Lou & Grey Is Taking Its Show On The Road, Literally

Photo: Courtesy of Lou & Grey.
Lou & Grey, Ann Taylor and Loft's laid-back sibling brand, has been growing steadily since it opened in 2014. It quickly became one of our favorite online destinations last year. And now, it's hitting the road. The brand is teaming up with nomadic boutique Coast by Coast on a cross-country road trip, presenting pieces from Lou & Grey's latest collection in a pop-up experience from the back of a customized 1972 Volkswagen van.

Kirsten Cleary started Coast by Coast in November 2015, taking her years of experience as a fashion buyer on the road from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in her "bus-tique." "We all fell in love with her and her story," Larissa Noble, vice president of design for Lou & Grey, told Refinery29. A friend of Cleary's who worked at the brand facilitated the introduction, which lead to this mobile retail endeavor.

Cleary will be taking Lou & Grey on a trip from, well, coast to coast, stocking pieces from the brand's summer collection in her van. It'll be making stops at the brand's existing storefronts, as well as festivals like Coachella, flea markets, and beachside destinations. (You can check out the full schedule and follow along here.)
Photo: Courtesy of Lou & Grey.
Lou & Grey's lowkey vibe jives well with Coast by Coast: The bus-tique's free-spirited essence (it's a boutique without a fixed address, after all) falls right in line with the laid-back, breezy aesthetic Loft's diffusion line goes for — especially with its beachy summer collection, which is soft and airy with hints of texture.

While Lou & Grey will factor heavily into the van's inventory, Coast by Coast will also stock seasonal merch from Basta Surf, Mara Hoffman, Kore Swim, and other Coast by Coast favorites. "We love to collaborate with artisans who make special, unique pieces," Noble says, noting that Lou & Grey stores offer up other brands, too.

Lou & Grey only has 11 brick-and-mortar locations at the moment. The still-newish brand will be able to hit up cities where it has a customer base — thanks to its e-commerce and availability in Loft stores — but not a physical presence via the roaming boutique. "We get feedback on Instagram all the time from girls asking for a Lou & Grey shop in their neighborhood," Noble says.

The bus' itinerary will bring Lou & Grey to places like Portland, "where the vibe and community really suits our aesthetic," Noble says, plus spots like Chicago and the Hamptons. Another benefit of taking the shop on the road: "There’s room for spontaneity," Noble explains. "There is always the possibility of more stops outside of the schedule."
Photo: Courtesy of Lou & Grey.

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