It's Valentine's Day all season at lingerie, swim, and sleepwear designer Morgan Curtis' pink pop-up shop, La Petite Maison d'Amour, at 253 Centre Street. While there, you'll find a variety of elegantly crafted pieces from playful undergarments to chic dresses for both day and night—a true mark of the former CFDA finalist's versatility.
When you first started Morgan Lane, your luxury lingerie brand, I remember the importance of versatility you wanted to impart with each collection. So talk to me about how that played a roll in the new line's evolution from lingerie to pajamas and beachwear. MORGAN CURTIS: I started with lingerie and then it turned into pajamas. I even launched the women's line for Solid & Striped years ago, so I always had a passion for beachwear and bathing suits. It seemed like a natural progression to me. I always wanted to make everything you needed to have the most luxurious lifestyle.
I also really wanted our customers to be comfortable from day to night in our clothes. They could wear our pajamas to dinner if they wanted to with a tiny heel. Our cover ups are really inspired by lingerie and are loose and flowy, but still well-made with beautiful fabrics.
What did the recognition of being named a finalist in the CFDA x Vogue Fashion Fund program do for your brand, your business? MC: I feel like it really meant that people saw me as a designer in fashion and not just in sleepwear. I was the first sleepwear designer to ever be a finalist and I think that really was the biggest honor. I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed working with everyone on the team as well as the judges who helped me grow the brand a lot.
I remember watching video footage of the vying designers online every week throughout the competition. How did it feel to be one of them? MC: It really helped me document a lot of my own story. Part of the process was to create your own footage and sometimes I get so busy that I don’t have an opportunity to take photographs or snap special guests for my Instagram.
Social media continues to be huge for us because it’s our way of communicating directly with the customer. I love getting to show the story behind the progress of every collection. We have a really well-curated Instagram that I’m really proud of, but the CFDA really helped us a lot with that. Eva Chen actually gave us a few lessons on how to use Instagram.
You must have a favorite piece from the collection, no? MC:I always go back to my signature black and white striped pajama with the mini mask on the pocket. That’s my favorite thing to wear is that shirt. At home I’ve been living in the new jersey sets. They’re so cozy. The tropical Lanie prints are my favorite right now. When I do go to the beach you’ll see me in the Emma bikini with a little red ruffle and purple print. And honestly I really love my collection with The Fine Frenchie. And Lastly my night garden print I illustrated based on the the stationary I made for my wedding invitation, I love that pajama.
Anything you're currently obssessed with? MC: I love tiny bags. I’ve always been obsessed with them and I feel like they’re really having a moment right now. The Jacquemus bags are really cute, the Staud bags.
Are there any things you won't wear? MC: I love sweatpants, but I think that I began making them at Morgan Lane to elevate them to a whole new level while also offering the comfortability that they have. The cashmere track pants are some of my favorite to wear out.
In terms of shoes, Crocs and UGGs are the two you’ll never catch me wearing. And I don’t wear jeggings. I just don’t really like tight things in general.
What's the most fabulous thing in your closet right now? MC: My wedding dress. It was from Alexander McQueen. It’s my favorite thing that I’ve ever owned and I will cherish it forever.
Being the daughter of Jill Stuart, I have amazing access to her archives and I've also saved so many dresses from her early days, especially ones from collections that I worked on with her. I wear her stuff all the time. I barely go shopping for other brands, but when I do I’m always comparing and giving her notes too. [Laughs]
When you have downtime, where can we find you in NYC? MC: There are so many vintage shops that I love. Illisa's Vintage Lingerie is a really cool shop on West 25th Street. But, you can also catch me at one of the many vintage shows from A Current Affair to Manhattan Vintage. And definitely here at the pop-up store until June 1st. It’s the first time I’ve had a storefront and I’m really excited to connect with my customers and to have them experience the space and our upcoming events here.