Ellsworth + Ivey is the epitome of cool-girl style. With sleek-and did I mention chic-sweaters for every occasion and every hot-spot destination including Montauk, Aspen and Nantucket, it’s the type of clothing piece your closet will thank you for. You don’t want an Ellsworth + Ivey sweater, you need one, or many. Created in 2016 by Taylor Ivey, Ellsworth + Ivey has styles for women, men and children, so you and the whole fam can rock in some seriously cute sweaters that feel as good on as they look. So whether you’re grabbing a socially distanced coffee or need something that says ‘work casual’ for yet another Zoom meeting, Ellsworth + Ivey sweaters are an absolute must have-they truly have something for everyone and designs you can wear with anything, anywhere that can even make sweatpants look stylish! #instantglam! LAFM spoke with founder and creator of Ellsworth + Ivey, Taylor to discuss her must-have sweaters, check it out below! #LAFMApproved #InstaStyle #InstantGlam
LAFM: Taylor, I’m a bog fan of the brand, can you tell us what inspired you to create Ellsworth + Ivey?!
Taylor Ivey: Thank you! I was originally inspired to create Ellsworth + Ivey because I saw a void in the fashion market for a piece I loved-capes. This was over eight years ago, before they came back into trend! I wanted to create classic pieces that were timeless and could be worn at any age. I loved both my grandmother’s tastes so much so I channeled their clean and simple style into our designs!
LAFM: I love that! Can you tell us, who is the Ellsworth + Ivey customer, and what type of style and aesthetic does Ellsworth + Ivey embrace?
Taylor Ivey: I think our customer has morphed over the years as I’ve grown up and our aesthetic has changed-I started as a ready to wear brand and now we almost exclusively design sweaters. Today I think our customers wear our sweaters so they can be nostalgic for a place they love or because the sweater stands for something they believe in, like our Pride Sweater. Style wise, I don’t think there is one style our customer embraces. Our sweaters can be worn a lot of ways, from a preppy New England look to a trendy LA vibe-it’s really all about how you style them!
LAFM: As a founder and designer, can you tell us what’s been your biggest accomplishment and biggest challenge so far?
Taylor Ivey: Sure, my biggest accomplishment was self-funding my business eight years ago. I moved to New York City with no money-literally $114 in my bank account and began working two jobs to save up enough to start it. I was a fashion publicist by day, and I helped rent apartments on AirBnB by night, which after saving as much as I could gave me $5,000 to start the business and a lot of hustle! Growing the business from that $5,000 start to grossing millions of dollars a year has been incredibly rewarding!
Biggest challenge? Woof! Where to begin?! Managing a team continues to be my biggest challenge; between my clothing company and retail stores, I have about 10 employees directly reporting to me (and a lot of part time sales associates), which means I’ve got a lot of decisions to make a meetings each day to make sure the business is running smoothly. I’m an independent contractor by nature and a bit of a control freak-so I’ve really had to work hard at learning to delegate tasks, slow down and take the time to properly train, explain but also be compassionate. Being a leader is an incredible life lesson and I’ve grown tremendously in the process, though I’m imperfect and continue to make mistakes, I keep trying to be better for my team!
LAFM: With styles for men, women and even children, Ellsworth + Ivey really has something for everyone, but can you tell us what’s next for the brand?
Taylor Ivey: Yes! We’re launching a custom program in late March where customers can write whatever their heart desires on a sweater. We’ve been working for about two years to find the right factory to partner with, and I’m incredibly happy with where we ended up! The product looks great and I think it’s a great idea for a newborn gift-the toddler sweaters are beyond cute!!
Check out my absolute favorite sweaters below, and the ones you will wear today, tomorrow and forever, the ultimate closet staple!
Don’t see your city? Shop the rest of these must-have sweaters here, you know you want to!