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ATLANTIQUE ASCOLI Florentine Blouse, Barneys, $720; FRAME ‘Le High Skinny’ High Rise Crop Jeans, Nordstrom, $215; PIAGET Possession Earrings, Piaget, $4,300; PIAGET Possession Bracelet, Piaget, $5,250; PIAGET Possession Open Bangle Bracelet, Piaget, $1,520; PIAGET Possession Ring, Piaget, $2,420

Power Players: Le Catch’s Marlien Rentmeester

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We all know that girl who pairs a Céline jacket with a pair of shoes she scored from Zara (for $50, no less) with equal aplomb. Marlien Rentmeester is that girl. A former west coast editor at Lucky, Marlien started Le Catch, an online shopping blog that highlights one well-priced item every day, back in 2011, and she’s still going strong. (Case in point: After the first ten months, Le Catch was one of rewardStyle’s most profitable fashion blogs.)

As Le Catch’s readership continues to grow, Marlien singlehandedly churns out daily thematic posts—everything from, say, a packing list from her trip to Costa Cayeres, Mexico, to ideas for how to assemble a holiday party look and spotlights on under-the-radar brands like Taylor Stitch and L’Oeil. Essentially, she does the work of scouring the web for you, giving equal merit to impulse buys and forever pieces.

Here, Marlien talks about calibrating that spot-on high-low mix, shares her personal online shopping scores, and how she maintains her credible voice and loyal following within the ever-expanding blogging industry.

A Q&A with Marlien Rentmeester

Q

You left your gig as the west coast editor at Lucky to start Le Catch at a time when online shopping blogs were still new to the scene. What was that like?

A

It was scary! But I felt like I could offer something women were looking for that didn’t yet exist. Plus, I love fashion and love to write, and I had so many ideas up my sleeve—stories and other things to share that simply would not all fit in a 1X per month magazine format. I also was aware that there were not many experienced fashion editors who were “self-publishing” and felt that gave me an edge.

Q

What’s Le Catch’s mission statement today?

A

To provide women with a daily edit of the web’s best fashion–all of it shoppable and some of it ridiculously affordable.

SUNO Shirred Sleeve Tunic, goop, $395; AYR The Salon Pants, goop, $245; PIAGET Possession Eccentric Earrings, Piaget, $15,200; PIAGET Possession Pendant, Piaget, $2,040; PIAGET Possession Band Ring, Piaget, $2,950; PIAGET Possession Ring, Piaget, $5,950

Q

Your twin sister, Coliena, is a successful fashion photographer. How has she helped you along the way?

A

Despite the fact that she didn’t actually sign up for the job, my sister serves as a de facto field correspondent for Le Catch, reporting what models are wearing at photo shoots, observing trends on far flung locations, disclosing her recent, under-the-radar finds, etc. She’s provided me with loads of “catches” along the way.

 

Q

You grew up in New York. How would you describe the transition from New York to Los Angeles?

A

Acclimating to LA was a years-long and sometimes rocky process. Initially, I mourned the loss of New York, where I was born and raised. Over time, I came to believe that California was “not that bad.” Now, I realize it’s one of the best places to live on earth, period.  (I can hear my LA-native husband’s “Toldja!” as I say this.) Perpetual sun, mountains by the sea, big city attractions/culture—I still pinch myself on “winter” beach days.

At the same time I was working through a geographical move, I was also transitioning from my life as a magazine fashion editor (with all its culture, perks, and status) to the life of a start-up entrepreneur. I missed my fashion mag office colleagues, brainstorming, collaborating, and being in the middle of all the creative action. But after getting over the initial loneliness, I began to relish my autonomy and independence. I also began to understand LA as an ideal place for pioneering and innovating in fashion and tech, not to mention working without traditional work constraints (Yoga class at noon? Sure, why not? Morning surf tomorrow? Check).

SUNO Shirred Sleeve Tunic, goop, $395; AYR The Salon Pants, goop, $245; PIAGET Possession Eccentric Earrings, Piaget, $15,200; PIAGET Possession Pendant, Piaget, $2,040; PIAGET Possession Band Ring, Piaget, $2,950; PIAGET Possession Ring, Piaget, $5,950

Q

What has been the best and worst surprise of your career so far?

A

The best surprise was how quickly Le Catch took off. Six months after I launched it, we found visitors liked what they were reading so much that they were shopping…a lot…and often retailers/brands were selling out of the pieces I was writing about. (People have referred to this as the “Le Catch” effect.)

The worst thing is that I didn’t do it earlier. My husband, who was an early player in the online shopping space, encouraged/badgered/commanded me for years (like a decade!) to launch my own site. But I was reluctant to leave the Condé Nast mothership and, more importantly, afraid of failing. Then one day my husband walked into my office and said, “It’s now or never.” For some reason, that day, out of nowhere it did feel like it was time. So off the ledge I went, and I have never looked back.

Q

What’s the best thing about your job? And your least favorite?

A

Ummm…shopping for a living?! As for least favorite, sitting at my desk for long stretches of time. I need one of those treadmill desks!

ATLANTIQUE ASCOLI Florentine Blouse, Barneys, $720; PIAGET Possession Earrings, Piaget, $4,300; PIAGET Possession Bracelet, Piaget, $5,250; PIAGET Possession Open Bangle Bracelet, Piaget, $1,520; PIAGET Possession Ring, Piaget, $2,420

Q

What’s a fashion “rule” you love to break?

A

I truly believe that beauty can be found at any price point, not just in high end designer clothing, and I try to prove that every day.

Q

Since hunting for special pieces is such a big part of what you do, tell us what about a few of your biggest shopping victories/favorite finds?

A

Gosh, there are so many! But the ones that truly stand out are the one-of-a-kind/hard-to-find finds, such as the couture Chanel pea coat that I snapped up at a consignment store for a steal, and the Forever 21 metallic coat (a dead ringer for Prada!) that I bought not only for myself, but my mom and sister.

Q

How has the shopping landscape changed since you launched Le Catch back in 2011?

A

There are more stores, more brands, and more influencers. It’s a challenge to get your voice heard. But therein lies the opportunity. Women are overwhelmed by so many choices, so good (um, excellent) curation and a genuine connection with your readers is as valuable as ever.

ATLANTIQUE ASCOLI Florentine Blouse, Barneys, $720; FRAME ‘Le High Skinny’ High Rise Crop Jeans, Nordstrom, $215; PIAGET Possession Bracelet, Piaget, $5,250; PIAGET Possession Open Bangle Bracelet, Piaget, $1,520; PIAGET Possession Ring, Piaget, $2,420

Q

How do you disconnect?

A

Morning runs, hiking with friends, paddleboarding in Malibu, reading before bed. I also love my girls getaways to Napa!

Q

When you’re off-duty/off-line, where do you like to hang in Pacific Palisades with your boys?

A

On the beach or in our backyard, swimming in the pool, playing ping-pong, and skateboarding around our neighborhood.

Photographer: Angi Welsch
Hair & Makeup: Bethany Brill

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