Cofounder & Chief Creative Officer of La Ligne
What do you do after achieving the ultimate sartorial goal of working for Vogue? You start your own (incredibly chic) collection, naturally. That’s been the path for Valerie Macaulay, the cofounder and chief creative officer of La Ligne, a brand that has taken a seemingly simple concept — the stripe — and turned it into a form of self-expression that empowers women of all ages.
Find out how she keeps everything in line, and why MZ Wallace is her carry of choice.
I have two kids — ages two and four — so I have to get them dressed, fed and do drop-off so I’m usually out the door by 7:45. It’s a 25-minute commute, with a stop at Office Coffee for a green tea, which is perfect timing for listening to a podcast, like “The Daily” — it typically ends right when I walk through the door to the office.
“My MZ Wallace is the only bag my husband has ever complimented me on, so I always feel slightly chicer when I wear it.”
If I don’t have other appointments, like a breakfast meeting or a fabric appointment in the garment district, I’m usually at the office just before nine o’clock, which is nice, because it is still pretty quiet, so I have some time to catch up on emails and go through things without interruption. After 10 am it gets busy with design meetings, looking at colorways, approving lab dips or going over certain styles and fittings.
There’s a little place called The Smile that I love for lunch that never feels like takeout. The food is always fresh, like a great home cooked meal. My order is usually the bone broth, roasted chicken and a side salad. I usually bring it back to my desk to eat, it’s normally too busy to take a full hour out of the office.
In the afternoon, aside from internal meetings, we could also be meeting with brands we’re collaborating with, having additional fittings, or scouting for new store locations — whatever happens to be on the docket for the day. It’s a full schedule, and I love my Metro Tote Deluxe for helping me handle it all. Between makeup and keys and AirPods, my kids’ stuff and everything else I need to carry with me, having separate pockets for everything is so helpful. (Plus, my MZ Wallace is the only bag my husband has ever complimented me on, so I always feel slightly chicer when I wear it.)
Once we’ve wrapped everything up, I’ll head back home to spend time with my kids, or to get ready for an event, if there’s something on the schedule. If I’m going to spend time away from my kids it has to be for something, a cause or a person, that I really care about. I also make time every week to have dinner with my mother — I grew up in New York City and she still lives here. I always push for a 6:30 pm dinner because of the kids, but she loves to eat late — she always jokes that the early bird special is for me, not her. I also love opera and the theatre — we recently saw Orpheus and Eurydice and Phillip Glass’s Akhnaten.
I always feel best if I go to bed by 10:30. But, by the time I get the kids down and have dinner with my husband, if I watch one show or read one page of a book (right now it’s The Rachel Papers, by Martin Amis), it’s already ten. So, I start thinking about bed at 10:30, at eleven I start feeling guilty, and I have to be in bed before midnight. But when I’m in bed at 10:30, the next morning I’m like, Yes! This is wonderful, I should do this more often. It doesn't happen every night, but that's the dream.