– By Leena Sanzgiri –
Like any good fashionista, for whom “saving” will always remain a largely foreign concept and “tech” will always refer principally to shopping online, I can admit that a favorite part of my morning ritual involves perusing the slew of e-commerce e-mails that arrive daily in my inbox. Typically, the promise of upcoming “flash” luxury and vintage sales at my fingertips more than thrills me, but as of late (and I will surely curse myself for admitting this publicly), I’ve gotten a little jaded by all that I usually find online. I’ve been longing for online access to exceptional pieces, that reflect both my international upbringing, and my love of conversation-worthy accessories.
Imagine my excitement when I was recently introduced to L-atitude; a site that does just that. Combining a well-edited blog with an equally well-curated online shopping site, L-atitude brings its members on-the-spot access to the creations of talented designers and local artisans from several of the world’s fashion hotspots. What sets this site apart, however, is its uniquely far-reaching, cutting edge fashion diaspora. While sourcing designers from traditional fashion capitals like Milan and New York, L-atitude also features the fashion and cultural pulses of exotic locales such as Mumbai, Bali, Bogota, and Istanbul.
Clockwise from top:
Nicholas Liu Tilda Tassel Earrings
Hacienda Montaecristo Leather and Robozo Fringe Necklace
Anndra Neen Open Cage Clutch–
“We cater to both the jetsetter and the aspirational traveler,” says founder and CEO Alisa Ng. “It’s not about going after what is trendy, but rather about product discovery. We want extraordinary pieces from these destinations to be accessible to women who can’t necessarily travel to find them.” Ng also notes that when choosing merchandise for the site, she and her team of buyers maintain a determined mission to search for items that convey a strong travel narrative and that are what natives truly “in-the-know” would purchase in their hometowns.
Moreover, the L-atitude team makes a concerted effort to support local artisans, selling one-of-a-kind pieces to benefit the communities it represents. Recently, L-atitude launched the Project Paz collection to commemorate the upcoming addition of Mexico City to its repertoire of destinations. Using traditional Mexican cloth from the The Museao Regional de Oaxaca, New York-based design stars like Phillip Lim, Yigal Azrouël, and Thakoon Panichgul created exclusive pieces for the project, with proceeds going towards helping the victims of gang violence in the community of Ciudad Juarez.
The L-atitude shopping experience is decorously complemented by its blog, which includes ‘City Secrets‘ and ‘Zip Code Guide‘ columns to offer readers insiders’ guides to its destinations. The blog also runs a ‘Globe-Trotters‘ series, where fashion darlings like Liya Kebede and Lauren Bush give their take on boutiques and global designers of choice. And queen of cool Garance Doré traveled with the L-atitude team to Istanbul to report back on the city’s best picks for off-the-beaten-path fashion and sightseeing—does it really get any better than that?
The irony is, despite the L-atitude team’s decided avoidance of focusing on fashion trends, its intersection of ‘It Girl’ editorial collaborations, social activism, and beautifully crafted products, reveal a distinct edginess as a major trendsetter and tastemaker within the current realm of online shopping. And I can readily say, it’s also a very welcome addition to my morning.
Leena Sanzgiri is a Manhattan-based management consultant from Dubai, where she grew up loving fashion, art, music, and theater. She strives to balance writing, traveling, cooking, painting, socializing, and hunting for vintage finds with watching abnormal amounts of reality television. Stay tuned for her forthcoming personal blog and for more posts on www.oliviapalermo.com, or follow her on Twitter: @leenasanzgiri
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