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Being Monique

Want to know more about bridal couture queen Monique Lhuillier? Here's a snippet of an interview where she shares a bit about her beginnings as a designer, her thoughts on Arab women, and where she

Want to know more about bridal couture queen Monique Lhuillier? Here’s a snippet of an interview where she shares a bit about her beginnings as a designer, her thoughts on Arab women, and where she intends to take her label next into the future.

We know that you’re passionate about fashion and design. But what made you decide to focus on evening and bridal gowns as your niche?

When I was in school I always loved to design the most beautiful, feminine gowns. When it was time to plan my own wedding, I was looking for a wedding dress that was more modern, fashion-forward and I had a really hard time finding a dress I loved. After my wedding I really felt I couldn’t shake that there was a really amazing business idea to offer women modern, inspired couture wedding designs. A year later in 1996, I debuted my first bridal collection to a few retailers and magazine editors. When I design my ready to wear as well as bridal collection, my design aesthetic is the same. I want women to feel elegant and glamorous in clothes that have luxurious detailing and fabrications.

How difficult (or easy) was it to start a fashion label in the US? Can you share with us some of your unforgettable moments when you were starting up? And, how did you overcome those challenges, if there are any?

Starting any small business has it fair share of trials. Luckily I started the business with my husband and he handles all the business items and I focus on what I do best. Our company is almost 20 years old and we have grown the business internationally which now includes a ready-to-wear collection and an array of licensed categories.

At what point do you think you’ve made it in the industry? What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

I think there have been so many defining moments for the brand. Our first store opening in Melrose was one of my most memorable moments. However I think when Tom and I heard people in the press pronouncing my name right we realized we finally made it!

Your recent fashion show in the Middle East, care of Harvey Nichols-Dubai, was a standout success. Although the region is known to have an affinity with highly embellished dresses, a lot of women crave for your designs. How do you feel about this?

The women of the Middle East personify the vision of my brand. They are modern, elegant, glamorous and feminine. I find the Middle Eastern women are not afraid to take risks with color and are much more formal. They love embellishment and intricate detailing.

More in Velvet’s May 2014 issue

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