An Interview with Lucie Sholl

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

With over 11 years of experience in plus-size fashion, designer and buyer Lucie Sholl recently opened her own online clothing boutique called LucieLu. A soft-spoken maverick distinguished by a singular aesthetic vision, Lucie offers items that are truly unique and original. In this interview she discusses size celebration, her design philosophy, and how she came to enlist the services of the gorgeous Kelsey Olson to model her premiere line.

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HSG: Tell us, please, a little bit about the origins of LucieLu.

LUCIE: Okay, I can do that. We are a brand-new company. I just went live on the Internet about two weeks ago.

HSG: Two weeks ago? So this is very new.

LUCIE: Yes, you’re right on the cutting edge. [laughs]

HSG: Excellent.

LUCIE: And it’s a plus-size women’s clothing boutique. I don’t have any brick-and-mortar stores. It’s purely sold on the Internet.

HSG: Do you yourself have a fashion background?

LUCIE: I don’t have formal schooling, although I do have a lot of experience. For more than 11 years I was a partner in, and the principal buyer for, another plus-size clothing e-tailer you might be familiar with—B&Lu.

HSG: Oh, yes, definitely. Years ago, they used a model who was very popular on my site as well, so—

Ann modelling for Benina and Lu; click to enlarge

LUCIE: Who was that?

HSG: I believe her name was Ann.

LUCIE: Okay.

HSG: Also fair-haired. Actually, her look was somewhat reminiscent of Kelsey’s.

LUCIE: Oh, okay.

HSG: It’s funny how these things cycle.

LUCIE: Yeah. So the “Lu,” I’m… My name is…

HSG: You’re the “Lu” in Benina and Lu, yes? So are you now going to ask them to remove the “Lu” from the name?

LUCIE: [laughs]

HSG: You should repatriate the “Lu.”

LUCIE: I wish it worked that way. I want my name! [chuckles]

HSG: What led you to break out on your own?

LUCIE: Well, it was my sister and I who were in business all those years, and I relocated. And also it was just kind of a parting of ways. We were ready to do our own thing. Family business can be tricky, and we just wanted to kind of part ways at that point.

HSG: Indeed, I was about to ask you what running a business with a close family member was like.

LUCIE: It’s challenging. It can put a strain on your relationship. And we ultimately wanted to kind of part ways, and try to get back to just being sisters instead of business partners, and so we mutually decided that… I moved to Green Bay from Minneapolis, and part of the agreement was, “Okay, I’ll start my own thing.” Because obviously the market is big enough to support both of us.

HSG: Absolutely.

LUCIE: So that’s how we parted ways.

HSG: You mentioned that you were the buyer for Benina and Lu. So are you in fact the designer of the clothing that is on offer at LucieLu, or do you source the items and then make them available to the public?

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

LUCIE: Both. When you work with a manufacturer, a vendor, they, obviously, are making their own lines. Mostly junior-size lines. So sometimes I’ll pick things off their line, and then have it made on my spec. Or sometimes I’ll be going to sleep at night and I’ll think of this really cute dress in my mind, and draw it out, and then source the fabric, and start from scratch that way. You can pull from everywhere.

HSG: Did you always wish to be in fashion—as a designer, or otherwise—when you were growing up?

LUCIE: Well, I was always very interested in it, so, yeah, I suppose that’s true. I’m kind of a traditional shopaholic, and just love getting new clothes, and how that makes me feel. So, yeah, I would say that that was always a dream of mine, although it was never clear to me how it would present itself as I got older. We started [at B&Lu] about 11 years ago, when I was still in college, so I never did have to go out and find a real job.

HSG: Right out of college—your dream label. That’s wonderful. Eleven years? So you’re exactly the same age as the Judgment of Paris, which launched in 1998. And you founded B&Lu in 1998?

LUCIE: Yes, it was 1998. We founded Benina and Lu, which we shortened to B&Lu at one point. And now my newest venture is only two weeks old.

HSG: Why did you choose to specifically launch a plus-size label?

LUCIE: Well, first and foremost, we were interested in fashion. And then we found, especially 11 years ago, that there was just a real need for it. And we ourselves had friends… You just knew that there was a need for it. And that’s how we delved into that.

HSG: And then, when you struck out on your own, why did you decide to remain with plus-size?

LUCIE: I guess because I feel like I know the business well, and I really enjoy it, so it seemed like a fit to stick with that.

HSG: Do you have an age demographic in mind for the typical LucieLu customer?

LUCIE: Yes. I really try to make things that are timeless and ageless. I feel like my customer is about 25 to 40, so I try to make things that would look completely appropriate on someone who is 25, but also would never look too young on someone who is in their 40s.

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

HSG: On your site’s "About" page, you state that you wish to bring “a fresh point of view to plus-size clothing.” How would you characterize your point of view?

LUCIE: My goal is for a real boutique look. I feel that there is a lot of “cataloguey” type of plus-size clothing out there, and I want things that look like you bought them in a really fashionable boutique nestled in a neighbourhood in a hip city.

HSG: That’s an interesting distinction. Could you expand on the difference between a more “cataloguey” look versus a more boutique look?

LUCIE: Well, I think the more “cataloguey” things look older, and I think they look more mass-produced. One of the things that I really love to seek out are great prints, and vintage-inspired prints. Prints are really a subjective thing, and hard to find. And I think that the big, catalogue type of businesses, I don’t think they do that real well. And I feel that my point of view is more of a vintage-inspired look. I just feel that I want to make stuff that mixes and matches, and you can layer, and throw together, and, for lack of a better word, it’s just a more boutique look.

HSG: Yes, I noticed that for several of the products on your site you offer images with layering and without. What do you consider to be the biggest limitations, or shortcomings—whether style-wise or design-wise—in plus-size fashion to date?

LUCIE: Style-wise, that I’m going after more of a boutique look. I think that that’s something that’s really lacking out there. I’m also not real keen on… I feel that a lot of plus-size retailers go after more of a size-acceptance movement, or more of a… How do I want to say this? I just want to make cute clothes that just happen to come in your size. I’m not trying to change your life. Obviously it helps your self-esteem when you look good and you feel good, but I’m not trying to go after that whole movement. I just want to make really cute clothes, and, “Wow, they happen to come in my size. Great.”

HSG: Okay. I’m just wondering how that "movement" would manifest itself in clothing.

LUCIE: I just feel like there are a lot of messages out there like, “I’m big, and…” Kind of a “Get used to it”-type attitude. And I feel like that’s fine, but I want to just make cute clothes that just happen to come in your size, and nothing more.

HSG: Okay. Well, if any of my questions veer into that size-acceptance territory, please forgive me in advance. [chuckles] Anyway, your “About” page also states that your line consists of “part timeless classics and part trends.” What’s an example of a “timeless classic” that you offer versus a “trend”?

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

LUCIE: Sure. I would say the timeless classics that come to my mind are more of the jackets, cardigans, the things that aren’t going to go out of style. Do you want specific item names?

HSG: Sure.

LUCIE: The Kennedi Jacket, or the Kolbie Jacket. The Petra Cardigan. I think that those are all timeless classics, along with dark denim. I don’t think that’s going anywhere. And then more of my trendy items might be, for instance, the Eau Claire Dress that has a chandelier screen print on it.

HSG: Oh, yes, that’s right. Memorable item.

LUCIE: Yeah. Okay, and I guess things that are more embellished will tend to be a little bit more trendy.

HSG: Your Iliana Top—timeless classic or trend?

LUCIE: Ooh, I’m going to have to go “trend” on that one.

HSG: Leopard print.

LUCIE: Yeah, it’s got the leopard, which can go in and out of season. It has the sublimation treatment.

HSG: It’s a funny thing about animal prints. You never know if they’re in or out, because they go in and out so regularly.

LUCIE: Prints are really tricky. I know what I like, and I just try to go after that, and I seem to get a pretty warm response on my prints. A lot of people feel like they’re vintage inspired, and that’s what I’m shooting for.

HSG: Why the mix of timeless classics and trends, as opposed to only timeless classics, or only trends?

LUCIE: I think that’s just what I like. I open my own closet and that’s how it is. I think that you have to have a mix of a little bit of both. One says, “I’m trendy, and I know what’s going on out there.” But you can’t wear all trends, and you can’t wear all classics. I think it’s got to be a nice mix to come up with your own style.

HSG: That’s interesting, the way you put that—that when you open your own closet, you see that mix. And that’s probably what most women find in their wardrobe. How closely do you follow fashion trends? And as a corollary to that, what prompts you to incorporate a trend, or not to incorporate a trend, into the items that LucieLu offers?

LUCIE: Well, I guess the fit or the style of something could maybe tend to [make it] not be included as one of my trends. I say that, but I’m trying to think of something that I wouldn’t include as a trend.

HSG: Right, because there is an ongoing debate in plus-size fashion about whether full-figured women can wear every trend, or whether they need to pick and choose, so I’m just curious as to how you feel about that.

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

LUCIE: Well, some people say, “Oh, maybe plus-size women can’t wear skinny jeans.” I don’t agree with that. I think they look great.

HSG: Indeed.

LUCIE: So I don’t think that there is a trend that doesn’t translate to a larger size.

HSG: What sorts of things inspire you, as a designer; e.g., earlier time periods in fashion, or physical objects, or visual art?

LUCIE: Well, I’m really inspired by prints, as we’ve talked about. I really am inspired by anything that has kind of a vintage feel to it.

HSG: Vintage, how far back? Because vintage can be ’50s, or ’30s, or 19th century…

LUCIE: How far back? That’s a good question. I would say the last 50 years. As nice as it sounds, I’m not really drawing inspiration from art or anything dating back hundreds of years.

HSG: Do you have any favourite fabrics or colours? Preferred palettes?

LUCIE: I definitely like to go with more of a seasonless colour palette, things that will work in all seasons of the year. I tend to stay away from anything that’s neon or too bright. You said colours or…?

HSG: Fabrics.

LUCIE: Oh, fabrics, right. Well, obviously, when you put stretch into a fabric you’re going to get an easier fit. And selling your clothes on the Internet, where people can’t try them on, I tend to stick to things that, even if the fabric itself is woven… For instance, on my Antoinette Dress, the full skirt is a really beautiful satin, woven fabric, but then at the empire waist it has smocking, which will allow for an easier fit, with a knit bodice. So I tend to get some stretch in there at some point, just to ease the fit and work on more body types.

HSG: It’s interesting what you say about going for a seasonless look, because as I was initially perusing your site, not knowing when you had gone online, I was in fact trying to figure out whether it was a spring line or a fall line, and I couldn’t decide.

LUCIE: Is that good or bad?

HSG: Well, some of the seasonal aspect of fashion is no doubt similar to how the car companies annually roll out new models. “You have to have the 2010 model.” It’s a way of selling clothing.

LUCIE: I’ll tend to add some pieces that are obviously only for summer, or obviously only for winter, but launching the new line has been a challenge with timing, and so, especially starting out, I just really tried to go for seasonless things, hoping that I would launch on time, but in the misfortune that I didn’t launch on time, the clothes would still be relevant.

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

HSG: Absolutely. Okay, you’ve given your items many interesting and curious names.

LUCIE: [laughs]

HSG: What prompts you to choose such names—e.g., calling it an “Iliana Top” rather than, say, just a leopard-print top?

LUCIE: Well, I guess, doing this for 11 years, you run out of names. [chuckles] I don’t know. I just think the more personality you can give it in the name helps indicate what the item is going to be like in person. I get my names from all over. Sometimes I’ll be driving in the car and see a street that has a neat name and jot it down.

HSG: Really?

LUCIE: Sure. Yeah. Or looking at a map, maybe, you’ll find a park, or a city, or a neighbourhood or something. Yeah. All over.

HSG: It was just something that struck me as I was browsing your site. I looked through all of the names and thought, “What do they mean?”

LUCIE: [chuckles]

HSG: From the fact that some of your items are body conscious and wonderfully fitted, to the fact that some show off a bit of décolletage, your pieces seem to indicate an appreciation for the fuller female figure. Do you design with curvy girls specifically in mind—i.e., their bodies, their proportions, the curves that they posses, which smaller girls lack?

LUCIE: Yeah, for sure. Sometimes you think of something in your head, and have a sample made, and then you’ll try it on, and it just doesn’t work. And so, then, you start over. I really try to just design things that I love, and then the next step is, “Does it work on my fit model?”

HSG: This is sort of a follow-up to that. Would you agree with the proposition that full-figured girls are more beautiful when they show off their curves rather than when they hide them or disguise them?

LUCIE: Yeah, absolutely. I think, definitely, when you have form-fitting clothes that fit your body, that’s good no matter what size you are.

HSG: Good to hear you say that, because there was a time when such a belief wasn’t—

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

LUCIE: Right. What did they call those? The muumuu type of thing that just covers you up.

HSG: Yes. As a plus-size model once put it, a piece of clothing that says, “Hello, I’m ashamed of my body.”

LUCIE: I think definitely some clothes can flatter you. But, again, I think that’s true for every size. Some things are more flattering than others. I think that’s what you want to go after, something that just really flatters your body, and you look in the mirror and say, “Well, that looks really good.”

HSG: Everyone loves the fact that you offer a number of sleeveless designs. Do you agree that full-figured girls look especially attractive in sleeveless items?

LUCIE: If someone looks good in sleeveless, I think it will depend on the person, and if they’re confident. If you’re confident and you like your arms, then it’s going to look good on you.

HSG: How do you feel about traditional feminine details like frills and ruffles?

LUCIE: I like them. I like lace. I like classic, girly details. I don’t like a lot of embellishments that tend to be more club-inspired.

HSG: What’s an example of that?

LUCIE: I don’t like attached belts.

HSG: What kind of belts?

LUCIE: Sometimes they’ll make things that will have an attached belt, or an attached necklace, or a lot of hardware on it. I stay away from that kind of stuff. I think it tends to look a little cheaper, and it’s not what I’m going after.

HSG: “Hardware”—what a clever way to put it. No, we’re not fans of those things either. How about ribbons and bows?

LUCIE: Absolutely. I have a T-shirt on the Web site right now that is covered in bows—these little, tiny, embellished bows. Yeah, I love bows. Right now I’m working on a casual day dress that’s going to have a halter-style back, with a lace bow that’s going to be in the back.

HSG: That sounds beautiful. Despite your saying that you only go back 50 years for inspiration, perhaps you do have a bit of the Victorian in you.

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

LUCIE: Actually, I was thinking about that when you said that. I would say Victorian age, yes.

HSG: At the Judgment of Paris, we’re big fans of Victoriana.

LUCIE: Yeah. I do like the girly details, for sure.

HSG: Amazingly, bows even seem to be in fashion right now. And finally, what about peasant blouses with folk embroidery?

LUCIE: Yeah, I’m a fan of those. I haven’t heard if they’re on their way back or not. The only thing that I would be cautious of is the colour scheme. Like I said, I kind of like to stick with a little bit more seasonless colours, and those can tend to have maybe a little bit brighter colour palette than I’m comfortable with.

HSG: That’s true. Well, the real, traditional peasant blouse is, of course, white.

LUCIE: Oh, right. Okay.

HSG: Are you aware of the Lolita trend in fashion?

LUCIE: I am not. No.

HSG: It’s a Japanese-based revival of Victorian wardrobe. It’s a kind of heightened Victoriana.

LUCIE: Oh, okay. I’ll have to look into that.

HSG: Lots of frills, ruffles, ribbons, and bows.

LUCIE: I love all of that stuff. One challenge is, when you’re having clothes domestically made, you tend not to be able to find the vendors and the factories that can do all of that stuff. Definitely most of it’s done abroad. So, for instance, this gold T-shirt that I had made in the U.S., I have it priced at about $38.00. Some people might think, “Oh, that’s a lot for a little T-shirt,” but to have all of those bows, it’s very labour intensive, and it can get expensive, especially when you’re doing it in the U.S.

HSG: Are most of your vendors in the U.S., or overseas, or both?

LUCIE: I would say about 95 percent of the things on my site are made in the U.S.

HSG: Why did you make that choice?

LUCIE: You just have more control over it. I have most of the things made in L.A., so I like to go out there, and I have a close relationship with my vendors, and I like to be very hands-on in the process. I’ve tried before, when I was with B&Lu, to do some things abroad, and you just lose control of the quality. I like to be a more integral part of the process.

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

HSG: How might we expect to see LucieLu develop in the future?

LUCIE: One thing that I’m trying to accomplish right now is I want to offer more screen-printed things. I think that there’s a real lack of cute, age-appropriate screen prints out there for women in the 25-to-40-year-old range. So that’s something that I’m trying to do, whether it’s on dresses or T-shirts. That’s just one little segment that really interests me. Overall, I am striving to get everything up to a size 5X. Right now probably about a third or maybe close to half of my items come up to a size 4X and 5X. But I’m really striving to get everything up to a 4X and 5X.

HSG: What developments would you like to see in plus-size fashion in general? Or doesn’t it matter, because you’ll go your own way anyway?

LUCIE: Yeah, I kind of am pretty—

HSG: Independent.

LUCIE: I kind of am pretty independent. I know what I like. That’s what one of my vendors always says: “It’s so great working with you, because you absolutely know what you like, and you know what you don’t like. You’re not wishy washy: ‘Yeah, that could work…’” I say yes, or no, and move on to the next thing. So I think, as much as I probably could draw from what’s happening right now in fashion, I kind of stick to what I like and what I don’t like. And sometimes I’ll like something for a really long time, and keep making it, and switch out the colour, or the print. I’m just going to stick to my guns.

HSG: If you consider this a personal question, I won’t mind if you decline to answer, but it leads to a follow-up query about design: Are you yourself full-figured?

LUCIE: I am not.

HSG: You’re not. And how does that influence you in working in plus-size fashion? Or does it?

LUCIE: Well, although I’m not the traditional full-figured size, I’m an 8/10. I look in the mirror and I dress my body the way that I think it looks best, and just try to translate that up to the clothes that I’m designing and making. I just have my personal preference, so that’s what I do for my line.

HSG: That’s very interesting, how much it’s a personal reflection of yourself and your tastes. And maybe that is what you had in mind when you mentioned the “boutique” quality of LucieLu.

LUCIE: Yeah, definitely. Kind of one of a kind. Just something that feels really personal.

HSG: Since you’ve been in the business for a long time now, do you find that curvy girls’ tastes fashion have changed over the years?

LUCIE: I would say that our offering has been pretty constant over the 11 years. I think that when we first started, we didn’t know any better, so we would stay away from tube tops or spaghetti straps, and then once in a while we’d throw something in and it would sell like crazy. I think that definitely people are more accepting of their bodies, and are willing to dress the body they have now instead of covering it up. Or instead of thinking, “I’m going to lose weight next month,” or whatever, they’re more accepting: “Okay, this is who I am, and this is the body I have, and I’m going to look my best while I’m here.”

HSG: What’s your personal favourite of the designs that you currently have on offer?

LUCIE: I really do kind of love that Eau Claire Dress with the chandelier.

HSG: You have that on Kelsey, on your cover, and deservedly so.

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

LUCIE: Yeah, I think it really represents the overall line.

HSG: And speaking of Kelsey, since the Judgment of Paris is a tribute site for plus-size models, I simply must ask you a few questions about the experience of working with Miss Olson. Everyone has been thrilled by the fact that you are using her to be the face and figure of your line. How did you come to select her?

LUCIE: [AUDIO] Well, she’s beautiful, and she just kind of stuck out to me. I think she kind of encompasses that age group that I’m going after. I think she looks really ageless. She could be really young, or she could be a little bit older. I just think she represents my customers, and really wears the clothes well. And everything looks great on her. She just really stuck out, and I love her a lot.

HSG: So did you see her images in advance, or did an agency send you a package, and you selected from the cards?

LUCIE: Actually, the photographer that I used had worked with her before, and she brought her to my attention, that she would be someone that maybe we could work with.

HSG: Who is your photographer?

LUCIE: Her name is Leslie Delano, out in L.A.

HSG: Oh, yes, she’s very well known in the plus-size community. Were you there for the actual shoot?

LUCIE: I wasn’t at the shoot. I have a very good college friend who works in marketing and advertising, and so she went and oversaw the shoot. We had spent a lot of time talking about what kind of a feel and look and result I wanted, and so, since she lives out there, she just went ahead and handled it.

HSG: But you did nevertheless have an input into who the model would actually be.

LUCIE: Oh, yes. Yes, I chose both of the models. You wanted them to have a little bit different look, a little bit different age demographic.

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

HSG: What do you think Kelsey brings to your clothing when she models it?

LUCIE: [AUDIO] I think that she brings, like I said, a really ageless, beautiful, womanly representation. I mean, she’s got a great physique, with really proportionate curves. I remember when they were doing the fittings, and we were corresponding, and she [Lucie’s point person in L.A.] said, “Well, everything looks great on her, so take your pick. What do you want first to be shot—your main, top, favourite picks to be shot at the photoshoot? Because she does justice to everything.”

HSG: Kelsey is popular for many reasons, one of which is because she is genuinely full-figured, and not a size-8 model pretending to be plus. Do you think that it’s important for girls to see images of plus-size models who are authentically full-figured and also their own age?

LUCIE: Yeah, definitely. I mean, you want to see the clothes on someone that helps you picture how they’re going to look on you. And then, obviously, for self-esteem reasons, nobody… I think we’re kind of done with the whole emaciated model being shoved down your throat. We’re ready for some real people to be modelling clothes.

HSG: Do you think that you’ll be using Kelsey again in the future?

LUCIE: I hope so! Yeah, absolutely. As you said, a lot of the plus-size models that companies use are size 6 or 8, and then Kelsey, I think she’s more like a 16. I would even really like to try to find some women who wear a larger size than that, so that’s another goal that I have.

HSG: Wonderful!

LUCIE: I got an e-mail recently about Kelsey from a customer. [AUDIO] She said something like… Where is that e-mail? It was really nice. It was a really nice e-mail to open on a Monday morning. She said, “I recently ordered something for my daughter, and the reason I did it was because she saw it modelled on your pretty blonde model, and she saw herself in that model.” And I think she said, “For the first time, the shopping experience was wonderful, and she felt good about herself.”

HSG: Wow.

LUCIE: We used to get a lot of e-mail like that at B&Lu. And that’s great. Clothes can absolutely do that—having them modelled on real-size women can absolutely do that. And that’s just the icing on the cake. Not only are you offering cute clothes that you’re proud of, but it does have the ability to change lives.

HSG: That’s really encouraging. See? You’re in the size-acceptance movement whether you want to be or not.

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

LUCIE: I know! I know! [laughing]

HSG: Okay, we’re almost done…

LUCIE: No problem. Just drinking coffee and watching it snow sideways outside.

HSG: Ah, yes. You’re sufficiently far north that you’re snowed in for much of the year. Maybe that too is why you go for a “seasonless” line.

LUCIE: [chuckles] Yeah, that’s right.

HSG: Summer basically lasts a couple of weeks, so what’s the point of designing a whole line for it? General question: Why do you think the media, and the fashion world, resist plus-size beauty?

LUCIE: [long pause] I really don’t know. I know what might be the excuses, but I don’t really know what the real answer is. Some people say, “Oh, well, it’s unhealthy…”

HSG: And you do acknowledge that that’s merely an excuse.

LUCIE: Yeah, I do. I mean, I think that you can be plus-size and be healthy. I don’t think that someone who is a size 16, 18, 20, I don’t see why those people aren’t just as healthy as anyone else.

HSG: And besides, if “health” really was the concern, why would they send so many anorexic models down the runways? It’s a difficult question, and I’ve been trying to unriddle it myself for many years.

LUCIE: Right. And how it’s changed, back from the days when a little bit of weight was considered—

HSG: Ideal.

LUCIE: —beautiful, and, yeah, ideal.

HSG: Is there any truth to the ridiculous proposition that clothes look better on underweight models who resemble walking “hangers”?

LUCIE: No. I don’t think so.

HSG: Well, you tell me. You’re in the business of clothing. Do they?

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

LUCIE: [emphatically] No.

HSG: They don’t?

LUCIE: I think that you want to have some… I think that you want your body to fill them out and bring them to life, not be hanging on a hanger.

HSG: You have a number of items that are displayed on a dress form, and others that are presented on Kelsey. What do you think it adds to the presentation of your apparel when you feature it on a model?

LUCIE: Oh, I would love to have everything on a model. It’s just a matter of the financial. It’s expensive to put together the photoshoots, and be able to shoot everything. That’s another thing I should have mentioned, that I’d love to be able to do. If, financially, I could do it someday, I’d love to shoot everything on a model. Because it does bring so much to the consumer, when they can see it on themselves.

HSG: It does, doesn’t it?

LUCIE: Yeah, absolutely. And things that I do show on the models sell better than the other items.

HSG: They do? That’s very significant. You actually have evidence of that?

LUCIE: Oh, yeah. Uh-huh.

HSG: That’s very important that you note that.

LUCIE: So it makes sense in every way to do it, except it’s so expensive. But as I grow, I’m hoping to be able to afford it.

HSG: And if you use a popular model, it gives you word of mouth as well. It’s a win-win. Well, thank you very much for the discussion. It’s been very interesting, interviewing a designer who is both fresh and new, and experienced as well.

Kelsey modelling for LucieLu; click to enlarge

LUCIE: Fresh and new, with a little experience to boot.

HSG: Well, congratulations again on the launch of your label, on using one of the most popular of models, and on producing many stunning images of plus-size beauty—which are so vital for people to see. After all, where else are young women going to view such images, except from plus-size clothing companies? They’re the only entities that are producing—

LUCIE: Yeah, you’re right. There’s nothing else—

HSG: They won’t see them from Hollywood, or from most fashion magazines. It’s companies like yours, or nothing.

LUCIE: Yeah, you’re right. When you really sit down to think about it. Wow. Yeah.

HSG: So much responsibility.

LUCIE: [laughs] Yeah.

HSG: Any idea when your next shoot might be? Will it take place in six months, when your fall-line-that’s-not-a-fall-line comes out?

LUCIE: [chuckles] No, I’m hoping much sooner than that. I hope to be able to keep up with mini-shoots every couple of months, and adding photographs, and hopefully adding some different models. But I’d love for Kelsey to represent us again.

HSG: Wonderful! Thanks again, and have a great day.

LUCIE: Bye-bye.

(Interview recorded February 24, 2010.)

Timeless Beauty

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