eginning in the early 1900s, black leather jackets became a fashion staple as more efficient forms of transportation (planes, automobiles, and motorcycles) emerged. Passengers and drivers alike elected to rock the newfound item that could withstand open cockpit conditions. The strong and durable material evolved alongside aviation, and later stood as a symbol for brotherhood, rebellion, and punk. As we approach 2020, more than a full century later, leather jackets continue to transform. Lyndsey Butler, Splacer space owner of Soho Loft Studio/Showroom and creator of VEDA, continues to redefine the historical pieces with her own signature twist. We caught up with her to learn more.
SPLACER: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
LYNDSEY BUTLER: I grew up in Texas and later moved to New York at age 18 to study at NYU. When I was 21, I got my first job in the fashion industry.
SPLACER: What’s your background in design?
LYNDSEY BUTLER: I started really looking into fashion when I was in college – I was exposed to a lot in New York. I worked at a smaller label at one point, working in sales, marketing, design, and more. This allowed me to have a hands-on experience with all aspects of the company, which was very valuable.
SPLACER: So how did VEDA come about?
LYNDSEY BUTLER: I was experimenting, and I knew I really wanted to create something. I’ve always really loved the culture around leather jackets…they’re so iconic, stand for badass culture, and act like armor. They make you feel protected, cool, and safe. I really enjoyed exploring this.
SPLACER: Are there any designers you look up to or inspire from?
LYNDSEY BUTLER: I love Pallas, a Parisian, tuxedo-centered brand. They have beautiful, tailored items that are really simple and classic. As for inspiration, I try not to look too much at fashion, and look much more at culture and art instead.
SPLACER: Can you tell us about your flagship store?
LYNDSEY BUTLER: I love the location. It’s on a great block in Soho yet it’s small. I love the juxtaposition of aspects of the store. Neon takes up the entire storefront, yet guests have to buzz in through a front door. From there, they walk in through a vestibule, which is really tiny. We also have some custom, clear, open clothing racks that are extremely heavy and cannot be moved. It seems like clothes hung on them are floating. The whole experience is cool – I love it. That’s what I like about the space. It’s unexpected, leaves an impression on people, and people sort of have to work for it. The functionality of it is great, too; it’s really all about design.
SPLACER: And what about your studio showroom?
LYNDSEY BUTLER: My studio space is on Canal Street on the border of Soho and Chinatown. Again, the space brings a unique experience. You have to go up on an elevator to escape the crazy Canal Street mess, yet when you get upstairs, there is stunning natural light. The space also has a garment factory history.
SPLACER: Do you have a favorite collection?
LYNDSEY BUTLER: It’s so hard to decide. I like all of it, but I’m always ready to move on by the time it gets to stores.
SPLACER: Any upcoming events or interesting new collections?
LYNDSEY BUTLER: We’re actually thinking of skipping Fashion Week and doing a Halloween party instead. We’ve also been doing a series of different collaborations with artists. For our Untitled photo projects, we had ideas of creative things that weren’t necessarily like a spring collection. These have been great opportunities to work with people we would not necessarily have the opportunity to otherwise. It’s been great to collaborate and do something cool together.
SPLACER: Do you have a favorite article of clothing that you own, or a favorite piece from childhood?
LYNDSEY BUTLER: There’s a Harley Davidson jacket I got right when I started VEDA. I didn’t even know if it was made for women, but it fit perfectly. It’s an essential stretch fiber jacket. I grew up with really strong heritage and culture in Texas, so little dresses were really special throughout my childhood.
SPLACER: Where do you see your company in the future?
LYNDSEY BUTLER: As a go-to resource for cool leather jackets. I want everyone to have one and to feel like a cool badass.
SPLACER: Three words to describe your personal style.
LYNDSEY BUTLER: Uncomplicated, cool, unexpected.
SPLACER: Name a favorite shop building that isn’t your own.
LYNDSEY BUTLER: I have several. I love Fivestory – it’s a standalone townhouse. It’s multilevel, but still homey. Downtown, I love Totokaelo. I also really like the Trademark store.
SPLACER: Do you have a favorite building in New York?
LYNDSEY BUTLER: I love the Police Building in Chinatown.
Words by Katie Roscoe