Shadyside designer brings soft wear to Strip District showroom
By JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Published: Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Mollie Lang makes other women around her feel comfortable. And not just because of her welcoming personality.
Lang designs silky-smooth loungewear and sleepwear that also are fashion forward.
“Everything is focused on soft-feeling textures, such as silk modal and cashmere,” Lang says from her newly opened Strip District showroom. “They are yummy ridiculous soft materials. I like to wear pajama tops and T-shirts, but I want them to have a bit of a sex appeal and to be, oh, so comfortable, so I can wear them out of the house, too, with jeans and a jacket. Women should feel great, and we should own our sexiness. Loungewear doesn't have to be sloppy looking. It can be comfortable and have style.”
Lang, a Shadyside resident, founded the website byLangley.com, which launched in 2011. She initially offered an extensive collection of vintage-inspired rompers, chemises, bras, bralets and knickers. The focus has changed on the website to now offer byLangley Collection, a contemporary loungewear collection designed by Lang. The byLangley Collection was founded in August. Production is done in Los Angeles.
She opened her showroom in September to give customers an opportunity to see, feel and try on items. The women who buy from Lang are very busy, she says, but they still want to look and feel fabulous.
“If you don't like something, and it doesn't make you feel good, then I will take it back,” Lang says. “Because, what good is it if you don't wear it?
“I didn't want a traditional store, since we have the online shop, but I wanted a place women can come by when they have a few free moments and take a look and try on items.”
Lang, who grew up in Fox Chapel and attended Shady Side Academy, understands the demands of being a woman. She is a married mother of a 2-year-old daughter, along with being an entrepreneur. But she says that doesn't mean she has to live in baggy sweatpants and oversize T-shirts.
Lang credits her husband, Tom, with being an inspiration and giving her complete support. The two decided to move to her hometown from New York City when he was accepted at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business. In New York, Mollie Lang worked as a digital and brand marketing executive at Tommy Hilfiger, Vivre and American Eagle outfitters before deciding to start her own business.
“I love Pittsburgh,” Lang says. “I have lived in New York, but there are many interesting things going on right here in Pittsburgh. There is a lot of creativity and an incredible spirit here. I know it is a little crazy to be doing this, but it is my dream.
“I would say my designs are contemporary casual,” says Lang, wearing one of her pajama tops. “I love the idea of being at home and relaxing, but still looking good. Pajama sets today are so popular. You see them being worn out of the house. I would wear one of my pajama sets with a jacket, a pair of heels and a big chunky necklace to a party. That is more of a fashion-forward style, but it looks good.”
She created a holiday collection, the company's first capsule collection, byL Luxe, consisting of silhouettes in luxurious fabrics that are meant to be worn in and out of the bedroom. The collection consists of cashmere leggings, form-fitting dresses and silk-piped pajama tops and bottoms that can be worn together or separately.
Prices range from $78 to $300.
“I love this byLangley,” says Heidi Weitz, who lives Downtown and owns Heidi Optics, Downtown. “There are so many items here I like. The clothing is so easy to wear. I am short, and when I can buy a pair of pants that I don't have to hem, that is wonderful. I am a lounger. I love to be comfortable, and everything at byLangley is comfortable. I live close, so this is the perfect location.”
Lang chose the Strip District because the area has energy, cultural diversity and is just a “cool place to have a business.”
“(The Ramsey cardigan) is the most comfortable piece,” says Jessica O'Brien of Squirrel Hill, owner of Beehive NeedleArts in Mt. Lebanon. “I wear it all the time. I have watched Mollie grow this business since she came back to Pittsburgh. She has such beautiful things. She has the best eye when it comes to fashion. When I see her collections, I see so many items I want to put on my body.”
The clothing has a classic simplicity with a touch of something special with the fabric and the feel, says Meredith Montgomery, a medical sales representative from Point Breeze.
“You feel confident and sexy when you wear it,” she says. “And it is nice to get a handwritten note from Molly when you purchase something. Customer service is so important, and she treats her customers well.”
She is obviously doing something right. “I am interested in everything in the studio,” Montgomery says. “I just want to wheel this whole rack home with me.”
The byLangley.com showroom is at 2000 Smallman St., Strip District. Hours are by appointment. There will be an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 16 to 20, when items will be 20 percent off. Email email@example.com for an appointment. 412-418-6957 or www.bylangley.com
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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