Julia Leach, founder of Chance
How would you describe your personal style?
How did your company start?
I knew I wanted to create a brand that expressed a creative point-of-view; a point-of-view that was telegraphed through a series of products, images, films, collaborations, installations, and, eventually, stores. I realized that a well-made, simply stylish striped t-shirt could communicate the sensibility and idea of “classics that travel the world,” which describes how I live and dress. After designing what I felt was the quintessential modernmarinière, I added beach towels, totes, espadrilles, straw hats, and additional apparel pieces, and Chance was born.
What are the main inspirations and themes behind Chance?
Design : Clean lines, strong colors, and refined shapes and compositions create the visual architecture of Chance; I think more about graphic design and less about fashion design when I’m creating product and imagery.
Simplicity : I’m inspired by the idea of perfectly chic essentials – items that you come back to again and again – as well as surrounding oneself with “life’s simple best” in everything from art to food to clothing.
Personal Style : The striped t-shirt is worn by all sorts of people with great personal style – from artists toingénues, preps to punks, royalty to rock stars, and many people in between; though Chance has a specific aesthetic, I’m always interested in how people express their creativity through their personal style rather than following fashion fads and trends.
Adventure : The independence and curiosity that lead to travel and then onto great adventures are at the core of the narrative inspirations for Chance; Whether it’s the adventure of a weekend road trip, a visit to an exotic country, or the adventure of simply living life to its fullest, Chance is all about going out into the world and finding ways to lead a rich, creative life.
Who are your style icons?
Slim Keith, Jane Birkin, Lauren Hutton, Renée Perle, and my friends.
If you had not created Chance, what do you think you would be doing now?
Hopefully bringing vision and passion to another creatively inspired business. Or I’d happily work on a horse farm on the West Coast. I miss being around horses and work as hard as I do so that one day I’ll have one again – I’ve been horse crazy since I was a kid.
What are your hopes for Chance?
I hope it will grow organically and unfold in a surprising way so that it’s always an adventure.
What is your favorite part about living in California?
The profusion of foliage and the fact that there’s always something in bloom; nature is always right at your fingertips and there’s a spectacle of color everyday. From the many shades of green in the trees and succulents, to the blue sky and sparkling silvery navy ocean, to pops of color in bushes heavy with vibrant blossoms. Also, when I’m there I get to spend time with people that mean the world to me, most importantly my boyfriend. So, flowers, friends, and sunshine.