Sarah LaFleur, Founder and CEO of M.M. LAFLEUR, talks to TheLadders about dressing for success and her mission to rid the world of the pantsuit and replace it with beautiful attire for purposeful women.
Sarah, what is M.M. LAFLEUR’s mission? Why did you decide to start your own business?
The mission of our company is simple: to create beautiful clothing for the purposeful woman.
Originally we had said “professional woman” instead of “purposeful woman,” but I quickly realized that the former felt too narrow in scope for the women we are dressing. Let me explain: growing up I watched my mother, who was a PR executive at a luxury fashion brand, get ready for work every morning. Her sense of style is and has been the inspiration behind this company. She always managed to look sexy and professional, stylish and effortless. She wasn’t just a “professional woman,” she was that and much more: a professional and a mother, a friend and a wife. You get the idea.
I think that’s the way most women live these days. I’m so inspired by our customers, who we call our “Ampersand Women,” because they embrace the “and” lifestyle and lead very fulfilling, even passionate, lives. Our aim is to create clothes that fit the Ampersand lifestyle.
I think the fashion industry today doesn’t cater to the Ampersand Woman. Mass-market brands are redundant and uninspiring, and so many luxury brands don’t even pretend to care about or understand this customer. That’s why I wanted to create a brand that did.