By Regina Connell.
Ah, someone who gets it.
The Line from Vanessa Traina (among others) is an amazing example of AltLuxe, the new luxury: It’s an online clothing and home goods retailer as well as a space, both online and in SOHO (NYC), called The Apartment where everything is for sale. (How’s that for contextual marketing?)
Why is this part of the new luxury? Because it’s not about what’s just essential, but what’s quintessential: the best of what’s essential. The clothing is timeless, seasonless, smart, and not to be found everywhere, “built to last but never boring” as they say on the site. “What unites these quintessential things is their staying power, the intention of their making, and how they work together in the context of a carefully considered life.”
- Pyrite by Creel and Gow at The Line
I love that for one of their first makers, they’ve featured the incomparable Deborah Ehrlich, whom we profiled here. I love, of course, that the site includes the stories of many of the designer-makers featured, and calls the objects “storied objects.” Very elegant and very much the ethos behind Handful of Salt, which we based on the notion that in many ways, it’s the story (usually rooted in the maker and the making) that creates the value and the appreciation of the object, not the “thing” itself.
The site itself is gorgeously and simply designed. There’s something about the balance of the words, images, and whitespace that is incredibly moving. There’s a word my intellectual gut (is there such a thing? I think so) ascribes to the site: precious—as in rare and unique. It’s a word I don’t think I’ve ever used to describe another site. The site is, quite astonishingly, extremely quintessential.
One of their more recent “chapters” is on Scandinavian design: I love how they weave the larger context of Scandinavian design in with the merchandising of their products. There’s commentary from experts including Glenn Adamson, the director of the Museum of Arts and Design, along with maker stories, along with all that haunting photography.
There are many ways in which a site like this could go wrong, though obviously, I hope not. The purity of the vision and the thoughtfulness and emotional punch of the execution are, for now, so sublime that I will not sully those qualities with either pessimism or—as my Buddhist friends would say—clinging. Well done.
The Line, online
The Line: The Apartment
76 Greene Street
New York City, NY 10012