Texas native Lela Rose has built her career on an elegant, yet modern, design aesthetic. And a recently announced collaboration with Lane Bryant will bring her designer look to plus size fashion lovers everywhere. Despite over 18 years in the fashion industry, Rose’s future looks brighter than ever.
While a painting and sculpture student at the University of Colorado, Rose got into fashion by starting her own business making vests created from vintage scarves. Shortly after graduation, she moved to New York City to attend the prestigious Parsons School of Design, where her career began to take shape, leading to design work with designer Richard Tyler, among others. Her first solo collection debuted in 1998.
Since the debut of that initial line, Lela has sent countless collections down the New York Fashion Week runways, with her atest offering for Spring and Summer 2015 being one of the bet yet. It featured timeless silhouettes, inspired by the folds of a Japanese kimono. The designs expertly blended this inspiration with flirty yet wearable prints and colors. The result: breathtaking, hand-finished garments that screamed wearable luxury and sophistication.
And it’s just that balance between sophisticated design and wearability that has allowed her to gain both consumer fans and media attention. Arguably her biggest break came back in 2001 when Jenna and Barbara Bush chose to wear her designs during the Presidential Inauguration. Business boomed, allowing Rose to expand her business like never before. Suddenly, she was selling exquisite dresses, gowns, separates, and outerwear in notable stores like Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Along with this newfound exposure came a flood of celebrity clientele like future designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, actresses Selma Blair and Jessica Simpson and even Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.
“Designing apparel women can feel confident and beautiful in has been a long-standing pillar of the Lela Rose brand, and we are looking forward to bringing our designs to Lane Bryant’s inspiring base of customers.”
Unlike many high end designers, Rose wasn’t content to dress only the rich and famous. In a series of partnerships with retailers like HSN, Payless Shoes and Target, millions of everyday women have been able to experience and embody her particular sense of design. While this move allowed her chic and luxurious designs to meet the masses, these collaborations were merely another layer to her growing empire of ready-to-wear, bridal and bridesmaid designs, and her flagship stores in Texas, Canada, Europe, Russia, Japan, and the Middle East.
With so many achievements under her belt, the only question is…. what frontier could possibly be left to tackle? Two words: plus size. Lane Bryant’s announcement of a capsule collection with Lela Rose is the latest of their designer collaborations and welcome news to plus size fashion lovers screaming for more high end design influence on plus size clothing. The line, Lela Rose Exclusively For Lane Bryant, will be in stores and online in Summer 2015.
Sure, this collaboration is significant for Rose, but in many ways it’s even more critical for plus size shoppers, who often miss out on the excitement of designer collaborations when stores like Target and H&M fail to carry plus sizes when they mount limited time lines with the likes of Prabal Gurung. The Lane Bryant partnership will make it possible for women of all shapes and sizes to add luxury to their wardrobes – without breaking the bank. Lela spoke out about her decision, saying, “Designing apparel women can feel confident and beautiful in has been a long-standing pillar of the Lela Rose brand, and we are looking forward to bringing our designs to Lane Bryant’s inspiring base of customers.”*
Over 20 years Lela Rose has managed to create a line known for luxury, style, and grace, empowering women with each and every design. And now each and every woman will have the chance to experience that. Now those are Rose-colored glasses we’d like to wear.
Sources / Photo Credits:
* http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lane-bryant-announces-collaboration-with-ready-to-wear-designer-lela-rose-271893061.html), featured image Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com, other images Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com, Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com, Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com