Luella Bartley was born in England in 1974. She studied fashion at Central St. Martins College, in London. She resides in the company of her fashion-photographer boyfriend, David Sims, and their two children, Kip and Stevie. She is a British Vogue fashion journalist turned fashion designer. She uses the name “Luella” for her fashion house. Her first collection in 2000, only consisted of 6 models showing off her clothes in a friend’s apartment, but three seasons on, she held a full-scale fashion show with celebrity fans Kate Moss and Texas singer Sharleen Spiton seated in the front row. Elle gave her the “Young Designer Award” for 2000. ‘Dial F for Fluoro’, a show which helped launched 2001’s trend for graffiti chic. This collection completely commenced brand awareness to an international level. At this point, Bartley hailed as London’s hot, young, and fresh designer. Bartley decided to take a risk and began, what is now called ‘The Luella Roadshow.’ She bascially takes her team and shows at venues in Milan and New York. The titles, as Luella later explained, of her shows are a hangover from her earlier days in journalism. Bartley was also asked, by Bottega Veneta to present her collection ‘Looking Hard in the Yard’ in Milan for the autumn/winter2000 season. Luella’s Spring 2002 collection was shown in New York. She put on clothes full of quirks and made with a sense of humour and fun. There was an almost complete absence of colour this time around, with everything black except for some Navajo tops. Then suddenly everything changed and colourful bikinis in geometric prints made their appearance. Luella’s candy-striped blazers were a hit and faded denim jeans which were distressed to kill. Luella is now poised to be a favourite with the younger fashion crowd. In Fall 2002, Luella has entered into financial partnership with New Look, who plan to show her clothes in 20 of their largest stores. Her profile was further enhanced by her partnership with British leathergoods company Mulberry, for whom she designed a line of bags. Following the success of the collaboration, Bartley signed a deal with majority Mulberry shareholder Club 21 to produce a small line of accessories that eventually grew to include clothing and a complete accessory collection. Luella has also collaborated with Vans, Churches, Sony and M.A.C. On a personal note, Luella and her partner fashion photographer David Simms, had their first child, a boy named Kip in Summer 2003. In January 2006, Bartley became the first designer to create an affordable collection of women’s apparel and accessories for Target Corporation’s GO International line, focusing on oversized sunglasses and kitschy prints. Bartley’s designs were regularly featured in defunct teen fashion magazine ELLEgirl. Her collections often feature a fusion of street style and preppy sophistication.
Since the launch of her line in 1999, Bartley’s London-based design has consistently delivered. She is best known for her fluent street-chic aesthetic, to the “squeaky-clean badasses and pretty punks.” Serving as her internal muse, is the compliant Brit “It” girl who just loves to be adorned in nothing less than a classic pink button-down shirt-usually tucked into skintight jeans or-another favorite, under one of Bartley’s signature striped sweaters. Bartley is known for her eclectic theme combinations of “punk motorcycle jackets with gingham skirts; little black dresses with pearls for polka dots; preppy navy, red, and white.” Kate Moss
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