Monique Lhuillier Ready to Expand, Ponders Furniture

MILANMonique Lhuillier, who is known for her romantic bridal dresses and red carpet gowns, may one day complete her world with furniture.

In an interview with WWD, the designer explained that there’s no reason she can’t achieve that same sense of wonder inside the home and said she’s interested in one day designing furniture and fabrics.

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“I’m always thinking of new ideas for furniture, fabrics aand rugs. Lighting is also a category that interests me. I can’t wait to continue expanding the brand,” she said. Lhuillier started designing home decor for Pottery Barn in 2017 after helping the launch of Pottery Barn Kids in 2016, followed by Pottery Barn Teen in 2020.

Her latest Monique Lhuillier x Pottery Barn collaboration was released earlier this year and was a collection of tabletop, entertaining, textiles, bath and decorative accessories that take inspiration from the idyllic lavender fields of Provence.

In terms of influences, she is inspired by designers such as London-based interior designer Rose Uniacke and Los Angeles-based interior designer Waldo Fernandez. “Their work transports me to new environments and fills me with joy,” Lhuillier mused.

Lhuillier, who was born in Cebu City, Philippines, started sewing wedding dresses in her parents’ Malibu basement and in the ’90s set the building blocks that led to a company that now encompasses custom gowns, bridal, ready-to-wear and many licensed lifestyle categories with more than 1,000 points of sale and prices spanning from $300 to $60,000. Her husband, Tom Bugbee, is chief executive officer of her company and so far Monique Lhuillier has never taken in outside investment.

Pottery Barn Monique Lhuillier
Monique Lhuillier home for Pottery Barn

In a 2021 interview with WWD on the occasion of her 25th anniversary, Lhuillier said Pottery Barn originally reached out to form a partnership after seeing her home on the cover of Elle Decor and her collaboration with Goop, which launched in 2014. During lockdown, people were buying bedding, redoing their kids’ rooms, updating their homes and so that business grew exponentially, she reflected.

Also in 2021, she said her dream was to expand globally and even step into the beauty space, makeup and beauty for that big day. While Lhuillier produces fragrances under license, she still has not found a partner for a potential beauty line, she told WWD earlier this month.

“Beauty is still very much a passion of mine and I continue to explore that opportunity; however, it is important that I find the right partner. Not only am I looking for high-quality ingredients, but someone that understands the delicate colors and nuances that create luxe, elevated products that brides reach for to feel glamorous on their special day,” she said.

Lhuillier’s vision for home is centered around the family, building an oasis that permeates “safety and calmness” and L.A. living, which means eating al fresco and entertaining outside. “I wanted to share this passion for home and entertaining, making the everyday feel special and memorable. My partnership with Pottery Barn has allowed me to reach more consumers through an accessible collection that reflects my vision for the home,” she said.

Looking ahead and beyond the home and runway, her focus is on creating a lifestyle experience. “I am interested in further exploring the lifestyle space and have many existing lifestyle categories that are doing well for us, including engagement rings with Kay Jewelers; fragrance; ML Monique Lhuillier, my diffusion fashion label; digital wedding invitations with Paperless Post, and the brand’s coffee table book titled, ‘Monique Lhuillier The Art of Fashion.’ We are always working on new brand extensions to expand the world of Monique Lhuillier,” she said.

Whether she’s envisaging home decor or a bridal gown, her creations are a result of her travels and the storytelling that emanates from those environments. Constructing a setting for the modern woman where her home and fashion go hand and hand, it’s about being whisked away.

“For my bridal and fashion collections, I shoot in locations that capture the right mood by presenting my full vision of the design. For Pottery Barn, my inspiration continues to be rooted in these beautiful destinations. I want the consumer to be fully enveloped in the experience, whether it’s dining in Provence or Positano. While the feel of a location is always a part of my design process, much of my work for Pottery Barn is also inspired by my beautiful printed bridal gowns.”

Monique Lhuillier Bridal Fall 2024
Monique Lhuillier Bridal Fall 2024

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