Many of you know that I love my Lingua Franca sweaters, and not just because the brand mixes quality cashmere with motivational mottos, catchphrases, and political statements, all hand-stitched in beautiful signature script across the front. They’re unique, artful creations that take hours to make and can be customized with any phrase you desire, but what I truly love and connect with about LF is the honesty and authenticity from which this brand was unwittingly born.
Rachelle Hruska Mac Pherson describes LF as literally beginning with a stitch, and the need to burn off some “crazy anxiety.” In 2017 she picked up an old cashmere sweater and turned to embroidery as a means to calm her hands and soon found herself “riffing on hip hop lyrics” with a needle and thread, a craft she had learned from her Grandma Rita as a young girl in Nebraska. Little did she know that this creative outlet from her childhood would soon become her future and purpose. Lingua Franca (definition: common language) would officially be born after Rachelle posted a picture of her original navy and red creation on Instagram, and the response was so overwhelming that soon she was flooded with requests from friends and strangers alike.
The brand has two signature locations in Manhatten (one in the West Village, another on the Upper East Side), as well as department stores Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Forty-Five Ten picking up select styles. Rachelle has also partnered with exclusive national boutiques and online retailers such as Moda Operandi, Goop, and Net-a-Porter to represent her brand. That’s quite a lineup!
I also love that LF is tremendously philanthropic. Proceeds from multiple collections and collaborations are donated to support organizations such as Everytown, American Cancer Association, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, St. Jude’s, Alzheimer’s Association, Times Up, and Planned Parenthood, along with dozens of others.
Lingua Franca is a “conscious brand” that slants toward the political with the “I Miss Barack” sweater Rachelle created for the Women’s March in 2017, as well as a champion of the Girl with “The Future is Female” and “Who Run The World?” stitched across the sweaters of many famous actresses, athletes, and activists. I’m also obsessed with the striped “Love is Love,” collab with La Ligne, the “Give a Damn,” sweater, as well as, “Everyday I’m Hustlin‘.”
When you marry classic style and bold messaging with the hutzpah of “Original Gansta” Rachelle Hruska Mac Pherson’s fearless, outspoken, philanthropic ingenuity, you know I’m going to be obsessed.