Promotional Apparel Goes for a Ride
That was only the first leg of Lambert’s journey. The Transit Museum then directed her to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the governing body for the subway system, for approval of her idea. Within a short time, the MTA gave Lambert the license to legally use the likeness of its train letters, numbers and subway maps for her new business.
“When we first started, people were not interested in wearing clothing that represented the subways, which had a reputation of being dark, dirty and dangerous,” she admitted. “However, over the course of the years, the subways have undergone quite an upgrade, which has been helpful.”
Not only has refurbishing of the subway line added to the company’s growing popularity, but Lambert said people began developing a strong affinity for the trains they traveled on everyday. As word got out about the company, Lambert said her T-shirts and accessories began showing up in movies, on MTV, BET and even on the backs of musicians and high-profile rappers. To date, NYC Subway Line products have been featured in movies, including “Bring it On”, “Little Manhattan”, “Prime” and “Take the Lead”.
“We’ve recently given some wardrobe pieces to cast members of a new movie that’s currently shooting in the city,” she explained. “The rapper Fabulous wore our Brooklyn Subway Map T-shirt on a Rock the Vote video that was shown on MTV, and former president Bill Clinton has worn our T-shirts.”
Surprisingly, with the measure of success the company has enjoyed to this point, Lambert said NYC Subway Line is primarily a one-woman show, with just her and an assistant at the helm. She said much of the company’s marketing has been through word-of-mouth and sheer luck. “We’ve recently negotiated a long-term, exclusive license with the MTA, which will help us to really grow the business,” said Lambert. “Until now, we’ve been so small that we’ve been very fortunate to have people find us.”