A Lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber is an outspoken voice for local activism, local wine tourism, and more.

Julia Lintern of Lia Lintern Coats

So sorry that the surprise came a day late; but I figured it would be MORE of a surprise if it came a bit unexpected.
That and my laptop caught a virus (see comments from previous post). So hence part of the delay. Enough excuses! On with the SURPRISE!
(Drum roll please)

Ok. So as many of you have seen, I recently came across a wonderful line of coats, Lia Lintern. The designers name is Julia Lintern. She's a New Yorker, and might I say one of the most friendly I have met. I was so intrigued by her designs, along with her work history as well as the names of her coats that I decided to ask if she would be willing to do an interview. Much to my delight, she said yes!! So my dear readers, I give you Julia Lintern: Aerospace engineer. Designer. Enjoy!

When I called Julia was actually at work; on her lunch break. She was walking through the streets of New York during our interview! I am so happy that she was able to take time out of her busy schedule and give us a peek into her label, Lia Lintern. (!)

I read your biography on your website at LiaLintern.com. You made quite the career leap! It's not everyday one reads about someone who's two jobs involve aerospace engineering and designing for their own fashion label. Do the two overlap in any way for you?
Well, there is some overlap; it is (working for her label) design. Frankly no, but that is what really appealed to me. Sometimes I can almost feel the "click" from switching from left brain to right brain. It really opens your mind up. So for the most part no they don't over lap, but it really helps maintain my balance. I find it very healthy.

I can see that maintaining these two jobs is indeed very healthy for you; it really shows in your designs! Speaking of which,your pieces are very feminine; such as soft cashmere and silk fabrics and cinched waists. However they also have a very strong feel to them, such as stretch leather. Where do you find the inspiration for your designs?
Well, I would say the turn of the century Edwardian style. It's very much different from what we wear. The structure -which is probably part of my engineering popping up- is very much different from what we see today. They had just lost the corset and everything changed at the turn of the century. It's the romantic part of me; there is something about me that is very attracted to that period.

So you say that you are very attracted to the Edwardian-esque style - is your buyer too? Do you design with a specific type of woman in mind?
I see a strong, yet romantic person when I design. Much like my friends; simultaneously strong yet feminine. Almost like the typical New Yorker. I remember I would see these women in New York - smart women. They were beautiful, smart, strong...But then they would wear these large coats that looked like trash bags. In the city tend to have this need to protect ourselves, like amour. I didn't want that for them. I wanted something more feminine. Strong but feminine. So I think of the New Yorker female - a romantic one. But not just New Yorkers! Any female who needs a nice coat to keep her warm but stylish as well.

The names of your coats are wonderful: Svetlana, Alexandria, Liliya.... Are they all Russian names?
Yes, you are correct! They are Russian names. Once again, the romantic in me. I have never been to Russia, but I think of their women as very strong. The coat Anna K (the dove gray number, upper left hand corner) is in reference to the book Anna Karenina (by Leo Tolstoy). She's such an inspiration. I also have a Russian boyfriend (laughs). Anna K was the first coat of the line, and it felt very Russian.

Yes, it's actually one of my favorites. I don't know too much about Russia, so lately I decided to start reading the biography of tsar Nicholas.
Are you Really? You know, right now I'm reading The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky).
(*gasp*) Are you? Do you love it? Isn't it funny? It's heavy, but its funny too.
Yes, I really do like it so far. It's just taking me so long! The book has so much humor.

Oh, how exciting! I wonder what kind of coats are going to come as a result of this reading!
I know right? You'll have to check back and see. I'm excited to see what sort of inspiration will come of this.

But yes, the book is pretty hefty. It's amazing how long it can take to get through a book!
So true!

So Julia, what are some of your long term goals for your label?
Well, before I was setting up accounts with boutiques around Manhattan. It was going really well, but what was happening is that the coats were much more expensive. As you know, the coats are cashmere.
Yes, which is absolutely wonderful!

Yes well, coats in the boutique like these can easily for for a couple thousand dollars. What I wanted was to make sure that they were affordable. So now I'm selling the coats through my web site, LiaLintern.com. By cutting out the middle man, this makes the coats much more affordable. Also, I would really like to investigate really reaching my consumers. I feel I am doing this through the custom sizing that I offer - once again my mathematical side! Also, through the website I have direct contact with the customer, which I really enjoy. Also I would like to take it worldwide; and I just got an order from Norway, which I am really excited about! So really I am excited with the progress.

Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for our budding and aspiring designers out there?
Really, it would be to not give up. The toughest part can be taking that first jump. It's a hard profession. People will want to run you over or not listen to you, but you have to keep the vision. Just don't give up and hold on to what is that you want to do.

Thank yo so much Julia for taking the time to speak with me! I am So excited that we got to talk and do this interview!
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