The last thing Morgan Curtis expected when she started a lingerie label was that she would end up making pajamas for dogs.
But that’s just one of the comical consequences of ‘Meet Lanie’, a fashion film produced by Curtis to promote her New York luxury brand Morgan Lane.
It stars actress Paris Roberts in the title role, but many viewers were instantly smitten by Fabio — Lanie’s adorable chihuahua (below), who has his own matching PJs and monogrammed sleep mask.
“We’ve gotten a lot of requests for that already,” Curtis told Lingerie Talk. “A lot of people want to match their dog with their pajamas.”
Running over 9 minutes, Meet Lanie is more ambitious than typical fashion videos and shows the title character and an unnamed suitor on a summer beach date in the Hamptons, livened up by a soundtrack of early 1960s pop songs.
The project brings to life the doll-like Lanie cartoon character, which is drawn by Curtis and has figured prominently in all of her brand’s packaging and marketing materials since its launch a year ago.
“I felt people should really know who the doll is, because she’s sometimes misconstrued,” Curtis said.
“Some people think she’s a child but she’s actually a grown woman, not a baby doll. She has regular relationships, she has boyfriends, she wears lingerie, and she has all these things happen to her. She really is the muse behind the brand.”
So what do we learn about Lanie in her first starring role? That she’s a “whirlwind of a character”, a “bit lofty” and an “unassuming seductress”, according to the film’s narrator. And that, regardless of how many boys come calling, her heart belongs to Fabio.
She’s also got a pretty cosy life — a young heartbreaker on the cusp of adulthood, indifferent to her beau’s efforts to impress her and much too playful to pin down for anything resembling serious romance. In other words, a lot like the young women who are Morgan Lane‘s primary market.
‘Meet Lanie’ is the third video production from the young label (which was named after Curtis’s sister), but the first to use a script and professional crew.
It was written and directed by Nate Brown (art director for the Jay Z-Beyonceé HBO special On The Run), shot at Curtis’s family home in Sagaponack and is stylistically inspired by French New Wave auteurs like Godard and Rohmer. ‘Meet Lanie’ debuted a week ago at the one-year anniversary party for Morgan Lane, after a guerrilla marketing campaign of teaser posters that were put up on various Manhattan buildings.
All of this might seem a bit much for a young independent lingerie startup, but it’s just the start of some very big things for the high-flying label.
Already stocked by prestigious retailers like Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, Morgan Lane will get a premium showcase next month when it is featured as an ‘honorary designer’ at Le Bon Marché in Paris — considered one of the world’s great stores.
And Lanie herself is getting some new digs for the occasion. The luxury Rive Gauche fashion emporium, which began stocking Morgan Lane‘s Gold Noir Stripe collection in July, is building an adult-size dollhouse for the display, with lingerie hanging in the windows.
“It’s a great statement about what’s happening in lingerie right now,” Curtis said. “A lot of people are doing lingerie as external wear. And it works especially for the French girl, who can wear it with jeans on the weekend.”
Curtis’s love of illustration is evident in some of the most visually striking pieces in Morgan Lane‘s mix of underwear, luxe sleepwear and double-duty tops and shorts (not to mention the cute sleep masks, which are the brand’s biggest-selling items.)
There’s a lot of shimmering metallic fabrics and glittering embellishments in the fall line, most notably in the Starry Gold range, which includes tiny gold stars on a diamond-pattern tulle base. Likewise, if you look closely at the Noir Ecru range, you’ll find small silk heart shapes embroidered onto a stretch mesh base.
Along with an upcoming holiday collection, Morgan Lane has been commissioned to create hotel gift items and is also expanding into lifestyle products: there’s a new airline travel bag that includes a cashmere blanket and socks, plus a Lanie-branded candle with two scents that will debut next week.
Curtis says her frisky doll character (which originated in a series of large paintings that Curtis created years ago) gives her “so much room to collaborate with other designers and artists.”
That might even include producing a real doll based on the Lanie character, as well as other products that help develop the Lanie narrative.
“Who knows, maybe she’ll get a real boyfriend,” Curtis said.
Curtis, 27, also designs for the swimwear label Solid & Striped and her lingerie line has a privileged boutique space in the new SoHo flagship store for womenswear brand Jill Stuart, who is Curtis’s mother.
Although she shares New York office space with her mother and included her lingerie pieces in the latest Jill Stuart fashion week show, the family connection doesn’t give Morgan Lane any real advantage, Curtis said.
“I pretty much never even tell (retail buyers) that part of it,” she said. “We’re a completely separate entity.”
Curtis began working in her mother’s store at age 15 and spent five years as a designer for the company, but says “now I’ve broken off and am focusing entirely on Morgan Lane.”
“It’s my choice,” she added. “I really want to do it on my own. But I will always use (my mother) for inspiration to keep me going. She started her brand when she was 17 and she has made a huge impact on me.”
More importantly, she added, “she loves Morgan Lane and she wears it every day. She’s my biggest fan.”
Here are some more images from Morgan Lane‘s latest lookbook.