Nowadays you can't even call yourself a New Yorker without a wardrobe of leather pants. Whether they're leather jeans, leggings or the mixed media pants with leather fronts or patches, nearly every fashionable woman has dabbled in this ubiquitous staple of fall/winter. I'm all for a great leather pant except for one huge, saggy problem. I'm not a rapper and don't enjoy having my crotch down to my knees! I understand that leather stretches and thought I was allowing for that by having the waists nipped in by the tailor after the first wearing. It's after repeated wearings and repeated waistband tuggings that frustration has set in.
Several months ago I discovered the R13 leather chap/jeans combo pants and for a time, they made me happy. Finally, I thought, leather pants that have solved the waistband issue with a jean top. I had seen photos of Rihanna and Lindsay Lohan in them and wasn't sure that I could rock them considering that my chronological age encompasses both of theirs combined, but was pleasantly surprised when I tried them on and didn't need to constantly pull them up. I also didn't think I would be arrested for impersonating a teenager but, truthfully, I'm not always the best judge of that. The only drawback is that you are stuck with the denim on top look when you may not always want that, not to mention the exorbitant price ($850!) if you're not lucky enough to find them on a rare sale as I was. (Even on sale they were too pricey).
This past weekend I saw a photo of Ms. Lohan at Z100's Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden where she was introducing Miley Cyrus's performance. I was fascinated at her apparel...Not the "Same Old Chic" oversized sequin top she wore; her leg coverings set off a frisson of excitement in me like Elmer Fudd spying the "wabbit." Whose are those and where can I get them??? became my mantra. Outfitid.com supplied me with some but not all of the answer. They were leather thigh-highs by Samantha Myer said the caption. I did an internet search and came up with Ms. Myer's website but no info on where to buy. Incidentally, her website has several suggestions in the look book section on how to style the product as well as videos of Samantha's styling projects and my favorite quote: "Less is not more." Genius, I thought, this totally solves the droop-crotch problem and unlike the R13's you can add them over any pants, leggings, even with a dress or skirt. Also, (another brilliant touch), you can wear ANY shoes since the thigh-high is attached with an elastic stirrup rather than being a thigh high boot! Love that!
In a phone interview with Samantha Myer, 23, I learned more. Ms. Myer became a stylist while she was attending the University of Arizona only she didn't know it until later. All the girls lined up for her to "rip their tights to make them look vintage" and she realized that she had a mission which did not include studying sociology but did include dropping out of school and returning to New York (she's from New Jersey). She took a job at Intermix and soon became Alicia Key's stylist after styling a Budweiser commercial and getting noticed. "Everything happened organically," said Samantha. "Suddenly I had a glimpse of what fashion meant, of what success meant, of what everything meant." Samantha bonded with her next client Ms. Lohan because "we both had family issues, although mine weren't in the public eye." The leather thigh-high came about as a "conceptual innovation" as Ms. Myer was styling herself and clients. She wants nothing more than for everyone to "rock it and own it. You should feel good in what you're wearing," she adds. The concept was a huge validation for her as she struggled with her own demons and with others who didn't think she could be successful without attending school. "This item filled a niche in my wardrobe. It's a classic with a little edge." I asked her if anyone thought these were too "Julia Roberts circa 'Pretty Woman' to which she responded that some had, but only those with "high fashion" sensibilities had understood the LTH's (as her website calls them) potential. Of course, some may go too far..."If you wear these with a Herve Leger dress and super high heels, you're going to look like a prostitute," she concedes. I personally like them styled with a wedge sneaker which gives them more of a hip-hop edge.
|Leather leg warmer for Chanel 2011|
How Lindsay got to rock them at Jingle Ball is another interesting story. "Initially I did not want her to wear them," Samantha said. "She is not a fashion icon and I didn't want them misinterpreted." I am stunned to hear this as I expected that placing Lindsay in the product was a brilliant PR move that had been orchestrated months in advance. Apparently, Samantha showed up at Lindsay's house wearing them herself and Lindsay begged her to let her don them. "Well, it wouldn't be the first time I gave someone the necklace off my neck," she averred. By the way, Samantha met Lindsay through a best friend's dad who was Lindsay's agent. She then styled her for the Liz and Dick press tour and the rest is history.
Samantha would like to see Rihanna and possibly Miley Cyrus (although her mother is unsure about Miley) wear the thigh-highs as well as the supermodels. Her demographic is anyone under 60 (whew, I still make it) and they're for the customer who "wears what they want to wear."
"This whole experience has been crazy but humbling. I originally wanted to name the product line Paradox as a reference to the two opposites. There's something holding me back and something pushing me forward," she acknowledged. From design inception to actually having a marketable product took about a year according to Samantha. "I couldn't even talk about them until they were patented for fear someone would steal the idea" she adds. The LTH's landed at select Intermix stores in New York and LA on Monday in very limited supply. The next order is for 300 which is good to know as I predict a quick sellout. They are 100% stretch lambskin with combed elastic at the top, retail for $485 a pair and although they come in XS - L, Intermix is only stocking them in XS and S which refers more to the length than the width. "They look great with a pump," Samantha advises. She is planning other types of LTH's in the future so look out for suede, perforated leather and fringe styles, to name a few. Personally, I love that someone so young and involved with the Hollywood crowd, is so grounded yet so creative and was able to realize her dream to launch an interesting product.
- Laurel Marcus