It would be hard for Laurie Mallet to grow up in Paris, the fashion capital of the world, without developing an incredible sense of style. Her mother predicted fashion trends and fashion colors for large corporations. Her step-father was a well known artist. Together they designed underwear and stockings for ready-to-wear industries.
After her graduation from Institut d’etudes Politiques she knew fashion would be her calling. In 1976 she moved to New York, took five thousand dollars and turned it into a forty million dollar fashion empire. As owner, president and CEO of Williwear she, with her design partner Willi Smith, changed the world of fashion in the 1980s by developing an incredibly successful brand and fashion line which combined her love of fashion and art.
She forged an alliance between well known artists and designers which still exists today. Williwear’s fashion shows, press parties and uniquely designed offices and showrooms are still talked and written about today.
Laurie opened headquarters in New York, Paris and London achieving an international level of awareness and acceptance of their innovative designs. After Willi’s demise she took in the Pressmans of Barney's as partners. They eventually sold the brand to TJ Maxx. In 1997 she bought the sock company E.G. smith and introduced a highly successful line of fashion socks. Still desirous of developing a brand and a look that would set her apart from all other sock manufacturers she sold E.G. smith back to Eric Smith and founded Ozone Design.
The rest is history.
Ozone The Company
Laurie founded ozone design in 2000. She strongly believed that socks were one of the only items untouched by fashion.
“Ozone Design is devoted entirely to putting fashion and fun into socks and tights. Amazingly, they were still looked upon as undergarments.” Laurie’s goal was to bring spirit and passion to one of the most intimate and neglected parts of our wardrobe. “For too long the sock has been ignored by the world of fashion and we’re going to change that.”
During the past ten years Ozone has set the benchmarks for what’s cool and hip in footwear. “There have been more innovative and new design concepts that have come out of Ozone than any other sock company in history.” The list is impressive: shoe socks, safe sox, hemp socks, radionic socks, tattoo socks, motorcycle socks, the replacement sock, etc.
Laurie still has her heart embedded in the art world. Ozone makes socks for many of the world’s famous museums. Laurie worked closely with Christo during The Gates project and developed the highly successful “Gates sock” sold during the event.
Ozone socks are sold around the world and through a network of two thousand stores in America.
A recent men’s vogue article sums it up:
“When Mallet talks about her dreams for socks, people often ask her what all the fuss is about. Most of the time no one can see your socks anyway. 'Fashion is something you do for yourself,' says Mallet. 'Of course, when other people get a glimpse, that is exciting. But I prefer the idea that socks are your secret weapon.'"