It started with a striped shirt. Nine years ago, Julia Leach found an old fisherman’s top in a Paris vintage store. She designed a flattering soft-cotton version and a few accessories (a straw hat, espadrilles), and her collection of beautifully reimagined staples, Chance, was born.
Sturdily constructed and big on thoughtful details (covered buttons, necklines with just enough scoop), her pieces are on the wish lists of women more concerned with style than fashion. So what does Leach herself wish for? With a rapidly expanding business and a bicoastal schedule (she splits her time between New York and Los Angeles), she dreams of a Saturday off — “to have the whole day to go for a drive, cook, write, hike, discover something new,” she says.
And because she never knows when she might stumble upon the next great inspiration, she has one rule, wherever the day may take her: “Pack light, and carry a big tote.” These are a few of her favorite things.
Julia’s Saturday Essentials:
1. When in New York City, Leach loves treasure hunting at flea markets. One recent find: a cache of 300 love letters written between 1938 and 1941.
2. The self-described tomboy pairs jeans (vintage Levi’s or these APC New Cures, $175) with everything.
3. Serge Lutens a la Nuit, $130 for 50mL, reminds her of evenings in the Hollywood Hills.
4. Leach prefers her jewelry “bold, old, and simple,” like this turquoise cuff.
5. She wears these handmade sandals, $425, all year.
6. Though not big on makeup, she’s never without a tube of Burt’s Bees lip balm, $3.
7. “My fisherman’s sweater ($345) has been around the world with me,” Leach says.
8. She admires Joan Didion’s spare prose, especially “The White Album,” $14.
9. Leach serves Domaine Fournier’s Sancerre Cuvee Silex, $35, at her chilled-out dinner parties.
Love Leach’s style? Step inside her artsy, book-filled living room in our blog-exclusive Q&A.
Portrait by Isabel Asha Penzlien