At Lucinda Frances, the unique designs allude to a creative mind with an eye for elegance. In this Q&A, we hear from the woman behind the brand, Julie Hill.
What inspired you to start your own fashion label?
Coming from a background in retail, I understand fashion and the things people need from a new outfit.
Fashion is about self-expression, we use it to say something about who we are. Mass-produced fashion often lacks that flair of individuality. It’s hard to make a statement when we all look the same. I wanted to bring something different to the world of fashion.
I started my own fashion label so I could create dramatic outfits using special fabrics. The aim is to help my customers be more expressive with their wardrobes.
How did you come up with the name Lucinda Frances?
My name is Julie, so “Jules” was an obvious choice, but, as many of you know, a similar fashion label already exists.
My label is a tribute to my daughter. Her name is Lucinda Frances.
Did you have a background in design before starting your label?
Whilst I worked in retail for a long time, I don't come from a background in design per se. However, I’ve always had an artistic flair and colourful style.
Where do you find the creative inspiration for your designs?
I find inspiration from the iconic fashions of the 1940s. For me, this era is the epitome of effortless style and grace.
I love the elegance of women like Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. They carried off their style with self-assurance and conviction. It left a lasting impression on me and you can see elements of this inspiration in my collection.
Did you design the entire Lucinda Frances collection yourself?
I design the entire collection at Lucinda Frances. I use my own individual style to come up with ideas, which I then have made for me using high-quality materials.
Who are your favourite designers, past & present? Why do you admire them?
I adore fashion, so I have a long list of favourite designers and it’s difficult to pick one or two favourites. Therefore, here are my top three!
- Chanel: For me, they are the epitome of 'timeless'. They never go out of fashion.
- Dior: Where Chanel is timeless, Dior is glamorous, chic, stylish, and assertive.
Together, it's easy to understand why France has such a reputation for haute couture.
- Dolce and Gabbana: Dolce and Gabbana is a youthful fashion house. There's plenty of colour and feminine charm, and statement pieces are what they do best.
These three designers have all the elements of fashion I prize most.
What is it about your style that makes your collection unique?
I draw my inspiration from different places at different times. It strikes anywhere, from the wings of a butterfly to the latest catwalk. This makes my collection unique and unpredictable.
My aim is to create statement pieces that make the wearer feel special. You stand out, but it's not garish. It's very wearable fashion.
What is your favourite item of clothing to design? Why is it your favourite?
My favourite item is the long fringe jacket. It comes in a variety of different colours: green, black, pink, or powder blue. I use a mix of colours for each jacket. For example, the black jacket uses more black thread than any other colour but has elements of red, blue and pink.
I love how the colour palette and texture makes them fun and the shape creates a stunning silhouette. The quality of the materials and stitching means the coats will last a lifetime.
The whole combination just works.
What are your three bestsellers? Why do you think they’re so popular?
My three bestsellers are the Braid Boots, Fringe Jackets, and Viennese Jackets.
I credit their popularity to the flexibility of the styles. They come in a range of colours and their shape means they flatter a broad range of fashions. They look as good when paired with skinny jeans as when paired with evening wear.
This makes them very individual but means that they also suit fashion lovers of all ages and shapes.
If you could travel back in time to when you started your label, what is the one piece of advice would you give yourself?
If I could go back and give myself one piece of advice, I'd say to pay more attention to FIT. Our bodies come in so many different shapes and sizes that you must offer a wide range of sizes.