Promotional Apparel Goes for a Ride
What does the subway, an idea, the promotional products industry and the Big Apple all have in common? If you ask Lynne Lambert, founder/CEO of NYC Subway Line, an apparel/accessories supplier based in Chappaqua, New York—everything.
Lambert’s journey literally began approximately 10 years ago when she worked as a voice-over/radio commercial actress in Brooklyn, N.Y. “I was slopping around on the subways to auditions and bookings. Then, one day, I looked up at the subway sign and wondered why no one had done anything with this cool imagery,” explained Lambert. “The subway is quintessential New York City, and is an integral part of New Yorkers’ everyday life. Our subways are really a part of our lifestyle. Research shows that New York City would come to a complete grinding halt if the subways were not functioning.”
In her travels [which comprised of an abundance of train rides every day] Lambert observed the New York City subway system as a sort of cultural melting pot—much like the above-ground metropolis it serviced. “In one train car there would be guys in $500 suits on their way to Wall Street sitting right next to welfare mothers and their young children or construction workers,” she said. “Everyone was together and not isolated from each other by money, class or race. We were all riding in that little tin can under the ground or waiting for those little tin cans to arrive. I became very fascinated by it.”
Churning inside of Lambert was the idea of producing apparel with the New York subway system as its sole focus. With no prior knowledge of the garment industry, she took her idea to the New York Transit Museum, which at the time, she said, had very little product. “I introduced the museum to my idea for T-shirts and other accessories that I thought would be great for them. They asked me to draw up some products. I did, and they became very interested in the idea.”