IN Interviews : Lili Chemla
Lili Chemla is not your average fashion designer, and her debut line, LIANA Clothing, is sui generis in the purist sense.
Chemla's work elicits all kinds of lovely memories from the 90s such as baby doll tanks and tees, glittery fabrics, and pastels of all shades adorning each of her lush silhouettes.
At the tender age of 26, and a brand that's taking fashion media outlets by storm, Chemla is setting a new tone in the industry that speaks first to comfort and versatility. Hear more about her start and what it means to be a woman that walks to the beat of her own drum.
Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your life before and after starting LIANA Clothing.
My name is Lili Chemla and before starting LIANA I was in school at Bard College in Upstate New York. Since I've started LIANA, it has become my entire life. It feels like I have given birth to my first child and I've loved watching it grow!
Where did your love for fashion come from?
I have always been interested in fashion, but mostly intrigued by designers ability to create pieces that make you look good, but are still comfortable. I've never really been one to sacrifice my comfort for style and I love making pieces that stick to that motto.
What will you miss most about living on the West coast?
Most people would expect me to say the weather, thats not the case I honestly missed New York's seasons. I'll probably miss driving around and listening to music, it was always a great way to start and end my day.
How did living on the West Coast influence your work for LIANA?
The Los Angeles lifestyle is a lot about going to work and then having to go to drinks or dinner straight from the office. It's usually inconvenient to drive home just to change. I wanted to create pieces that you could be comfortable in at work and then still feel and look good in going out at night.
Can you describe your conceptual process when creating collections for LIANA Clothing?
I always start with fabric. When creating elevated basics, it's so important to make sure you get the fabric right. You want it to be comfortable, yet high quality and breathable. I find around 40 fabrics I like, then narrow down to around 20 to make a story and have them be cohesive. The designs I use for each fabric then comes to me pretty naturally.
What are the best and worst parts about owning a company? Who do you rely on for support and motivation?
There's no better feeling than receiving good feedback about your work, seeing your vision come to life and people appreciating it. I rely on my family and close friends for motivation and support. The worst part would probably be never being able to shut off "LIANA" in my mind. A lot of people, after work, are able to shut off and focus on other things. LIANA is something that is never not on my mind.
"There's no better feeling than receiving good feedback about your work, seeing your vision come to life and people appreciating it."
How would you describe personal success versus business success?
Personal success if finding happiness with who you are and the path you've chosen in your life. Business success is seeing the path you've chosen becoming tangible and showing that to the world.
What’s next for Lili Chemla?
Continuing to grow LIANA to be everyone's favorite basic's company!
Biggest pet peeve?
What did you eat this AM?
Avocado toast — always good for on-the-go!
Coolest trip ever taken?
What did you want to be when you were little?
Who or what is the embodiment of Lili Chemla?
Candy and sweatpants.