Ah, someone who gets it.

The Line from Vanessa Traina (among others) is a great example of AltLuxe. It’s an online clothing and home goods retailer, online and SOHO (NYC) space called The Apartment where everything is for sale (how’s that for contextual marketing?)

Why is it AltLuxe? Because it’s about not what’s just essential, but what’s quintessential…the best of what’s essential. The clothing is timeless, seasonless, smart, and not to be found everywhere, “built to last but never boring” as they say on the site.

Stole from The Line

Stole from The Line

“What unites these quintessential things is their staying power, the intention of their making, and how they work together in the context of a carefully considered life.”


Pyrite by Creel and Gow at The Line

I love that for one of their first makers, they’ve featured the incomparable Deborah Ehrlich, on whom I did a profile here. I love, of course, that the site includes the stories of many of the designer-makers, and calls the objects “storied objects”. Very elegant, and very much the ethos behind Handful of Salt, which we based on the notion that in many ways, it’s the story (usually rooted in the maker and the making) that creates the value and the appreciation of the object, not the “thing” itself.


Hurricane glasses by Deborah Ehrlich.

The site itself is gorgeously and simply designed. There’s something about the balance of the words, images and whitespace that is incredibly moving. There’s a word my intellectual gut (is there such a thing? I think so) ascribes to the site: precious, as in rare and unique. It’s a word I don’t think I’ve ever used to describe another site. The site is, quite astonishingly, extremely quintessential.

There are many ways in which a site like this could go wrong, though obviously, I hope not. The purity of the vision and the thoughtfulness and emotional punch of the execution are for now so sublime that I will not sully those qualities with either pessimism or – as my Buddhist friends would say – clinging. Well done.