We Are Upstate NY with Loup Fashion Designer, Danielle Ribner
Danielle Ribner’s boutique LOUP intrigues passersby on Warren St in Hudson with its chic but effortless style but also with a sandwich board promising “life-changing pants”. This is typically enough to grab a shopper to investigate more without knowing that recently the brand has been named one of the top sustainable lines for plus-size women as a line that centers on designing for a style range from XXS to 4x. We recently sat down with Ribner to inquire more about her mission to inspire women of all sizes to be at their most confident and what brought her cult following brand to Hudson in the first place.
INSIDE+OUT: Where are you originally from and how did you wind up in the Hudson Valley? Where are you based?
Danielle Ribner: I’m originally from Los Angeles and moved to New York City right after college. I started to fall in love with the Hudson Valley a few years later when I realized there was so much more to experience in this state and would find ways to come upstate any weekend I could. Now, I split my time between Brooklyn and Hudson.
What inspired the idea for your business? And do you have a retail background?
Growing up, I had always worked in retail in one way or another and studied fashion in graduate school, so it really seemed inevitable that one day I would try my hand at my own line. I slowly formed the idea for Loup after realizing how hard it was for me to find great fitted clothing as a curvier woman. I started producing the clothing in the garment district in NYC and never stopped. Luckily, I had time to organically grow the company over the years until I found the right voice for the brand.
How do you keep things fresh to keep customers coming back?
I really believe in sticking to the basics and doing what you know, and I think that’s what keeps our customers coming back. But I also love to experiment every season with new ideas based on customer feedback and what I see happening in the world.
What is one question you’re constantly asked OR what’s the biggest misconception about your business or what you do?
I think people assume that all successful fashion companies are big operations that always strive to be bigger, but we are a very small team and we plan to keep it that way. It’s much easier to stay transparent, evolve organically and do what we feel is interesting this way.
How is your industry changing and how are you adapting?
The last 2 years were hugely eye-opening for us, and everyone else in this industry. Businesses open and close in an instant, and you can’t really rely on the old rules. We must be much more flexible and respond to issues and needs thoughtfully and responsibly. There really isn’t a set way to do things anymore, you have to do what’s right for your company. I couldn’t be happier to have a small, locally run business since this gives us all the power to forge our own path.
How do you grow your business, and how do your clients find you?
Luckily, we have had a very natural growth process, with most of our customers and community finding us through word of mouth, and being part of other small boutiques helps as well. Having our shop in Hudson has been a dream for meeting new people and spreading the word.
Do you leverage social media to get work and how is that working for you?
Social media can be tricky for a tiny business like ours, but we have met so many supporters through Instagram that have really spread the word about Loup. We love to reach out to people we admire in all fields and start a conversation with them. I think that’s the best way we can use social media – slowly creating a strong community.
What are you working on now that you’re excited about?
I’m developing some more products that really represent the brand and our community, including some new candle scents that I can’t wait to share at our shop!
What is it about the Hudson Valley that makes it unique to live + work here?
Hudson is a rare place where a small business can actually thrive and support itself, which reflects itself in the community. There are so many creative, interesting and motivated people in the Hudson Valley, and it produces such an inspiring place to spend time.
What does it mean to work in fashion in the Hudson Valley, especially as a business that values sustainability as a core mission.
The transition from NYC to Hudson was so easy because there is so much support for fashion, new ideas and being American-made here. I love that we can keep our sustainability values, but also get to try new things and experiment. It’s a very welcoming place to be because we all know that the more everyone around us succeeds the better.
What do you think about the changing face of the Hudson Valley? What impact does your business have on your town/community?
I’ve been coming to the Hudson Valley for over 10 years, and the change is immense. Part of me always wants things to stay the same, but the dedication we all have to keep the integrity of the community while helping it grow is strong. Our values of sustainability and locally made products go hand in hand with the Hudson Valley, and I love being able to excite new visitors but also keep those values.
What local businesses do you rely on to be successful?
We rely on local businesses to do everything for us! We have worked with local Hudson Valley manufacturers like Made x Hudson to produce items from remnant fabrics, which was really rewarding. My partner, Nino Cirabisi, and I designed the new shop location using all local businesses, including Primary Visuals who really knocked it out of the park with the fixtures and furniture.
What is missing in the area that you wish we had?
As a city girl, I miss 24-hour access to whatever I need!
Who or what inspires you personally?
I’m so inspired by other people and get the most creative when I’m people-watching or learning more about others. I love meeting strangers and finding out their life stories or even just watching people and making one up for myself, it’s fascinating to me.
What would be your dream local Staycation?
What is your current state of mind?
Still constantly trying to put together the pieces of the world we live in, but extremely optimistic.
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508 Warren Street
Hudson, NY 12534