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The M Dash

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Letter from Our Creative Director: You Contain Multitudes

You're more than your job (or your age, kids, or hobbies). Let's talk about it.

By Callie Kant

As our Creative Director, I’m tasked with determining how M.M.LaFleur looks and feels (beyond the clothing, that is), so it’s natural that I think a lot about everything we’re doing as a company and the way we communicate with you about it. 

With the start of 2020, I began planning for the year ahead by reflecting on what I love so much about M.M. The answer didn’t take long for me to come up with: our commitment to our customers, not just as customers, but as real, human, multifaceted people. You’re Pulitzer Prize-winning authors who love taking long walks and activist-doctor-business owners who meditate. What I have always loved about M.M. is that we speak (and I mean that both in the literal sense and the figurative sense) to the many facets of such a wildly diverse, interesting community of women.

This isn’t a new concept for us—we’ve always been obsessive about our focus on you. But I do think—scratch that, knowthat our customer base, as well as our world, has changed monumentally since we were founded in 2013. Back then, our collection was focused mostly on business casual pieces, and a majority of the women who shopped with us worked in an office. The top three professions of our customers were lawyers, bankers, and doctors—in that order.

Since then, many of you have reached out to let us know that your work situations have evolved. You’re working more flexibly: from coffee shops or hotel rooms as much as from offices and conference rooms. You’re not always dressing in business casual clothing: you’re likely to roll up to work in sneakers and T-shirts on Fridays, while still wanting to look sharp and put-together. Or maybe your workplace hasn’t evolved, but our reach has. You somehow found us along the way, but you’re not a lawyer; you’re a web developer, an architect, a freelance writer. 

Throughout the years, we’ve evolved too. We’ve integrated more power casual pieces into our product range, so you can feel as comfortable in a boardroom as you can at brunch. For those in more formal offices than we originally accommodated, we’ve added more suiting options to our repertoire.

But what’s also new in 2020 that wasn’t true in 2013 is that the world is a crazier, more volatile place. More and more each day, you’re confronted with a barrage of world-threatening news, and we know it’s affecting you as much as it is us. In recent months, when we’ve asked our customers what they’d like to hear more about, some of the most-requested topics have been mental health and wellness—topics that weren’t top-of-mind for you even a few years ago.

So while we always knew you were multifaceted in your careers and interests, it’s also clear that you’re multifaceted on the inside. You have sympathy and compassion for what’s happening, and you have regret and even guilt. You care deeply about the state of things, but at times, it can feel overwhelming to act. What do you do first when you hear the world is on fire? How do you respond to stories of struggling refugees when you don’t work in government or the nonprofit sector? How do you balance your staunch feminism with your love of Woody Allen films? Is it even okay to have fun when the world is in such disarray? (Note: We think it is.)

Your feelings (and actions) are complex and complicated, perhaps in a way they weren’t back in 2013—and you’re working through them right along with us. 

You might remember, as I do, this passage from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself (I was paying attention in 10th grade English class, Ms. Thompson!):

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

And that’s you in a nutshell. You contain multitudes! So in the coming months, we want to celebrate that. We’ll explore these many dimensions by featuring a wider breadth of stories that speak to your evolving interests; capturing the many sides of modern women’s lives (as well as the many types of women who wear our clothing) in our photography; designing ever-evolving clothing that takes at least one worry off your mind; and, of course, having some fun along the way. And if you have any feedback about what you’d like to see, please share it with us—we’d love to continue the conversation.

One thing is clear: you’re ready—ready to take on the world, ready to embrace all your many contradictions, both on the outside and inside—and we’re ready to embrace them with you. Here’s to a great road ahead. 

Written By

Callie Kant

Callie Kant is the Senior Creative Director of Brand at M.M.LaFleur. She’s worn many hats in her career, but only this one is made of cashmere.

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