Meet Meg Kinney, The Founder and Designer Behind The Meg Shops Enterprise

"Style is eternal, trends are bullshit and still after 20 years, there is so much to learn!"
Author:
Publish date:
MegPortrait_06

If you have lived in or visited New York at any point in the past 20-plus years, chances are you have been in one of Meg Kinney's shops, aptly called Meg

Kinney arrived in the city in the early 90s to attend FIT and opened her first storefront in the East Village at the age of 22. The woman, like her designs, is straightforward, low maintenance, beautiful and empowering. 

We spoke with her about her love for "urban women with big lives", the importance of supporting products and causes that support women, and took a tour of two of her six shops. Read on to meet the force behind Meg, and stay tuned to see some of our favorite women of an "uncertain age" styled in wares from the line in months to come. 

EV_9

You started Meg in a small studio (which also served as your home and shop) in the East Village in the early 90s. What was the impetus for launching your line? What did you feel was missing from the industry that you were able to provide?

I was in my twenties, and all I wanted to do was make stuff I wanted to wear. I always loved fashion but never could find what I wanted, so I made it. It was exciting to get my product in front of people to find out that it was filling their needs as well.

EV_3

How would you describe your personal style and the style of the Meg client?

I am very low maintenance; my personal style involves putting on a piece that looks great and will take me through my day. I enjoy pieces that have architectural and feminine elements but are not fussy. 

The goal is to feel like you are wearing PJs, but your clothes do all the work to tell a story of a cool urban woman. Urban women with big lives are my clients, and they are always looking for ease, versatility, and timeless feminine chic pieces from me.

IMG_2385

What do you value most in your designs? How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?

I value most the durability, because I ask a lot of myself in a day. I want women to feel that their pieces are appropriate for wherever they have in their day and that my pieces make them feel comfortable and confident.

IMG_2451

Your company's sustained growth and longevity are rare in the fashion industry. To what do you attribute your success?

First, thank you! Yes, this business does seem to be fleeting for many. I guess I attribute my success to never giving up, taking risks, trusting my instincts, and learning from every move I make.

I have also never stepped away from being in my stores physically every week — [there's] that balance of designer and retailer, so I am working with my customers, gaining immediate feedback, [and] seeing what needs they have. It has kept me sharp able to pivot if and when necessary.

EV_4

Why now, more than ever, do we need pieces that are designed and made by women, for women?

I think now more than ever, women should support one another, and supporting women-run businesses that have values that support the needs of women is a great place to put your dollars.

As a company, we prioritize women's issues and our local community. We are here to empower women through fashion, whether that is producing our pieces in the garment district in New York and in Toronto, buying women-owned accessory and jewelry brands, or involving ourselves with girls' education. In recent years I am proud to say we have supported and partnered with Planned Parenthood, The Women’s March, The Women's Prison Association, Border Angels, Girl Rising and others via various fundraising initiatives including sales of our statement gear.

MegPortrait_12

What have you learned about style, trends, and yourself in your 20+ years in the industry?

Style is eternal, trends are bullshit and still after 20 years, there is so much to learn!

IMG_2464

How has your personal style evolved with age? What design aspects do you appreciate now that you may not have noticed when you started?

From a personal style evolvement, I now start my outfits from the shoe needed that day and work upwards...when I was younger I tortured my feet!

A design aspect that I appreciate now is great simple cuts and shapes and high-quality fabrics — these two elements always make for timeless, enduring pieces.

IMG_2463

What are your go-to pieces when walking out the door in the following scenarios: work, a big meeting and a night on the town?

For work, a jumpsuit. For a meeting, a flared culotte with a matching shawl collar jacket and a cami underneath. For a night on the town, jeans, heels, a sweater or blouse and great earrings.

MegPortrait_13

What is the one piece in your wardrobe that makes you feel most confident and comfortable in your skin?

Jumpsuits (one and done!) and pants.

Related

SBSG Heart of Neighborhoods

A Small Business Support Guide

Because small acts have BIG impact

image-asset-4

Comfort Food To The Rescue: Julia Gartland's Creamy Miso Kabocha Soup With Tumeric, Lemongrass & Crispy Lentils

While a big hug from our nearest and dearest may be a while off, consider this stay-home stay-safe soup a warm embrace directly from our kitchen to yours.

IMG_9919

Deep Breaths and A Healing Giveaway For Your Post-Election Stress

We know, it's been a long week (errr, year). Let us offset some of the 2020 stress with a healing giveaway!

Wellness

November 2020 Tarotscopes

Dear Scorpio: You may feel a little antsy this month. You have tasks, plans, ideas, and missions - but every time you get ready to set off, you also realize you need one more thing. The universe is trying to tell you that the time for action is close, but it's not quite here. Instead of cursing the constant glitches, pay attention to the message

004-KHT-2020-JJ2_6970

A Day In The Life Of Local Politician Kirsten Harris-Talley

"I will say at the intersection of being a woman and black, the amount of expectation and exceptionalism—we should not be burning ourselves out. Folks expect that, but we can reject that—we can say no and take care of ourselves better. I am still working on this, in a collective in activism, you don’t have to hold everything. We have been trying to build that in the campaign."

IMG_9827

Five Minutes Of Escapism For Your Day

This week might just be the longest of the year thus far—thankfully we've got a quick break for you in the form of online levity.

Jen-Ament-Artwork_11

Your Purpose Is An Energy, Not A Job

"Finding true purpose is a tricky business. When Steve Jobs told us all, “Do what you love,” our impulse was to run outside, hands outstretched to the sky in freedom. But halfway to the door, most of us stopped and said, “Wait. What do I love?”

Vote-Jenn-Shore-Shore—Creative

13 Days Until The Presidential Election. Here's What You Can Do

Political advocacy is crucial right now, and even if you have never participated before, there is a way to protect our democracy. Like Michelle Obama said, "When we all vote, we take our power back."