Meet our insta-obsession: Britt Elridge

Britt Florence

Allow me to introduce our latest Lemon Lady: Britt Elridge, creator and owner of our insta-obsession, . If you’re unfamiliar with the stunning and spirited fashion enterprise of Britt Ryan, rejoice because you’ve just found your summer wardrobe’s new best friend.

It’s nearly impossible to take in the imaginative prints and gorgeous colors without dreaming of mai tai’s and beach cookouts. Britt Ryan brings us the perfect harmony of playful prints in modern, head-turning styles reminiscent of Trina Turk, DVF, and Shoshanna while somehow managing a fresh, new, and unexpected look.

And for all you fashionistas who dream of someday designing, Elridge’s up-and-coming is a story for you. She began her career in the entertainment industry but decided to take a leap to fashion, using the knowledge she learned growing up with her mother and her experience to launch her own business. Britt Ryan, a combo between a nickname and a family name, burst onto the Boston fashion scene just a few short years ago and has since expanded nation wide. 150 stores, plus the recently opened signature store in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. ain’t too shabby for a line just a few years old.

So of course we wanted to know: What’s in Elridge’s closet, what spurred the lifestyle change, and what’s up next? Lucky for us, the designer agreed to dish.

SLM: Your clothing is as fresh as it is classic. Who, what, and where does your inspiration come from? Were there brands or designers that sparked your design initiative?

BE: At a very early age my mother began to teach me about luxurious fabric.  I am inspired by the weave, texture, color and feel of the world’s most gorgeous materials.  The use of luxurious fabric is the foundation of Britt Ryan.

SLM: What is your creative process like? Any quirky rituals or special spots you go to make the magic happen?

BE: I have been fortunate enough to have traveled a fair amount in my lifetime, especially in the past few years.  I love new experiences and exploring other cultures.  Whether it’s the French Riviera, the Tuscany Region of Italy or the beaches of Bermuda, I’m inspired and influenced by my surroundings, which always feed the collections I am cultivating.

SLM: The collections are designed in Boston and made here in the states. Domestic production is rare and impressive, how do you make it work?

BE: or the past three years, the collection has been designed in Boston, Massachusetts.  However, in May 2013, Britt Ryan relocated our headquarters and studio to Georgetown.  The brand has always been manufactured strictly in the United States, which is not an easy feat, but one that makes me proud.  We have been able to form alliances with manufacturers whom are committed to keeping jobs and production in America.  It is definitely all about team work!

SLM: When you’re not in head to toe BR, what are your favorite brands?

BE: I developed a fondness for Nanette Lepore about eight years ago.  I really enjoy some of her embroidered and beaded pieces.  But, most of the time it is head to toe Britt Ryan for this gal!

SLM: Every girl needs a good-to outfit that works come hell or high water. What is your staple look?

BE: This is the hardest question for me to answer because what I’m personally drawn to is constantly evolving.  However, I believe a well-tailored dress with classic lines is a must for every woman’s closet.

SLM: Your clothing is scattered in respectable boutiques throughout the country. How do you decide who makes the cut and where you want your product represented?

BE: Britt Ryan is so fortunate to be partnered with over 150 highly respected specialty stores nationally and rapidly gaining international representation as well.   As a company, we look for partners that believe in the product, and embody the Britt Ryan look.

SLM: DC is lucky enough to have our very own BR boutique. Any future plans for new locations?

BE: We are loving our signature stores in Boston and Georgetown, and have plans to open more stores, but first I need to catch my breath!

SLM: You’re running an insanely successful business, so the words “free time” probably aren’t in your vocabulary. But if you had a day off, with nothing on your to-do list, what would you do?

BE: Free time certainly comes at a premium these days!  I would love to spend the day in the yard with my fiancé, cooking from our garden, for our family and close friends.  It doesn’t get much better than tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese for me!!!  Oh….and a chilled glass of white wine is a must!!

SLM: And finally, what is the one thing every gal needs to invest in this summer? Other than some Britt Ryan, obviously.

BE: A dress.  One that she is guaranteed to turn heads in!

And now a special something for all our lovely readers — especially you D.C. ladies, listen up!

The only thing more important than a head-turning dress is a party to show it off at. Well, we’re taking the leg work out of it for you. The Bitches Who Brunch — yes, our cover girls from Issue 9! — are hosting the grand opening of Britt Ryan’s D.C. boutique!

So while all of us non-D.C. Lemonettes will be brooding with jealousy, the rest of you should pencil us in for Wednesday, June 5th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at 1625 Wisconsin Ave N.W. in Georgetown. And to risk sounding like an infomercial – wait there’s more! Our very own Brand Director, BAC, will be there schmoozing, styling, and socializing — and probably fresh off a trip to DryBar.

Throw back a glass of champagne and enjoy!


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