Fashion SL's: Chance

This summer, I had the great good fortune to meet Julia Leach, founder and president of the new and magnificent company, Chance.  Julia is the former creative director of Kate Spade.  She is smart, funny, gorgeous, chic and incredibly kind.  Chance’s foundation is the iconic striped t-shirt.  The high quality combined with reasonable pricing prompted me to stock up on my summer T’s.  Boy oh boy am I glad I did because I wear them ALL of the time!

Chance is much more than just t-shirts, though.  It’s a true lifestyle brand, a whole point of view. It feels refreshing in its simplicity and quality, but has a confidence to it as well. It was important to Julia to launch with a diverse but focused product assortment. There are beach towels, books, tote bags, espadrilles and hats. The striped T-shirt is just the beginning.

Julia was kind enough to answer some of my musings, which made me all the more crazy about her and Chance (Silver Lining!).

Julia Leach

Company name inspiration…

The character “Chance, the Gardener” in the Peter Sellers film “Being There.”
A politician in the film says of Chance (or “Chauncey Gardner,” as he’s mistakenly called), “He has a particular brand of optimism.” That’s Chance. It’s a bit abstract since it has nothing to do with his style, but it makes perfect sense in my mind, and the word works on so many levels and in so many languages.

Chance, the Gardener


Style icons…


THEN : Charlotte Rampling, Slim Keith, Jane Birkin, Joan Didion

Charlotte Rampling


Slim Keith


Jane Birkin


Joan Didion

NOW : Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alessandra Colombo, and my friends, Luise Stauss, Susanna Howe, Lawren Howell, and Kate Jones

Charlotte Gainsbourg


Allesandra Colombo


Lawren Howell

That’s a lot of icons, but to me, they all represent understated, tomboy chic. I’m always inspired by how they keep a look simple yet special.

You can never have too many…
Flat, natural leather sandals

Long walks on the beach

Striped t-shirts and white cotton tank tops

Favorite night out…
NY : Dinner at Omen with my close girlfriends, followed by a nightcap at Raoul’s and a breezy walk home



LA : My boyfriend lives in Los Feliz, so it’s all about dinner at Figaro Bistrot’s bar, then a movie at the Arclight


Figaro Bistrot

G. Lalo sheets of paper in vintage airmail envelopes and a mix of stamps from the ’60s

Guilty pleasure…
Süss caramels with sea salt

Süss Caramels



Contemporary photography, outsider art and figure drawings, first edition books from the ’50s and ’60s, stamps, white jeans


Alternating between one gold and one silver Rolex watch from the ’60s (I’ll never need to buy another watch in my life).

Beyond that, my uniform is 3 chunky silver rings, a dark leather and silver i.d. bracelet, a set of tiny white/blue/brown beaded bracelets; and a mix of silver chain necklaces, one or more depending on my mood.

Current obsession…
Limes, limes, limes
Purslane salad with goat cheese, toasted almonds, pears, and a lemon/lime vinaigrette
Black cod fish tacos with coconut milk and lots and lots of lime
Watermelon juice with lime

Beauty essentials…
Chanel Bel-Ami lip shine freshened with Burt’s Bees pomegranate lip balm throughout the day; Cover Girl Great Lash mascara (forever!); Hermè
s Un Jardin Après La Mousson fragrance; Essie “My Way” polish, toes only (fingernails buffed); Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser; Omega 3’s, Water, Sleep

On your iPod…
A lot. Eclectic taste finds me constantly cross referencing and hunting for new music. I go from neo-folk to hip-hop, but I’d say the three main categories are…

Indie Rock & Pop (Annuals, The Dodos, Generationals, TV On The Radio, Cat Power, Foster The People, Band of Horses, Panda Bear, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Metronomy, Eels, and so on)

Late ’60s & ’70s Rock & Pop (David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Velvet Underground, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, ELO, Bill Withers, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens)

Mix of french music, new and old (Lucienne Boyer, Françoise Hardy, Coralie Clément, Camille, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vanessa Paradis, Benjamin Biolay, MC Solaar, Air)

Favorite shops…
NY : Project No. 8, A’detacher, Creatures of Comfort, Isabel Marant (clothes & accessories); Kiosk, Dashwood


Books, BDDW, John Derian Dry Goods, Global Table (gift & home); Turpan (East Hampton & LA)

John Derian Dry Goods in New York

Paris : Ultramod Mercerie (ribbon in the 2nd), Hoses (shoes and accessories in the 3rd), La Chambre Claire (photography books in the 6th), Barthélemy (cheese in the 7th), Benneton Graveur (paper in the 8th), Fouquet (sweets in the 9th), Spree (clothing and accessories in the 18th)

La Chambre Claire in Paris


Tokyo : Dressterior (clothing), Cow Books

London : Dover Street Market (multi-category)


Dover Street Market in London


Milan : Rossana Orlandi (multi-category)


Rosanna Orlandi in Rome


Favorite philanthropy…
Publicolor (
Founder Ruth Shuman is an extraordinary woman. I’ve been involved since nearly the beginning and am so inspired by the impact the organization has on childrens’ lives through the use of color and creativity.

Currently reading…
Book : Leonard Michaels’ short stories
Magazines : The Gentlewoman, Monocle, Vogue Living (Australia), The New Yorker, Bon App
étit (am loving the redesign led by a new team of editors)

Favorite websites…

Go-to outfit…
White jeans; Chance long sleeved polo in blue stripes; flat,dark leather flat Manolo Blahnik sandals (still perfect after all these years); straw hat; jewelry (see above); fragrance (see above)

Last favorite film…
“Beginners” directed by Mike Mills

Favorite hotel…
Verana in Yelapa, Mexico



Long flight musts…


iPod, Armand Diradourian cashmere travel blanket, a stack of New Yorkers, large bottle of water

Favorite non-working activity…
City : A full day of galleries (NY favorites are Feature, Andrea Rosen, David Zwirner, Paul Kasmin, and John McWhinnie at Glenn Horowitz Books) and museums
Country : Horseback riding

Thank you, Julia for sharing your talent and creativity with Brookside Buzz!

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

~Janet Lane

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