MLE was founded by Emily Antonian Li Mandri (MLE) in 2018 on the principles of high-quality materials and unique details. MLE has been featured in Vogue and Sports Illustrated, and worn by Emma Chamberlain, Iskra, and Whitney Port.
After spending over 15 years in fashion and digital marketing with a focus on innovative design and emerging brand growth, Li Mandri decided it was time to launch her eponymous label, an accessories line based in New York. She now incorporates the first-hand experience she gained in both industries to MLE, with a focus on sustainability and quality.
Li Mandri is a third-generation designer in an Italian and Armenian family of tailors, seamstresses, and fine jewelers. Growing up, Li Mandri learned her craft by closely watching her relatives work in their studios. Her first collaboration was designing her high school prom dress with her maternal grandmother.
The MLE brand integrates the artistry of old-world techniques with modern designs and contemporary subject matters. Recurring themes within the MLE brand reference female empowerment (such as The Gentlewoman’s Agreement Collection and the Oeuf Collection) and sustainability, with signature pops of color and bold details to create statement pieces.
The majority of MLE pieces are made-to-order in New York by a small team of skilled and experienced craftswomen, including Li Mandri herself, in an effort to manufacture as sustainably as possible. MLE also collaborates with artisans overseas to produce specialty handcrafted items. Fabric and leather used by MLE are deadstock material to avoid excessive production and leverage materials readily available in New York’s garment district and beyond. In 2020, Li Mandri relocated from Brooklyn, NY to Saugerties, NY in the Catskills.
MLE’s proclivity for design extends past the physical realm into the digital, with extensive experience building and producing contemporary websites and digital applications for the world’s leading retail and fashion brands. Listen to Li Mandri's featured interview on the Clotheshorse Podcast & The Future of Fashion Business Podcast.
Website built by MLE.