How One Of LA's Most Stylish Shops Launched Its Own Line
We've already introduced you to Whitney Bickers, the stylish woman behind Echo Park boutique Myrtle. This sweet little shop has earned a reputation as a spot to source indie brands with a specific affinity for those that are local and female-run. Jill Aiko Yee, WRK-SHP, Sechung, and Tuesday Bassen are a few of the LA-based lady makers you can find in store at any given moment. Now that Myrtle has been serving the fashionable neighborhoodies (besides its impressive online following) for a handful of years, the next natural step for Bickers was to channel the things she's learned about what women want to wear into her very own capsule collection. With a focus on pieces that are wearable and functional, yet still flattering and feminine with a decided vintage feel, Myrtle's very first collection features wrap dresses, blouses, and a tank that range from $160 to $246 and the entire line was produced locally from start to finish, using remnant fabric to minimize waste.
Not only did we get a chance to learn more about the capsule collection from Whitney, but she also offered to give our readers 10% off (use code "myrtleslovescleverla") on any purchases—as if you needed the incentive. Read on to learn how this busy mom made time to design her first collection, what her customers taught her, and more.
How did working as a shop owner help you realize what you wanted and didn't want in creating your own line?
Seeing women try things on over the last 5 and a half years has definitely shown me some commonalities in what they like. Most women want to have a feminine shape, but are a little self conscious to wear something too tight, plus they don't want to worry about whether they can sit down or enjoy a burger. I always buy with a preference for pockets and bra-friendliness and I see other customers get really excited for that too. Our customers are active and social; they want to be able to work and play in their clothes and have them be versatile enough to not be going through them in a fast fashion speed.
Besides the customer feedback, what other things inspired you?
Definitely being pregnant and then nursing opened my eyes even further to what it means for your clothes to be functional. The Ann blouse in particular was inspired by always throwing on jeans and a tee to be able to run around the playground, but hating how I looked. I really wanted the ease of a tee but something I could feel more put together in, and I wanted it to be something that was still going to look good if I fluctuated 10 pounds here or there.
Speaking of being a new mom, how the heck did you find time?
There's an adage that basically states the busier you are, the more you can do; working mom life is definitely busy! That said, I do find that it also weeds out what's important and what you truly want to give your time to. And thank goodness I have a super active and happy child so he just goes with me everywhere! He's on my Instagram at the fabric store all the time and our sewing production is done in a clean and comfortable place I'm happy to bring him. That's a huge piece of doing the line right here in Los Angeles for me.
If you had to pick a favorite piece—or the one you've been wearing most often—what is it and how would you style it?
Right now I am wearing the Blake tank all the time because it's not really fall in Los Angeles at all yet! It was really important to me to have a tank that can easily be worn with a regular bra and doesn't gape open when you lean over. Most of the time I wear it tucked into high waist Father's Daughter jeans, but when I'm not toddler-chasing I love it with a Heinui circle skirt, too.
Who would be your dream girl to dress in the new line?
Oh this is so tricky! I love Tracee Ellis Ross' style on Black-ish; it's a 'mom' wardrobe but really full of color and fun pieces. Both she and her character have such an exuberance and sense of personal style even while wearing many hats.
Images by Kaitlynn Lucas, modeled by Diana Diaz