The Texas-born 38-year-old, now 10 years in the UK and married to a Frenchman, has never been one to hang around, waiting for things to happen. She’s a go-getter, an optimist, a staunch believer in ‘making your own luck’, and she’s never been afraid to work hard for it. Studying economics at university, she spent her twenties establishing a career in finance, believing all she ever wanted was to be was ‘a senior trader on a desk’. Achieving that by age 30, she says: “I woke up one day, times were great, the market was brilliant, I made good money, had a good title and realised ‘This isn’t it’.” She resolved to give herself two years for inspiration to hit, and if it hadn’t by then, she would quit her job. In 2003, she left Lehman Brothers and enrolled on an MA at Sotheby’s Institute of Art (SIA), followed by a summer fashion course in 2005 at Istituto Marangoni in London. It was while studying fashion and working on the side, pitching to raise money for an Art investment fund, that she had her ‘epiphany’. Lintner is savvy about her fashion business these days. Dedicated to creating timeless, seasonless outfits that are beautifully made, she knows her target audience and is focused on growing her market share. But it hasn’t always been this way. There’s another side to Lintner, a spontaneous, passionate one that sees her jump right into things – which what she used to approach fashion. Launching her label with her own savings at a time when she was returning full-time to finance, she didn’t spend time writing a business plan, instead deciding just to ‘get right in there!’ The risk paid off and business has been growing ever since, with an increasing number of appointments at her studio where clients try on her quarterly collections, fashion events held at corporate firms, press coverage in Vogue, Tatler and The Sunday Times, and a dedicated fan in Sarah Brown, the Prime Minister’s wife, who is rarely seen out of her designs. Juggling everything, she says, is possible because of the flexibility she’s given at work and home. And they do. Lintner may use her evenings to work with her design team, but nothing beats the buzz of wearing them into the office the next day. Plus, her colleagues and clients are also her fashion muses and customers, often ordering her dresses on the spot. Similarly, Lintner couldn’t work solely in fashion. Financially, it wouldn’t be viable, with her day job supporting her label, and she still loves the high of doing an investment deal. But just when she’s starting to sound like superwoman, Lintner does admit it can all get a little overwhelming from time-to-time. Like most fashion labels, cash flow is an on-going concern, especially in a credit crunch. But it’s the relentless pace of life and the growing demands on her time – raising a young family, dealing with a volatile market – that sometimes leads to a wobble and a good cry. But then she’s right back in there again – wiping away the tears, checking the time, swatting away the negativity and on to the next thing. A business meeting? A bedtime story? Her next collection? It’s anyone’s guess. Sarah Brown
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