INSPIRE ME – with Wilbur & Gussie

If ever there’s a brand that warrants plenty of female attention …. it is Wilbur & Gussie. Design duo, Brett Tyne and Lucy Lyons, combine stunning vibrant fabrics and prints with vintage inspired brooches to create beautiful, elegant clutch bags – and also accessories.

You may have spotted their pieces being worn recently by Kate and Pippa Middleton, Tulisa, Alesha Dixon, Mollie King and in dozens of publications including Grazia, Marie Claire, The Guardian… and worn by Pippa Middleton,

What I really love about Wilbur & Gussie is that they create such chic, timeless handbags that last a lifetime, and yet you don’t have to pay the earth to own one.

I’ve been a fan of Brett and Lucy’s brand for some time now, so am very pleased to be sharing todays Wilbur & Gussie ‘Inspire Me’ interview with you…

How did you two meet ?

We met at  school and have remained close friends over the years.

Did you both train in design ?  

Neither one of us has actually had any formal training but we are both creative people.   We have always had a mutual interest in art, design and fashion, namely accessories.

How do you make a business work as a duo ?  

We have different styles but we like one another’s taste in everything.  Although we are instinctively drawn to different materials, we agree on every collection. Patience and compromise are important. We don’t always see eye to eye but this can be seen as a positive to a working relationship  as we are constantly challenging one another.

Your bags are clearly inspired by vintage – do you have a favourite era and why ?   

We tend to be drawn to the late 1920’s – early 40’s. The 1930’s was the decade of the clutch.  Women’s accessories were incredibly elegant and beautifully crafted. Bags were worn, not carried, and this is something we love. We believe evening bags should be show-stoppingly beautiful, just like a piece of  jewellery.

I love that you have named each character after your childhood pets and also notice that you support The Tusk Charity – Are you both animal lovers ?  

Yes, we are both huge animal lovers. We chose to support Tusk Trust because elephants feature so strongly in our collections.

Personally, I could study your clutch bags all day, they are so gorgeous – how did you come up with such a winning combination formula ? :)…  

We saw a niche in the market for affordable clutch bags that won’t break the bank. The fabrics are inspired by our love of prints, and the jewelled brooches are from our love of vintage jewellery.

Is there a particular material that you like to work with the most ?

We are currently working with velvet and loving it! We started off using only 100% silks but have diversified over the years.

Do you have a current best seller ?  

Our signature “Charlie” bag is always a best seller and is what we launched the brand with. The ‘Edith’ is the slightly larger version and is rapidly catching up with the Charlie

  

What have been your biggest highs so far for Wilbur Gussie ? 

We get a high every season when the new collection comes in from the factory. Taking on new wholesale customers is always a big excitement, and every online order we receive is a little thrill. It is very rewarding to know that people want to buy the bags.

You have some lovely belts and cuffs on your site – are you moving into designing lots of accessories too ?  

We are currently concentrating on developing a leather range  for next season, but accessories is next in line !

Could you offer a few words of advice and some inspiration for any new designers reading this ?  

Believe in your product, work hard and get as much advice from people in business as possible.

What is happening for Wilbur & Gussie in the near future?

We are  continuing to develop our evening bag line and preparing to launch our first day bag collection next year. We’re working on expanding the brand internationally and hopefully our own shop is in the not too distant future !

Thanks very much to Brett and Lucy for sharing their inspirations. Do you love their designs too ?

You can become a fan of Wilbur & Gussie on Facebook or follow them on Twitter – and they also have a blog.

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

All images copyright Wilbur & Gussie 2012.

Retro… and good to go….

Well, it may have taken a little while to get around to making this Retro Butterick 1953 dress – I was sent some patterns over by the lovely people at Sew Direct and this is the second pattern I have used.

 

Loving the way it has turned out :)

What I didn’t realise until I studied the the the package properly, is that you have four different ways of wearing this ( see below ) with the completed dress. You can also use a different fabric for the Upper back Bodice ( if you go for the option B ! ) so it’s incredibly versatile.

The only area that I had to work on a couple of times ( with my trusty friend, the un-picker ! ) was attaching the upper bodice piece to the midriff ones – this is because it shapes in a V, and I wanted to make it exact, obviously, and haven’t sewed this kind of shape for a month or two ! It all came good in the end :)

I went for cotton, black and pink polka dot as I had just the right amount in the cupboard and well, it just works with most vintage patterns, don’t ya think ? The bodice is lined but the skirt isn’t – You could always add a lining or this is a superb excuse to purchase or make yourself a swing petticoat :)

Which is your favourite style and what fabric would you go for ? Leave me a comment or send us a tweet… would love to hear your thoughts :)

Oh, and by the way – my Giveaway in collaboration with luxury homeware and gift online company – Amara to win a blue Pip Studio floral, vintage style cake stand worth £35.99 ends on Tuesday… so get entering, if you haven’t already…. it’s as pretty as a picture, folks :)

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

Feel free to use my images – just please ping a link back to me here at LucyLovesYa :)

A gorgeous Pip Studio giveaway courtesy of Amara UK – CLOSED

I’m a girl of my word. Last week I mentioned a giveaway was imminent  – and here it is !

 

www.amara.co.uk  – the online destination for luxury home brands and designer gifts have very kindly offered to sponsor giveaway, in the form of a Pip Studio porcelain floral cake stand… I think you will agree – it is a beauty… imagine this in your kitchen ! What a lovely way to present a Birthday cake or some cupcakes.. it actually would look great just as a talking point too :)

As a huge Pip Studio fan, I would love to own this.. but as I am not able to enter my own giveaway – I guess I’d better let you know the details, so that you can :)….

This vintage inspired cake stand is 30.5 cm in diamater and mixes and matches really well with all other Pip Studio pieces. Make sure you wash it by hand and not in a dishwasher to keep it in tip top condition :)

Amara have a huge selection of Pip Studio homewares along with a large range of superb luxury brands at varying prices to suit everyone – if you are looking for a gift or something for your own home… look no further. I think you will also find that their customer service is outstanding.

So, here’s what to do if you would like to enter this giveaway…

Tweet on Twitter ( there is a link button just below this post ) :

I have just entered the @lucylovesyablog giveaway to win an @AmaraUK Pip Studio floral cake stand ! www.lucylovesya.com

Please leave a comment underneath this post to let me know that you have entered, including your twitter name for confirmation –  you must also be following me on Twitter – @lucylovesyablog and of course – @AmaraUK for your entry to be valid… and that’s it – you’re entered !

T’s and C’s

Due to the prize being delicate – this  giveaway is open to UK residents only.

The winner will be picked by random on Tuesday 18th September at 5pm.

Postage and packaging will be provided by Amara.

No purchase necessary and no cash alternative offered.

Good luck ! Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

ZPM Winner and Trolly – Dolley’s first trip out :).. Oh, and an Award ! :)

Firstly, thanks to ZPM for offering up such a fab prize and of course, everyone who entered this Giveaway – lots of entries, and it’s not surprising for such a lovely item !

I have used the random number generator to pick the winner.. which is… number 21…

So, Omi has won the ZPM Songbird Weekender ! Congratulations to you and enjoy it – I will be in touch shortly.

For all of you who entered and didn’t win this time – fear not ! Lots more lovely competitions coming soon… and that’s a promise ! :)

Now, whilst I have you here in my grasp, I wanted to just show you my new lovely, rather stylish, Trolley – Dolly bag because she and I went out for our first shop together today. ‘Twas a good experience – and for once I actually felt prepared for shopping..  by doing very little !

Zoe from ZPM talked about her ‘shopping solution’ in my interview with her last week so you probably already know a fair bit about this, but I honestly, really recommend the Trolley – Dolly… from the vintage, cute style of the bag and the attachable token coin, to an interior bag that has bottle compartments in it so that you can put all your bottles all together, safely.. ! I love especially, though, the eco – friendly aspect of it, plus the bags are really strong and washable – I’m sold :)

    

I actually had three people admire the bag in just this one shop :) I am going to keep it in close proximity so that I never forget my bags again.. ever… it’s high time !

Right, I am off to work on a polka dot 50s dress – I was awarded the ‘Craftest I love your blog’ award today by Joy at BeadedBazaar ( more on this soon ), which was totally unexpected and very much appreciated – so it has spurred me on to finish this one off and post it as soon as possible… Thanks, Joy ! :)

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

INSPIRE ME – with ZPM.. and WIN a Weekender wash bag ! CLOSED

Today is ‘Inspire Me’ day, all about Zoe Phayre – Mudge, the creator and designer behind the wonderfully stylish, fun and eye catching ZPM British branded bags, amongst lots of other pieces. Made from a huge selection of cool oil print fabric prints …. and the great thing about ZPM is that you can find something to suit anyone in your life if you visit their online shop !

Having been a fan of Zoe’s ZPM brand for rather a long time now, I first spotted some gorgeously kitsch floral printed ZPM bath accessories in a shop, my eyes instantly lit up with delight – and I have to say, years on, the pieces I bought then still look as good as ever and have travelled far and wide with me !

You may well also, be aware of the Trolley – Dolly.. an innovative design, created by ZPM, where you can shop plastic bag free – with 21 bags compacted into just one outer bag – and not just eco friendly but good looking too ;)………

To add even more fun to the proceedings ( and celebrate me reaching 10,000 followers on Twitter this week ) – you are in with a chance of winning this cute as a button ‘Weekender’ bag in Songbird fabric ( below ) from the ZPM range – I can highly recommend it as I have one myself and you can fit soooo much in it !

Find out what you need to do to enter the Giveaway at the end of this interview…

Who and what inspired you to become a designer ?

Just something in you I think – growing up you are either into computers or into dogs or love fireworks or something.. I just loved making things but more than that I  loved doing “running a business” . My mum and dad ran a fruit and veg business and they gave me old stuff when they moved office once and I got 3 old phones and lots of stationery.. I loved all those paper clips and folders and I loved making things…  I basically don’t think anything has changed !!!!!!!!   The washbags happended as I found an amazing fabric that just inspired the product range but funnily enough I still have a set of washbags I made at my primary school when I was about nine. Amusingly the fabric is tiny white dots on a pale blue background and that was 1979 !!! so I think it might have been going to do this from birth !

How did ZPM come about? What were your first products ?

I was living between two houses pretending that I was not moving into my soon to be husband’s flat……and pretending to go home each day to the flat I shared with my brother. I was not enjoying working for the company I was with at the time… felt like  change and new beginnings. I started to develop an idea for a bag that would “sort your life” and solve a problem… I messed about with lots of things – loads of false starts… one factory gave me the best bit of advice ever which was on presenting my idea he said ” I can’t make that for what you want to sell it for!”  It’s been crucial and is crucial that you know what you are trying to do and if the market can take it !

Do you spend a lot of time developing each of your ideas and designs ?

With ZPM we act more like a fashion house that does not design all of its own prints… we buy in a lot but picking the right one is key. I spent ages initially on our shapes but I have alot which I designed a long time ago now. When you get something right people actually like to come back to the same thing – it works and they have stood the test of time  – The Weekender bag has been ripped off endlessly since its first inception, but people still come back to ours as its British made and lasts and the copies generally miss something !

How do you choose your fabrics ?

Instinct. and the buzz as I call it.. sometimes when I look at a print you just “know” its going to work. I have to be wary of being in a “sweetshop” sometimes and getting carried away… I am not great at this as you can see on our site… we have over 50 different prints at any one time !

Your products are really well made, is this something that is important to you ?

It’s crucial. I would be a lot richer if they were not.!!! but we have been making all the washbag range in the UK since we started in 1994 and someone turned up with one the other day over 15 years old.  We even mend where we can ! The prints are so lovely and around for such a short time that sometimes people just don’t want to let go of a bag. Especially if it has some real significance in your life, maybe it was the bag you went round the world with your boyfriend with or your honeymoon bag or the 40th Birthday present from your best friend… that sort of stuff makes an object something other than just an object… and if it falls apart instantly there is no benefit to anyone.

    

Is it fair to say you seem very hands on with your company ? 

Probably too hands on at the moment. We have shrunk a bit in size since we moved to Dorset. My stepdad has alzheimers, so my mum who had been working with me and my biggest help for 11 years needed to retire, I have 3 kids and they needed a new school and the whole thing worked as a move.  Since then I have been a lot more hands on.  I think growing a business is letting go of the minutiae of control and letting the people around you take things on. Its not always going to be done “your way” but it also may not be the wrong way.

    

What is the recipe to running a successful business ?

My favourite expression that our manchester factory owner gave me when I first started working with him was

“Turnover is Vanity, Profit is Sanity, Cashflow is Reality”

Success means a lot of different things to different people… there are the big bucks boys – its all about the money money…. I think they are only half right.

The money is crucial.. you don’t do it for fun, if you had a private income you would surely be in a job that was more charity orientated ?!  but the success can come in different packages !

I have a couple of Trolley-Dolly testimonials that I keep on my desk – I have a note which says “read daily” stuck on them… If your thing is to set out to make something that solves a problem and makes people happy to boot and they buy one and come back to you and say “wow, that really did all of that for me and I love it !” then that’s a successful business.

Describe a day in the life at work for you….

It’s a bit of a mixed bag every day. Almost impossible to do a typical one.. but I thought you might like today…Sorting of my gang of small people ie the 3 kids takes up a bit of time first thing most days….. then I am in the office by about 8.35 am, my commute is 30 seconds to a barn in a field and I am accompanied often by Cedric the cat !

Emails, sorting any post or urgent issues.

Today I had a long skype call to one of the factories we use to make Trolley-Dolly. I had some new sampling in to check through.  Meanwhile I have had a load of Microscooter products to sort out. I design for a number of other people, basically I like to design things and if a company wants a bag that fits on a scooter then so be it. We have had a really positive relationship with this firm.. they make THE best scooters for kids and adults…and we make a lot of their accessories for them. I design the prints for these and the product – it’s a top to toe design service we offer and I have to say I love it !  Sometimes working to a brief however loose can be really invigorating for a company, gives new perspective and indirectly allows you to reach another audience.

What have been the biggest milestones for ZPM ?

Oh supplying people like harvey nichols and Liberty… Day 1 of my first ever trade show my mum and I were sititng in the dark as I didn’t realise you needed lights at these things and Liberty buyer walked on and ordered it. I took the order to the shop in a cab myself !

Standing next to someone actually buying a bag once was a big moment.. when you box it  up and send things to stores you don’t get that personal reaction. Its why I love the web and now facebook for testimonials and thoughts people have. The buyers know there store and the look they want… but there are less of them than the public and all their thoughts… you get so much more through that about what people want…

Having someone you are sitting next to at a wedding go.. so what do you do…. and you go “Oh I have this little bag company… which they have never heard of… and then they go off to the loo and come back and go…..oh oh god you are those great printed bags !!!!” those are nice milestones !

Getting your first staff to help…

    

What is your current best selling product ?

 We have three so I can’t pick between them…

The flower shower caps.. are mad, gorgeous and really work so they tick a lot of zpm boxes….

The weekenders. These just really do the job, and they come in so many lovely prints and they will last and last……

The Trolley-dolly.. newest in but wow is she movin !!! How to do green in a stylish way….. and this bag works and works and works ! its no wonder she is in the top three.

    

Tell me about your Trolley – Dolly – I love the look of it ! What inspired this ?

Ooooh I love this …   I could wax on for a while about this but a video might be simpler – list attached for you to choose from !!!!

Basically I was unpacking one night and that inspirational woman who made Modbury ‘Go Bag Free’ had been in the news… I was chucking all the placky bags on the floor as I unpacked. When I turned around there was a huge pile.  I looked at them and thought , I make bags for god’s sake I must be able to do something that solves this.  Other people were doing single bags and I just thought  – how am I going to get my shopping home with some logo’d jute number ? .  It took a year to get to the right size and the right number of bags for a realistic family sized shop. I have 3 kids and an au pair so it’s a fairly large shop each week.   I wanted something compact, washable, that looked nice and on a really efficient day I could take by itself rather than taking the bags and a handbag….. In terms of “look” I have tried to achieve  a wink to the 50s housewife style handbag  in shape and some wearable patterns that are either fun or something you would not be embarrassed to be seen with !!!.  We tend to go for spots and things which you will notice sitting in the kitchen…. and remember to take with you……….the shopping list window is the BEST part, you cannot go without  the list… keep your list in the front and between that and the token we provide with each bag it should help you remember the bags 9/10 times !

    

Can you offer a few words of advice for someone starting a new venture ?

PERSEVERE !!! PERSEVERE ! PERSEVERE……… Oh did I mention you really have to stick at it and keep at it day in, day out…

I have a fridge magnet saying by Winston Churchill which says never, never, never, never give up !

What’s in the pipeline for ZPM ?

More telly ! We sell via QVC and we are heading overseas with this.. Australia next month and then Germany.  I love doing it, we sell out in minutes but it’s great being able to talk to lots of people at the same time !  Loads more new styles of Trolley-Dolly will be on our site from September – there is even a Cheetah one coming !

Lovely new range of prints for This Winter. A new bag that solves travelling, camping and sorting your baby…… Something for festivals next year….

    

Big thanks and thumbs up to Zoe ! A very clever woman and lovely with it :). I literally can’t wait for the Cheetah print Trolley – Dolly ! 

Sign up to the ZPM newsletter to hear about competitions and new goodies. You can also find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter – go on.. you won’t regret it :)

Now, all you have to do to enter this Super Giveaway to win the ZPM Songbird Weekender in white worth £36, is Tweet this post ( button below ) stating:

I have just entered the @lucylovesyablog Giveaway to win a @TROLLEYDOLLYZPM weekender wash bag !

Please, also leave me a comment below this post to let me know that you have done this ( don’t want to miss any entries ! ) – and so that a winner can be picked by randow draw on Tuesday 2nd September at 7pm.

T’s and C’s:

This Giveaway is open to entrants internationally.

The winner will be picked by random draw and announced on Tuesday 4th September 2012 at 7pm.

No purchase necessary.

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

All images copyright ZPM 2012.

Planet Kitsch

As promised earlier this week, here’s a pic of the skirt that I made a few days ago – it’s a very simple A line shape, made from my skirt block so it fits like a glove ! Highly recommend making a block up if you haven’t already.

But really, it’s the fabric that I wanted to show off. It is just so gorgeous – by Timeless treasures and from the fabric store Fancy Moon. What I especially love is the vibrancy in the pattern and it’s really good quality.

The elevated three strap PVC heels are Vivienne Westwood Anglomania / Mellissa and are sooo comfy.. and bubble gum scented :) My sunnies are by Miu Miu..

If you have made something from a retro / kitsch fabric recently or have created a vintage inspired piece – It’d be great to see it – and share it with everyone here on my blog ? Send an image over with your name and a link and I will post a little montage soon ! Yey !

Feel free to use my images, just please ping a link back to LucyLovesYa :)

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

Cool cameras and Parklife !

Hoorah ! Lomography managed to get this leopard print ‘Diana Mini” camera *swoon* over just in time for the weekend ( thanks, guys :) ), so it came along to the Blur/New Order/Specials Hyde Park gig on Sunday… which I might add was, as expected – brilliant. Don’t ever stop making music, Blur… pretty please ? Can’t believe that twenty ( plus ) years on, Damon still has as much energy as he always did. I’m a bit hoarse today from singing along.. but all worth it :) it was really good watching some of the Olympic closing ceremony too on the screens. What a couple of weeks it has been.. long may the positivity continue.. Can’t wait for the paralympics now !

Were you there too ? Would love to know what you got up to on Sunday ? Did you watch the Olympic ceremony ? Has it inspired you too ?

It took literally a few minutes to get going with the Lomography camera ( as aforementioned, I usually hold phone in direction of desired image and snap a pic ) but I’ve worked it out now and absolutely love the flash bulb. I am a bit of a sucker for aesthetics too and this little leopard lady is doing it for me ! Also really like the fact you can hang it around your neck.. would be a crime to hide ‘Mini Diana’ away ! :)

I don’t know about you but nowadays I use my phone so much to take pictures and then very rarely get any of them printed off, so I can actually fill a photo album for once with some lovely memories !

According to the cool little booklet that accompanies the camera – you can snap up to 72 pics with one film roll… and am going to try my first ever multiple exposure panoramic image. Actually feel like a proper budding photographer now… who knows where this will take me :) Really looking forward to developing the first film later this week.

www.lomography.com have a huge selection of equally delectable cameras, have a look if you haven’t already…

In other news, I am making myself a skirt in this fabric this evening from my skirt block and will show the completed number soon…

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

INSPIRE ME – with This is Rude

Todays ‘Inspire Me’ is all about the brilliant London based cult product design duo – Rupert Meats and Abi Williams, aka – This is Rude.

This is Rude started out thirteen years ago as a t-shirt label using hand drawn illustrations incorporating their passion for screen printing. Before long they expanded into a street brand selling their clothing as far as the United States and Japan.

Since then, This is Rude have collaborated with a huge amount of high profile clients such as Sony, Vogue, The Guardian, Tate Gallery, The National Theatre, Boden.. to name just a few with their easily recognisable illustration and animation product design.

With the amazing Olympic fever going on right now here in london, it seems a perfect time to chat with Rupert as This is Rude have also just designed the t-shirt for Samsungs Warm and Win Hope Relay Competition. I wear mine with pride :)….

  

How did you and Abi meet ?

Abi and I met at a design company in west London almost 15 years ago. We’re now married with 2 x kids, so we work together and run a family together. It seems to work.

  

 What inspired you to create ‘This is Rude’ ? 

After I left the design company (I was only there for a year) I wanted to do something on my own which was creative, a reaction against the corporate work which we were made to do. Around that time no one was doing illustration onto T-shirts or product.

  

I first bought one of your t-shirts around twelve years ago  – Did you know at this point that you would evolve into such a diverse company ? 

I knew that our road would not be straight forward and in any creative business there are lots of twists and turns. As long as the work we do is creative thats all that matters to me.

Do you do all of your illustration by hand or ever use computer graphics ? which do you prefer to use ?

I try and do a mix, so I will draw stuff out, some of it looks great as it is and some of it need sorting out in photoshop and then adding to in illustrator.

  

 How long have you been doing animation too ? 

Abi was asked about 5 years ago to create a pop video for cult band ‘Cornershop’ since then she has been involved in quite a few animation projects and last year we were involved in a project for the Manchester International Festival where we worked with school kids who drew the characters and we animated them and Cornerhop worked on a track (with the kids) to go with it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyRsiU9dc_Q

Are you a music fan and if so – what do you like to listen to for inspiration when you’re working ?

We have quite an eclectic music taste, we go to Glastonbury every year a top up on new stuff. I’ve just resurrected my turn table in the studio so I’m playing lots of old vinyl at the moment. When we had out shop 10 years ago we had it in there and would buy £1.00 records from Spitalfields market on a Thursday. Old Elton John records, things like that.

  

Your style is very distinctive and yet clearly appeals to a wide audience – how have you managed this ? :) 

We love colour which I think helps, also if you stay true to your style over time it will become your signature.

 What has been your biggest achievement to date with This is Rude ?

Not giving up on it! About 9 years agowhen Billy cam along it would have been easier to go out and get a job, I’m so glad we persisted, as it’s paid off.

For anyone reading this, wanting to start their own brand/business – what advice would you offer them ? 

Just do it, don’t wait, the younger the better as you can make all your mistakes when your young and then learn from them when your a bit older !

  

You’ve worked with various clients including The Guardian, Vogue, The National Theatre, Sony Playstation, Mini Boden, No Added Sugar, Joseph Joseph, Capital Radio … is collaborating a big part of what you do ? 

Yeah, you know who your going to work with next, interesting collaborations as so important for modern creative businesses.

      

What’s happening for ‘This is Rude’ in the near future? Any new projects in the pipeline ?

We’ve got some very exciting things happening this Autumn, watch this space…I can’t say anymore than that !

  

A big thanks to Rupert for sharing a nice little slice of his time and inspirations. Always good to put a face to a great company.

Have a look at their website – www.thisisrude.com you will find a whole lot more information on Rupert and Abi’s work and their online shop –  brimming with mouth watering screen prints, bags .. and even Melamine sets ! :) You can also become a fan on Facebook.

All images copyright of This is Rude 2012.

 Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx 

Olympic highs and positive vibes….

Good Morning ! I hope you’ve had a great weekend ?

The winner of my latest giveaway has her bespoke skirt finished and on it’s way to her :) I put some baby pink lining into the skirt shape that she decided on, in the Lilo Ladies fabric and it looks really cute.

It was also my husbands Birthday on Saturday ( he was in New York, the lucky beggar.. but we will celebrate soon ) and the very lovely people on his Coldplay tour made him some cupcakes.. Great, huh ? I’ve also added a couple of images that he sent me of the Big Apple… one of my favourite places in the WORLD ! ;)

Now, HOW amazing have the olympics been so far ? What incredible talent, I am in awe of their total focus and determination – it’s really contagious !

Which… finally, brings me to the topic of this blog post –  It’s a bit more personal today but I think that’s allowed every now and then… :)

I don’t know if you have noticed but some of the athletes, when interviewed have talked about having had tough times in the last few years and how they have worked through it all to become world class.

This to me, is so admirable. How easy would it be at those points in life to just throw the towel in and give up on all the hard work you’ve already put in, knowing that it is going to be hard for a while? But they have hung in there and pulled it out of the bag :) Great role models for future generations.

What would your potential be if you went for it to the best of your possibility ? If you had achieved what you had always wanted career wise in life – where would you be ? What would you be doing ? Or maybe you already have…. ? :) Having interviewed some designers and artists recently that are full of love for what they do – it has only inspired me more.. hopefully –  you too :)

Personally, I am now aiming for what I really want ( it took a while to find out ) and it’s a lovely feeling ! Like most people – I’ve had my fair shares of knocks or set backs in life and maybe let those things dominate me a bit in the past –  but a few years back now I decided that the only way forward, was to see the postive opportunity in situations as much as possible – and started to notice things right there in front of me that I’d not even seen before ! When I actually did this, I discovered that I wanted to be more creative –  design and sew –  and it made me feel really fulfilled.

My first tutor in fashion design told us in the class to always carry a camera as you will find inspiration for your work everywhere.. and in unexpected places.. so true and great advice. there’s never a dull moment….

There’s also nothing greater than watching a friend achieve something special to them  – just recently a good friend of mine, line – produced a major general release film and she worked her socks off for way over a year on it. Although she is a very modest person, I know how much it meant to her, seeing it up there on the big screen and again I felt total admiration.

What drives you and how do you find your inspiration ? What makes you really happy ? I’d love to know…

Feel free to use my images – just please ping a link back to LucyLovesYa :)

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx :)

INSPIRE ME – With Romero Bryan

It’s hard not to be in awe of Romero Bryan. As a teenanger, he was already well on the way to success as a fashion designer and stylist having had his creations worn by Usher, Beyonce Knowles, Cameron Diaz and Kelly Rowland to name but a few.

After graduating from London College of Fashion in 2005 with continued global notoriety, Romero has released consecutive seasons of stunning, cutting edge pieces – most recently worn by Supermodel Alex Wek and admired by Michelle Obama. Romero is listed on the Bank of Scotland Rich list 2020 with a predicted estimated fortune exceeding £30 million.

It seems very fitting to be interviewing Romero Bryan today for ‘Inspire Me’ as having known him for some time now – he has done just this with his talent, focus and supportive positivity. But, also as a fan of Romero’s work and his intrinsic talent for style.

Romero, how did your career start out ?

My mother was a Fashion Buyer throughout my childhood years, so I was always around new collections before it hit shop floors. My grand parents were both Tailors and seamstresses too, so it was only natural for me to gain an interest in fashion at such a young age.

By the age of 12, just entering secondary school – I had already learnt how to make a shirt and trouser.

Who and what inspired you ?

I have been inspired by many people and many things in my life.

The people that inspired me firstly were my family members already in the fashion trade ie my mother and grandparents.

Watching fashion related programmes on television – featuring designers like John Galliano, Westwood & McQueen, such as FASHION TV growing up was always a treat. So you can just imagine the joy it brought once I had my very own work showcased on fashion TV seen by millions worldwide.

 What’s the best thing about being a fashion designer ?

I love dressing women in CONFIDENCE. Nothing is more rewarding than giving a woman confidence through dressing her in your work.

Besides being financially rewarding eventually LOL, the feeling of making a lady feel great about herself gives me chills.

Infact, everytime a client sends me pictures of themselves wearing purchases from the brand, along with how nice they felt, I get all excited like a child in a sweet shop. LOL.

How does each season work ? How far ahead do you have to be with each collection ?

Considering its only July 2012, Im already working on producing the collection for SS collection for 2013, like most other designers.

We’re two seasons ahead of whats being sold in stores.

Infact, sometimes I get ahead of myself and design even further into the future, as Im always bursting with ideas, that my team have to stop me at times hehe.

So the SS’12 collection as worn by Alek Wek and adored by 1st Lady Michelle Obama being sold RIGHT NOW, was actually designed even as far back as January 2011 and show-cased in New York September 2011. So that should give the readers some idea as to how far ahead we work ahead of whats being sold in stores.

Do you have particular fabrics that you like to work with and why ?

Anyone who knows ROMERO BRYAN will know that SILK CHIFFON is my absolute favourite fabric to work with.

Its so feminine and floaty, almost dream like. I love seeing a woman wearng silk chiffon with the natural air hitting it, creating shapes moulded by the air.

Im turning myself on here, Lucy maybe I should stop hehehe.

But yep, Silk Chiffons is a must in every ROMERO BRYAN collection ;)

With your designs being world renowned, you must travel alot for all of your shows.. how do you manage everything ?

Actually that’s a real good question hun. LOL.

Well first and foremost id like to thank my beautiful team especially my right hand lady – my PA ‘Sophia Borovick’ and fabric sponsors ‘Borovick Fabrics Ltd’ in London.

Sophia as I refer to her, is the brain behind helping to manage the brand’s affairs.

Don’t tell her this, but as well as a real good friend – she’s like a ‘proud mother’- always reminding me to do things both in my personal life ( ie. vitamin tablets & to rest up well ) as well as brand related issues.

She remembers everything I forget hehe ;)

My head of PR Sarah Goods is of great help too.

My mother helps with the sewing of odd jobs in between her own busy life. My sister helps with the odd jobs here and there, but now has started her own life lol. And my dad as my mum calls him ‘ROMERO BRYANS BANK of DADDY’ hehe

So you see it isnt just ‘me’ in team work.

It’s a group of us that help make everything happen.

Your designs have been seen on many celebrities including Beyonce Knowles, Cameron Diaz and Kelly Rowland – who would you like to see next in a Romero Bryan piece ?

Well I’m quite fond of 1st Lady Michelle Obama, as I think she is gorgeous.

Ooooooo and I LOVE ADELE.

I thought I’d let the hype surrounding Adele die down a bit, as I didn’t want to be influenced by the press when she first released her album, but OMG her talent is off the CHAIN!

Her album is now on constant replay. Lots of tears shed to the album since purchasing it months after every one else, but she is a true talent, and I’d love nothing more than to dress her one day.

Are there any designers or brands that you would love to collaborate with at some point ? 

Incase anyone in the fashion industry reads this, I won’t comment there. but lets just say I have been approached by a few companies in the past that I have turned down due to not feeling ready for such a commitment.

But I have grown since then, and have learnt not to answer questions like this in case I shoot myself in the foot, mentioning an opposing company that has interest in wanting to work with the ROMERO BRYAN brand.

Is there any advice you can offer to someone just starting out in the world of design ?

There’ll be times that all you’ll ever hear is the word ‘NO’ but please learn not to take things so personal.

My first lover told me whenever I am told ‘NO’ in my career to take it as ‘NOT YET’ and keep knocking on those doors.

xx

What kind of attributes would you say are needed to be a successful fashion designer?

CREATIVE PASSION, DETERMINATION, BUSINESS MIND ( or at least a good business partner lol )

How do you see the next five years panning out for you ?

Within the next 5 years, the brand ROMERO BRYAN should be in boutiques worldwide alongside the top luxury brands. In terms of shows, I am thinking up new cost effective ways of promoting the brand and who knows by then, they’ll be new more advanced innovative ways of having your work showcased.

But overall, within the next 5 years, I would like the brand to be a self sustained profit-making company.

Lastly ( but definitely not least ) … what are your proudest career moments to date ?

Meeting my childhood idol – Grammy Award winning singer & actress BRANDY. Having her purchase garments from my collection was a dream come true. Infact anytime I become drained and unsure about making it in this fashion industry, I close my eyes and remember that feeling I got when she made my dreams come true.

Showcasing my work in the V&A (Kulture 2 Couture) and having Naomi Campbell in the front row – shouting out my name whilst I walked the finale. WOW…. I get chills still thinking about it now lol.

Showcasing my work in my homeland Jamaica was another great feeling.

Dressing Alek Wek in my gown, having been a big fan of her.

Being told by White House Staff that Michelle Obama is very proud of my work ethics and adores my collections as worn by Alek Wek.

A very special thanks to Romero Bryan for sharing his wisdom and inspirations. You can find his website at www.romerobryan.co.uk, become a fan on his Facebook page or follow on Twitter.

Creative team Credits:

Photos 2,3 & 4 Romero Bryan S/S 12 range. Photograper: Nathan Small. Creative Director/Stylist: Sarah – Adiana Butler. Hair: Sarah Tucholska.

Photo 5. Alex Wek wears Romero Bryan S/S 12.

Photo 6  Romero Bryan S/S 12 range. Photogrpaher: Adam Bennett. Styling and Creative Direction: Tess Daly. MUA and Hair: Zaiba Khan.

Photo 7 Romero Bryan S/S 12 range. Couture Latin Fashion Week. New York.

Photo 8 Romero Bryan A/W 12 range.Photgrapher: Luke Woodford. Hair and Make up: Rosie Lee.

Photo 9 Romero Bryan S/S 11. Photographer: Ryan Lue-Clarke. Make up: Loni L Jones. Hair: Kenya Henry.

Photo 10 Romero Bryan. Photographer: Karl Bryan. Stylist: Tess Daly. MUA and Hair: Natasha Horton.