STORY BY RACHEL SCHWARTZMANN – SHOP NEELY & CHLOE – PHOTOS BY BRIDGET BADORE FOR THE STYLE LINE
“Design and creativity are fundamental to the human
experience,” Neely and Chloe Burch, designers and our featured interviewees, explained in our interview below. “The concepts, designs, and ideas that spring from the creative make the world and the environment we live in a better and more beautiful place to live in.”
Built upon the pillars of creativity, accessible luxury and personal style, one could say that both Neely and Chloe are an acting catalyst for this conversation – as they are making design a premiere vehicle for positive, creative impact via their eponymous brand, Neely & Chloe. Coupling this idea with the brand’s mission of providing accessible luxury for the everyday modern woman, we’re thrilled to share our studio visit with the inspiring and innately stylish (sister!) duo at the helm of this promising accessories brand.
Nestled in the heart of Tribeca, the brand’s shoppable showroom is located along one of the neighborhood’s most stylish streets. If you walk along Franklin Street just long enough you may spot a Neely & Chloe bag with a few of these signature details: structured silhouettes, muted pastel color palettes and intricate ornaments that add a truly personal touch. Speaking of which – while just shy of their first birthday, as a brand Neely & Chloe is already well on its way to becoming a leader in the customization space. In addition to providing a varied assortment of handbags, their workshop services allow shoppers to continue refining their Neely & Chloe pieces by offering fun add-ons including personalized embossing and gold-plated ornaments. Even more impressive, the brand also currently offers a growing selection of shoes and small leather goods.
We got to see all of the sartorial magic firsthand during our visit to Neely & Chloe’s equally stylish atelier where they kindly walked us through their process. Without giving too much away, discover the full story (featuring beautifully captured moments from our visit by Bridget Badore for The Style Line) with the emerging designers who chatted family, fashion and their advice for the next generation of creative entrepreneurs.
We are both loving living in New York and doing our best
to take advantage of everything the city has to offer. Chloe is a bit sportier than I am- she’s a very avid runner, and I have a bit of a wanderlust bug- next up on the docket is a trip to France in August.
As far as values, we are both very family oriented. We spend a good deal of time with our parents and siblings at home outside Philadelphia—sometimes there’s nothing better than a little weekend escape from the chaos of the city.
What is one question you wish people asked you more often?
Neely & Chloe: Can I have ten of each??
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How would you respectively describe your relationship to design, and from fashion to lifestyle to tech how has it shaped your personal and professional identities?
Chloe: Neither of us has any formal training in fashion and design which really allows us to view all our products from a consumer perspective. I think the unending search for a bag that integrates fashion and function have really informed the way we design and develop products.
Neely: I think we began taking bits and pieces of advice about fashion, design, and style in all areas of life from our parents at a very young age. Our family dinners were filled with more conversations about hemlines and silhouettes than your typical household. I think taking cues from both our mom—and dad—have really informed our personal style and aesthetic.
How would you characterize the Neely & Chloe woman and how do you hope to see her evolve as the brand becomes more rooted in the industry?
Neely & Chloe: She is an intelligent, independent woman who is confident in who she is and comfortable in her own skin. She has her own sense of style and understands the difference between fad and fashion. She is a modern woman who thinks for herself and cares deeply about family friends, and community and knows that handbags and shoe don’t really matter very much in the end – but they are a true delight nonetheless. We really see our customer as someone we can – and do- connect with on a personal level.
“There are a lot of ups and downs along the way so we do our best to celebrate the victories – even the small ones – so that on the more challenging days we remember what we’re working for.”
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How would you advise the next generation of designers or entrepreneurs to leave an imprint in the world simply by doing what they love?
Neely & Chloe: Well we’re still hoping that we will find a way to leave an imprint ourselves! At this point, we are focused on our brand and growing it into a platform that women can trust and look to for advice and guidance. Our advice to all those coming up behind us is to keep persevering and stay determined. There are a lot of ups and downs along the way, so we do our best to celebrate the victories – even the small ones – so that on the more challenging days we remember what we’re working for.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from one another so far that you may not have initially, had you not gone into business together?
Neely and Chloe: I think we have both realized that we work better as a team than individually. We have very complementary skill sets that, at this point, almost feel incomplete on their own. Working together has allowed us to hone our individual strengths, engage with the components of the business that we are most passionate about, and lean on one another in the areas that don’t come as naturally.
How do you celebrate personal style?
Neely & Chloe: We both love the idea of a uniform – we tend to buy into things that we know work for us and would prefer to have fewer great pieces in our closet that never get tired.
How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and how do you hope the Neely & Chloe brand is playing a role in this?
Neely & Chloe: Design and creativity are fundamental to the human experience. The concepts, designs, and ideas that spring from the creative make the world and the environment we live in a better and more beautiful place to live in. They challenge our preconceptions and reinforce – time and again – the timeless truths of humanity through art, music, architecture, and technology. The creative mind is an unblemished canvas of possibility – waiting for the painter, the philosopher, the manufacturer or the farmer to put it to use.