She prefers a uniform of head-to-toe black.
Designer Sally Lapointe's collections for her eponymous label, Lapointe, appear somewhat like a rainbow. Each look is always monochrome and the colors are sequential. First come the greens, then the browns, then the purples, then the reds. Each season, she painstakingly selects this perfect handful of hues. “It's a brutal process,” Lapointe tells Coveteur. “We stare at color, my design team and I, for a very long time.” The saturated end result proves its worth; the brand has garnered fans from Zendaya to Oprah. “I think the way people respond to color is very emotional.”
Stepping across the threshold of her SoHo apartment, I was surprised to find a dearth of said color. The brick walls were white-washed, the rugs blanched. Neutral furniture and objects decorated the space. Lapointe emerged in a Wolford bodysuit, Lapointe trousers, and a leather motorcycle jacket, all of which were as black as her ebony hair. She stood in stark contrast to her ethereal apartment—and her designs.
A similar combination has always served as Lapointe's uniform. “Every single day, head-to-toe black,” she assures me, pardon the occasional exception. For the 2020 CFDA awards, Lapointe donned one of her own designs: a long-sleeve, bias-cut silk gown in a shocking chartreuse. “Color is a direct way to make a full statement, like in the full chartreuse dress,” she explains. “You see it and you feel it right away.”
Lapointe, who grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts, was always artistic. A natural progression, she went to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) as a painter. There, she fell in love with fashion and found a complement to her creative expertise: Sarah Adelson, her current business partner. “I will talk about Sarah in every interview because even though it is my name, it is not just me,” says Lapointe.
The two launched Lapointe, previously Sally Lapointe, out of a loft in Tribeca in their early 20s. Lapointe had been working in men’s accessories, Adelson in the production of children's clothing. “We just always knew that we wanted to start something.”
Now, her designs serve as an extension of herself, often reflecting personal crises or triumphs. Her pre-fall collection was dubbed “Phoenix Rising,” after her own rising from the ashes after a personal catastrophe. Beyond the ephemeral, Lapointe thinks of herself in a practical extension as well. “I know it feels like to be a woman getting dressed and I'm also not a size two.” So the fit is immaculate—a necessity as her simple designs cannot mask technical flaws.
Almost everything in her closet has that same pristine feel to it (no surprise since her own designs occupy significant real estate). Restricted to only the best, her closet is sparse. The self-dubbed minimalist adds pieces with purpose aside from the occasional off-kilter, had-to-have item. For example, she keeps a beat-up Calvin Klein T-shirt she literally bought off the back of a random stranger once in upstate New York. “I just saw him and was like, I need that.”
The designer experiments with other creatives’ work in her accessories collection. She favors timeless designs from heritage brands—Celine sunglasses and Saint Laurent handbags. Her jewelry, which remains on her person always—even in the shower—is more playful. A Cartier Love ring, which she bought for herself, symbolizes success. Her dog’s name, Snow, dances across a dog tag necklace in script. And one heart-shaped charm tells its viewer to “Fuck off.” “I am a rule breaker,” she explains. “I hate the 'should be's,' 'would be's,' 'you have to’s,' like these set standards.” Ironically, her own wardrobe remains within set parameters. But those, she sets herself. Continue on for a deeper look inside Lapointe’s home and closet.