A look inside the emerging brand’s new storefront in Tyson’s Corner.
By Catherine Trifiletti
In the chilliest winter months, comfort often takes a back seat to warmth and style, making way for scratchy wool, suffocating necklines and restricting waistbands. But Lou & Grey, the newest brand from the Ann Taylor and LOFT family, refuses to subscribe to such logic, regardless of the temperature. At its recently-opened Tyson’s Corner storefront, chunky cowl neck sweaters and spandex pants rule the racks along with other winning combinations that translate to ‘go ahead, have that extra piece of pie’ this holiday season. In addition to comfort, designers at Lou & Grey rely on simple shapes, neutral shades and classic fabrics (think cotton and cashmere) to create effortless styles that stand in opposition to short-lived trends. Lou & Grey’s blog, The Ampersand, sums it up:
“This is a clothing label born out of instinct. We noticed women no longer want to choose between style and comfort, work or weekend wear — so we created an edited line of easy, texture-rich essentials for every day.”
The Lou & Grey line is based on castoff designs from LOFT’s active wear collection that didn’t quite fit its repertoire. Designers eventually tossed aside enough ideas to craft an entirely new vision and concept — proof that one brand’s trash is another one’s treasure. Shawn Buchanan, of ANN, Inc., says that Lou & Grey gives women an outlet to channel their inner-California girl. At Tyson’s brick-and-mortar location (the tenth in the country), detailed displays of art, candles, books and succulents are styled next to neutral-toned scarves and simplistic jewelry to remind customers that the brand predicates itself on more than just clothes — it’s about a lifestyle.