People are always asking how I got into the business. In a way, I was always in the business. Since I was a kid growing up in L.A., all I ever wanted was my own store with my own line of clothes. At 15, I was already selling clothes and dressing people. At Syracuse University I studied fashion design, and immediately afterwards, I hit the trade shows planning my empire. After three years of research working in retail, I opened my own store, Lisa Kline, in August 1995 when I was 25.
To this day, I still work all the time and the stores are my life. When I am not working I am hanging out with my husband, English Mastiff, and Moluccan Cockatoo. I love to wine and dine with friends for lunch or dinner, get massages, go hiking, scuba diving, traveling, shooting at the gun range, and entertaining.
Early on I discovered that I had a real eye for unique, flattering, and functional clothing, and a gift for finding just the right look for anyone I meet. I?m kind of a fashion doctor. I seem to figure out a way for clothes to make a real statement while still fitting someone?s personality. My own personal style is eclectic. I?ve always been able to put things together that maybe shouldn?t go together. I follow my own rules which are: NONE. I?m also a hunter. I still check out the flea markets, and then showcase a few of the treasures I find at the store.
Recently, I?ve started my own lines of clothing: Lisa Kline Exclusive Private Label and Lisa Kline Men Exclusive Private Label. I pick the designs, materials and colors myself. It?s fun and it takes me back to the creative thinking that got me into the business in the first place. It?s a great feeling to stock my own label.
Since Lisa Kline opened, I have been asked to offer trend updates and fashion do?s and don?ts on Fox?s Good Day L.A., the national Good Day Live, Extra!, Style Network, VH1, MTV and E! segments like ?Fashion Emergencies? and ?It?s good to be Brittany Spears, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, and Kate Hudson.? I?ve also done the fashion consultation and production for numerous charity fashion shows, dressed many films and network television shows, and dressed upscale restaurants like Avenue and Eldorado.
My advice to anyone who wants to start their own store is: ?You have to really want it, and you can?t walk in to it or learn some magic formula. You just have to do it for yourself. Trust your instincts, and come up with your own formula. Don?t copy anyone.? I never even took on a business partner, because I feel like real vision can?t be shared. My grad-school education was running my business. I built my store by building a reputation and a following. With each new step, I learned about a new aspect of business.
About Lisa Kline Inc.
When I opened my first store, Lisa Kline, in August 1995, Robertson Boulevard was a decorators? street, with carpet and kitchen stores. But I had an instinct. I?d grown up in L.A. and I had a feel for certain streets. I scouted locations for two years while selling shoes. I found myself driving down Robertson a lot. There was a pull. I needed to be there. And there was no competition. That was then. Now, just a few years later, it?s the hottest shopping street in L.A.
Conveniently located a block south of the famous restaurant The Ivy, my stores have been instrumental in introducing a steady stream of celebrity clients (including Britney Spears, Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Naomi Campbell, Kate Hudson, Liv Tyler, Carmen Electra, Denise Richards, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Eve, Jennifer Aniston, Brendan Fraser, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Phillippe and Ben Harper (to name a few) to influential designers like Rebecca Taylor, Juicy Couture, Tracy Watts, Foley, Cosabella, Ella Moss, Blue Cult, James Perse, Paper Denim and Cloth, Paul Smith, G-Star, Smedley, Theory and Tse.
Along with the celebrities, our stores have dressed many television shows over the years, like Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Frasier, Malcolm in the Middle, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Will and Grace, Friends, Gilmore Girls, Ally McBeal, The Young and the Restless, General Hospital and Access Hollywood. The stores themselves and I have been featured on CBS, ABC, Good Day L.A. and the national Good Day Live, E! Style Channel, E! Fashion Emergencies, MTV PUNKED, Extreme Makeover, CUPID, QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY, and Fox 11 News Style File, for hot seasonal trends and for tips on how to dress like a celebrity.
When a great space opened up right across Robertson Boulevard in 1999, I responded to my gut instinct and intense popular demand by starting Lisa Kline Men. The scene for men?s clothes in L.A. has never been the same. I love dressing men and buying for the Men?s store. It is more challenging than women?s clothes because there is less to choose from. There are only a few great men?s stores across the country, as opposed to the hundreds of great women?s stores. It is rewarding to dress men, because they are so pleased and become more confident when they look great and we can change their style to something hipper and nicer. The Men?s Store, thanks to my husband, Robert is a man?s man store with a full bar, flat screen TV, Playboys, and a great staff makes it a place you can come and chill out at!
By popular demand across the country, men and women alike have been anticipating the ability to shop online at www.lisakline.com. The waiting ceases November 2003, with the launch of Lisa Kline?s official e-commerce site: lisakline.com. The newly improved e-commerce site for men, women, and accessories will make available all of the hottest lines that are carried through out the Lisa Kline stores.