You’re a straight sized independent designer who makes clothes exclusively for big girls. Tell me a little about your history, what lured you into designing for plus size gals?I was always interested in fashion & designing & plus just seemed like the perfect under-served market to get into. When I started over 12 years ago–there wasn’t much out there. Remember those days!?
Hmmm… this is a tricky one. LucieLu & BandLu are completely separate companies, but I was the “Lu” and one of the original founding sisters of BandLu for over 10 years. I did all the designing & buying there, which is why some people find my line reminiscent of BandLu a couple years back. I sold my half of the company in 2009 to move to a new city & pursue my very own vision and my now husband (barf, right?)
Hmm. I notice you didn’t answer the evil twin question. It leaves me to assume you’ve got B tied to a train track somewhere and are, at this very moment, twirling a stage moustache in wicked glee. I heartily approve. Most retailers choose to have their garments produced overseas but LucieLu clothes are made in America. Did you struggle with that decision?
This was a no-brainer! More control, working hands on with people I know & adore & the ability to produce goods relatively quickly made this decision easy. To this day I work with the same manufacturers I have for years.Okay, now for the meaty question: Seriously now, why don’t more plus size designers make clothes with actual (i.e., non-cap) sleeves? Is it cost? Fit? Do you want to sell us a shrug too? I hate that ^%$#!
I didn’t realize the market was lacking sleeves! Speaking from my experience, it definitely isn’t price. There is little to no difference in cost. I guess I try to produce for the season (minimal to no sleeves in summer) & for example during holiday I tend to make more sleeveless. I think it’s hard to pull off a dressy attitude with sleeves. It’s not impossible, but I feel it can turn dowdy quickly. I will say that I am working on some great holiday dresses & I can think of 3 that are fabulous & have much more than a cap!
I’m asking this one for the big girls on the Facebook page: what’s the deal with plus size designers and the ubiquity of ruffles?
Ahhh… ruffles. Again, I’m glad someone has pointed this out. I tend to like the feminine & I guess maybe that too often means ruffles. But I also like bows & lace. I’ll have to keep this in mind designing forward!
What’s your desert island piece from your current collection? How do you style it for your own personal use?It might be a little toasty for a desert island, but I’m loving my Adair Sweaters. This time of year I layer like crazy & this piece is just to easy to throw on with leggings and flat boots and get out the door.I get a ton of email from beleaguered apple girls who can’t find cute things to flatter their shape. Many of your pieces seem geared to flatter apples more than the easier-to-fit pears, a real rarity in plus-size design. Was that a conscious decision?
I guess subconsciously I’m fitting my own body first, which happens to be more on the apple side. It is easier to fit a pear body type, so I guess if you design for the apple body type, it’s going to make the pear look good as well. Make me your queen because this won’t be changing anytime soon!
Your clothes suit the 20-something big girl perfectly, any advice on how to style your pieces for a woman in her 30’s and beyond?
There’s no doubt that not EVERYTHING I design & sell is meant for all ages. With that said, I feel like the majority of my line does work for 20s, 30s and up… As you get older I think it’s important to go with less is more. Take it easy on the accessories–you don’t need big jewelry, hats, scarves, printed tights, et cetera… all competing. Pick one item you love & let it stand out.
Finally, you are stranded on a desert island for a week with David Beckham. Tell me what happens in no more than ten words.
me + David Beckham for one week = round the clock spooning.