Webster’s private label.
“It’s the opposite of that,” she said. “For me, it’s really my personal collection and my personal point of view. It’s not about the location and The Webster.”
That may be so to some extent, but it’s impossible to completely untangle the two. Hériard Dubreuil originally opened The Webster in Miami in 2009, before expanding to Bal Harbour, Houston and Costa Mesa, as well as New York. It’s no coincidence that Miami is the inspiration for the first season of LHD.
“The idea was to start a collection inspired by going to collections, like, the perfect suitcase to go to a place,” said Hériard Dubreuil, noting that her plan is to do only resort and summer collections. “The first destination I picked is Miami, because I lived in Miami and I know Miami. The sunshine and the colors inspired me, but also, these are clothes you can wear anywhere — warm, on the beach, but also at night.”
Since the collection is derived partially from Hériard Dubreuil’s own wardrobe, and she is almost always wearing a print of some sort, the lineup is big on prints and bright colors. There are no little black dresses, and also no flamingos, which is the logo for The Webster. M/M Paris designed LHD’s bright, graphic pink, blue and yellow logo. There are a lot of dresses, skirts and knits — and a printed romper.
Everything is designed to be easily layered and versatile, such as dresses that button up and can be wrapped or worn mixed with other pieces. Materials are lightweight — cotton, silk and jersey. Fabrics are Italian and the collection is produced in China. She also collaborated with Maison Michel on a hat, Aurélie Bidermann on jewelry, Pierre Hardy on shoes, Linda Farrow on sunglasses, Eres on a swimsuit and Heimat Atlantica on a bag. Prices range from $45 for a sunhat to $395 for sweaters to $795 for a dress.
Heriard Dubreuil said her clients have been asking her when she’s launching her own collection since she opened The Webster. Before that, she worked as a merchandiser at Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent. She felt very comfortable designing and began working on the collection a year ago. Having the built-in feedback of a working retailer with a sizeable distribution in different markets didn’t hurt. Asked how much she thought about what sells when working on LHD, she said, “ A lot, of course. Consciously and unconsciously I know what works and what doesn’t work.” Dresses and layering pieces in light fabrics were key from a retail perspective.
“I thought that there was also something important with the prices,” she said. “I didn’t want something too expensive and I think there’s not much in this price range, which is really good. This is not stepping on anybody’s toes, for the brands that I represent, that was something important.”
To start, Hériard Dubreuil is keeping LHD exclusive to The Webster and the collection’s web site before opening to wholesale. “We’ll see how it goes,” she said. “I have absolutely no pressure but I am very close to a lot of other stores. First, I want to see what’s the reaction and if people are interested.”