You’ll want to be their third wheel.READ MORE
“We were both living in Tribeca—and our kids were roughly the same age—so we’d find ourselves bumping into each other at the park, at birthday parties, or at restaurants in the area,” explains Pierre Kim of how he got to know his future co-founder Grace Chang, back in 2004. “We were both always interested in the intersection of fashion, technology, and commerce, so we’d always find something to chat about. But at the time, it was basically cocktail party chitchat. Never in a million years did we imagine we’d be starting a business together.”
Nine years later, the two were ready to make some major career moves, and after several coffee-fueled brainstorming sessions, they landed on a topic that really spoke to both of them: cashmere. “On the one hand, you have these gorgeous luxury sweaters that cost over $1,000, and on the other, you have these department-store sweaters that are cheaply made,” Pierre says. “Why was there no middle ground?” Enter Ivory Row, which the pair launched after spending about a year conducting market research, doing focus groups, testing product, and gathering intel on suppliers, eventually choosing a 100-plus-year-old mill in Italy. As Grace puts it, “The idea of making cashmere more democratic is important to us,” and that comes through in their designs, too—we’re talking baseball-tee style pullovers, slouchy cardigans, and ribbed turtlenecks that you’ll live in forever. The go-everywhere nature of sweaters was part of the draw for the friends, too: “Sweaters are easy—they stretch and give where they need to,” Grace adds. “They’re perfectly at-home going from weekdays into weekends.” —alisha prakash
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