Edith A. Miller + J. Crew henley and scoop-neck t-shirt.
Edith A. Miller is proud to be an American. Rather than a flag-waving lady, however, she is a clothing label started by Jennifer Murray and Nancy Gibson. Escaping New York City for a weekend on Fire Island, the friends found that they were wearing the same vintage striped, hard-to-find t-shirt from the East Coast brand Robert P. Miller. Summoning up their quintessentially American entrepreneurial spirit, they called the factory that had been producing the shirts since 1906 and convinced them to manufacture a sister label of tops and leggings, which they dubbed Edith A. Miller. Like Robert, Edith is 100% domestic—from her Carolina cotton to her composition in Pennsylvania. And now, she has partnered with archetypal American retailer J. Crew to offer three signature styles: a short-sleeve, scoop neck t-shirt in black and natural stripes, the henley in navy with red pencil stripes and the long, scoop neck dress in navy with natural pin stripes. Here Jennifer and Nancy speak with Dossier about the collaboration, the stripes and the stars of the collection.
Erin Dixon: How would you describe the “modern American woman?”
Jennifer Murray: She takes pride in her appearance while maintaining a confident and ambitious attitude. Nancy Gibson: She is an action figure always doing, pursuing and helping others—and she counts on her clothing to support her public and private agenda of accomplishment.
Erin: What is your first fashion memory of J. Crew?
Jennifer: I grew up reading J. Crew catalogues and always wanted all of their stripey bathing suits! It is clear that they have grown tremendously and have created such a strong presence in the fashion industry. I think any woman can wear their clothing, which is very impressive. Nancy: My first fashion memory of J. Crew is the catalogue, of course. I always noticed how they would take a classic or a basic and get rid of the fusty-dusty look by getting the color and the styling right. I also had a friend from college who worked for the company a few years after graduation and she always looked put together in a way that suggested she was having more fun!
Erin: Where do the missions of J.Crew and Edith A. Miller meet?
Jennifer: Speaking for Edith A. Miller, and I’m confident that J. Crew would concur, our missions both aim to create pieces that will remain closet staples for women of all ages at an approachable price point. I think both strive to create collections that are unique and have a sense of wit to them. Nancy: In the area of women’s clothing, we are both American clothing companies where women make the key decisions about the product that is being offered to other women. At the same time, we want to create interesting pieces each season. We also want to create items that hold their own alongside well-worn favorites in our customer’s closet over time.
Erin: What do you love about stripes?
Jennifer: Stripes, to me, are timeless, chic and happy. I’ve always loved the traditional French look, and stripes reflect this elegance. They look great on everyone, from babies to Picasso to my grandma! Nancy: What’s not to love? Stripes are a form found in nature so they are “naturally” a classic and give order, strength and attention to everything they touch and define. Besides, they look fun!
Erin: Which is your favorite piece from the collaboration?
Jennifer:I love the henley! It has a true vintage feel to it with the overlock stitching and cuffs. It feels like a cozy hand me down from my dad. Nancy: I can’t help it but I love our Edith A. Miller henley! It’s got it all. Layered on top or layered underneath. Buttoned. Unbuttoned. Sleeves pushed up. Sleeves stretched long. I think it gives us all lots of ways to work with and enjoy wearing it!