Meet Lisa Mayock

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Lisa oversees design and product development at MONOGRAM, the graphic tee brand she founded in 2016 with her husband, Jeff. Three weeks after graduating from the Parsons School of Design in 2003, Lisa co-founded women’s apparel brand Vena Cava, which was sold in 120 stores globally, including Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Opening Ceremony. Lisa’s distinctive designs have been recognized through multiple industry accolades, including runner-up prize from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2008. The brand was sold to Li & Fung in 2012. The idea for MONOGRAM was born out of Lisa and Jeff’s shared love of vintage t-shirts and the gap they noticed in the market. Today, they have two beautiful boys and a growing business that inspires them to push their creative boundaries everyday.
Shirt, MONOGRAM; Earrings, Mango; Pants, Vintage Gaultier; Beret, Vintage

Shirt, MONOGRAM; Earrings, Mango; Pants, Vintage Gaultier; Beret, Vintage

ON HER MORNING ROUTINE

I wake up a little before 7 and go get my 11 month old son. We hang out in bed, nurse, talk, sing, read a book or two. It's a really sweet, quiet way to start the day. He plays with toys in the bathroom while I get ready, I get both of us dressed, and then we join my husband Jeff and our older son downstairs for breakfast, and we all have a little more playtime before school/work.

ON HER FAVORITE BOOKS

Reading The Magus by John Fowles marked the first time that I excused myself from a party and pretended I had other plans so that I could go home and read a book. That reminds me that I'm due to re-read that book soon, hopefully this summer!

On starting monogram

I'm a big vintage t-shirt fan, an item I've noticed has become more and more difficult to find. The good vintage ones have gotten really expensive! I was surprised to find that I couldn't source anything new that felt artful, non-sequitur, funny, in the way a perfect vintage shirt does. So we decided to create our own, developing our own fabric and washes, creating the MONOGRAM silhouettes, and brainstorming graphic ideas.

On Authenticity

One of the most valuable things I learned about creating your own brand is that what you’re making needs to truly be authentic to you. If you really love and believe in what you're making, customers will respond to that. My litmus test for Vena Cava was always, “Am I dying to wear this?” And that's how I feel about what I'm making right now with MONOGRAM. I wear one of our t-shirts almost every single day.

Some of Lisa's favorite records
Goblin was something of an obsession for me after discovering Dario Argento’s films when I was in college. They did a lot of film soundtracks—Amo Non Amo is the latest one I’ve picked up.
— on her favorite record
lisa mayock passerbuys
 
 

On Personal Style

I have always had the same approach towards dressing—I love pieces that are super special, unique conversation starters. My wardrobe has a disproportionately large number of t-shirts with totally vulgar slogans and floor length gowns. I have some basics too, but their function is to highlight the fun stuff.

ON HER beauty routine

I love the idea of makeup as a way of decorating yourself, but mostly I sure it so that people won't ask me if I have the flu. I am fanatical about sunscreen, and I love rosehip oil and use it all over my body. 

Some of my favorite products are Land Of Women Absolute Rose Balm, which I put all over my face at night, especially if there's AC or heat on in the house, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and Precleanse, which I mix together and use, and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen. I use the sunscreen under my makeup almost like a primer, and it gives the best dewy, I-just-had-a-facial subtle shine. I also absolutely love my D.S.& Durga Spirit Lamp rollerball perfume and use it every day. I wish that everything came in a rollerball format—it's so travel friendly.

Lisa's beauty tip

A facialist once told me to always take off my cleanser with a washcloth, and I started feeling a difference in my skin after doing that. I use washcloths meant for newborns: they're super fine gauge and a very manageable size, perfect for face washing.

Shirt, MONOGRAM; Earrings, Mango; Pants, Vintage Gaultier; Beret, Vintage

Shirt, MONOGRAM; Earrings, Mango; Pants, Vintage Gaultier; Beret, Vintage

 
 
Dress, Vintage; Belt, Vintage; T-shirt, MONOGRAM

Dress, Vintage; Belt, Vintage; T-shirt, MONOGRAM

Outfit, Vintage

Outfit, Vintage

On Home Decor

I am very much into the “buy the things you love and they will all somehow work” approach. I don't think about trying to make my home look a certain way, I just collect pieces that move me. Some are from places I've visited or remind me of people that I love. I am an eBay obsessive—I have probably close to 100 saved searches. Sometimes I don't feel the need to purchase, I just enjoy finding incredible things online and knowing they exist.

ON BALANCING ENTREPRENEurship with parenting

I'm lucky in that I get to work with my husband, so when work (or personal life) gets especially demanding, one of us will shift our responsibilities so that we can get everything done. Before we started this business, Jeff asked for advice from a number of husband/wife teams that had worked together fruitfully for years, and made a spreadsheet with their intel. The things we kept hearing were: prioritize creating space for your relationship outside of your work, respect what the other person brings to the table, and that either person should be able to say whatever they need to—I need to have personal time right now. I would also add that having the same work ethic is key.

ON MOTHERHOOD

I was totally unprepared for how having a child made me feel about my identity. I had always been the person who got everything done, whose house was always clean, whose bills got paid on time—I had a lot of pride in my ability to be capable. And then I had a baby. Suddenly there were problems I could not solve and there wasn't nearly enough time in the day to get everything done. It was very difficult for me to recognize that I am not defined by being “together.” I am also not defined by my job, or the way that I dress, or the things I own, etc. those things might be used to describe me, but they are not me. The qualities I have that are truly valuable are present regardless of whether or not I'm in dirty sweatpants or have a huge pile of dishes in the sink.

Dress, Vintage; Belt, Vintage; T-shirt, MONOGRAM

Dress, Vintage; Belt, Vintage; T-shirt, MONOGRAM

Jacket and pants, Vena Cava; Bag, vintage; Shirt, Monogram; Sunglasses, Dior

Jacket and pants, Vena Cava; Bag, vintage; Shirt, Monogram; Sunglasses, Dior

Lisa's FAVORITE BOOKS

           The Magus by John Fowles

           The White Album: Essays by Joan Didion

Yoga for Men by John Camp

More Rear Views

Lisa's FAVORITE RECORDS

           Amo Non Amo by Goblin

           Close to The Bone by The Tom Tom Club

Joe's Garage by Frank Zappa

Sexx Laws by Beck

LISA'S FAVORITE MOVIES

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels ; Ruthless People ; Dario Argento’s Opera ; Overboard

LISA's FAVORITE PLACES

Doris for drinks

Colonia Verde for steak and cocktails

Speedy Romeo for brunch or lunch

Sincerely Tommy for clothes and coffee

The sculpture-filled Pratt campus for a brainstorm or inspirational stroll

Islands on Washington for Jamaican food

 

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