Lauren Cecchi’s future as a fashionista was sewed up by age 5, from crafting with her grandmother to dressing up in her mother’s “over-the-top” bridesmaid gowns from the ’80s. Even her favorite action figure, Marvel superhero Storm, was a style icon, with her flowing white mane and matching cape.
Today the 29-year-old chief executive officer and creative director of Lauren Cecchi New York (LCNY) sells her Italian leather handbags—hand-stitched in New York’s Garment District—primarily in boutique stores and online at laurencecchi.com and Amazon.
But last Christmas, she debuted her first exclusive collection for Macy’s Herald Square in Manhattan after being selected for its prestigious workshop program. The retail giant ordered a second LCNY collection for 2018.
Leaving Madison, Connecticut, and her large, close-knit Italian family, Cecchi (pronounced CHECK-ee) found another home at Lynn University, which she chose for its fashion focus combined with the college lifestyle. She also loved the diversity. “I have friends all over the world now,” she said.
She learned to say “yes” to every opportunity.
At Lynn, she learned to say “yes” to every opportunity, studying in Argentina, Greece, Italy, Turkey and Greece; attending fashion weeks around the U.S.; interning at Bloomingdale’s and planning events at Mar-a-Lago.
In 2013, after her first job as a buyer’s assistant in New York City, Cecchi launched her own company. Now the 2018 Distinguished Alumna is mentoring Lynn interns and giving back as an active alumna.
She finds design inspiration all around her. “It could be sand beneath my toes that becomes a new color for a handbag or a grate on a subway car that turns into a new pattern,” she said.
Recently Cecchi got to meet fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld.
“I knelt down next to his chair and introduced myself,” she recounted. “He took off his sunglasses and shook my hand. I said, ‘Hi, I idolize you, and one day I hope to be the female version of you.’ I don’t think I washed my hand for a week.”