This fabulous unpaid job of mine affords me such riches. Namely, the richness of meeting strong creative women with whom I am immediately amazed. Such an opportunity arose last week when I met Liz King of Claridge and King. New to Nashville, mother of three, co-owner of a loungewear company. Wow. So, the following interview is not word for word, but an overall outtake of our delightful conversation.
Tell me about Claridge and King.
Claridge and King is a loungewear line. Loungewear focuses on blending the line between sleepwear and comfort wear. “Live in. Play in. Sleep in.” My sister and I co-own the company and we just launched in September of 2008.
I have seen the “His is Hers” sleep shirt. Was this your first design?
Yes. Both my sister and I grew up in Connecticut and we went to an all girls boarding school. We were constantly stealing our dad’s Brooks Brothers button down shirts to take back to school…to sleep in. While watching the The Big Idea Show with Donny Deutsch one day, we decided that we had a Big Idea and we started to work on the concept: this same shirt but actually made a bit longer, cut for a woman’s body and with great attention to detail. We launched the “His is Hers” shirt in September and it is now carried by 23 stores across the nation, including Rebecka Vaughn here in Nashville. If you order online at www.claridgeandking.com we offer four unique monogramming styles.
You mention great attention to detail. Describe a couple things that sets this apart from taking your guys shirt hostage for yourself.
The shirt is made of a long staple cotton. It can be washed, dried or dry cleaned: whatever your preference. It is cut for a woman. The shoulders and arms fit a woman. It is a slimmer cut. Each button is mother-of-pearl with our company name engraved on each one. The line is menswear inspired, so the color selection is classic: white, blue and the palest pink. Each shirt comes packaged in a pewter pin-striped small pillow case with a large mother of pearl button closure. We want all of our customers to feel they are getting that “something extra” with each purchase.
What strengths do you and your sister bring to the company?
My background is as an Institutional Sales person for Equitable. I’ve gone from stocks to shirts! I graduated from Owen Business School (Vanderbilt)10 years ago. My sister, Laurann Claridge, started out at Anne Willan’s (culinary) school in Paris and Burgundy (Julia Child’s “Godchild” of a school) and segued that career path into a radio show about food called “Food talk with Laurann Claridge” for which she won the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Radio Show on Food. From there, she jumped from writing about creative cooking into style writing and now is a regional editor for Lucky magazine and Features Editor of Paper City – Houston. Our separate strengths and personal relationship are what make this company work.
Is Claridge and King working on any new product lines?
Yes! We are about to announce many new products. Everything is, and will always be, menswear inspired. We have a new product which is a combination of boxer shorts and tap shorts. They meld into the perfect sleep short. It features a grosgrain ribbon-edged back pocket and comes in a quilted zipper pouch made from the signature pewter and white striped fabric. The Tanks Series which come in three lengths can worn to bed, as a top or as a dress. Thick and comfy. A Tunic and Palazzo Pant set as well as a tissue tank will also be introduced. The Tank Series and Tunic sets are made of 65% bamboo, 27% cotton and 8% spandex. Bamboo is an amazing material to work with and is also ultra environmentally friendly.
Is there one exciting moment you can share about Claridge and King?
A real treat was when Takashimaya New York picked us up. But, really, every new store is a huge thrill! I wish we could get more Nashville/Brentwood/Franklin locations. (Liza interjecting here: Hello local stores, call up Liz!)
What are three things you can’t live without (excluding friends and family)
- Summer and Hydrangeas
- My iPhone
- Caldrea Linen Spray – on my sheets when making the bed (available locally at The Beveled Edge)
Thank you, I think you may see both Elizabeth and I in the drop off lane at school in our “His is Hers” shirt. Now, what monogram to pick……