Here's my favorite photograph of the real Leota, my great grandmother, who was the daughter of an immigrant. The photo captures her and my great-grandfather embracing in a dance in the kitchen. I never knew her, but my family tells me the two of them would launch into joyful dances at the drop of a dime. They must have been bursting with love and happiness in those moments. My family has had many priviliges; we got to stay together, got to start businesses, got to fail and try again, and got to dane in our kitchens, because early in the 20th century our ancestors got to immigrate here in the first place.
The tradition is broken now. I am sickened by our country separating young people from their parents along our southern border. Even though the practice was halted last week thanks to extraordinary pressure from an outraged public, there remain thousands of traumatized children and babies still in shelters and detention facilities run by nonprofit groups and by private prison, security and defense companies.
Our country was built by immigrants and continues to be a country of immigrants. My company would not exist if it weren't for the talented makers coming here from China. That's why I stood with Congresswoman Maloney to ensure the future of New York's Garment District and to acknowledge the origins of our fashion industry in safe and legal immigration. People determined enough to come here, leaving behind everything they know in search of a safer and better future, regardless of the obvious risks, are heroes.
The people we touch here at Leota and our larger network - vendors, customers, affliates, influencers, the millions of women who wear our product, the beneficiaries of our charitable giving - they are from everywhere. Everywhere!
We welcome you. We are family.
CEO & Founder