NEW BEGINNINGS: Amy Molyneaux, former designer of the British clothing label PPQ, is preparing to launch a collection of her own: a resort and swimwear brand called Lelloue.
Molyneaux has launched Lelloue with her business partner Helen Johnson, and the partners are taking a bold, unapologetically glamorous approach in order to stand out in an increasingly saturated resortwear market.
“With the new brand, I’m focusing on what I think is needed, where I see the gap in the market. There is a huge amount of resortwear that’s bohemian and hippie, but none that embraces this Nineties power glamour,” said Molyneaux of her debut range which includes bold maxi mesh cover-ups, leopard-print or polka dot bikinis and high-waisted pants and jumpsuits made from luxurious printed silks.
“I wanted to add gold foil printing, silk satins and pieces that have structure yet can stretch easily,” added the designer, who has previously designed lingerie or swimwear for various brands as a consultant. “I’m homing in on the skills I’ve developed in the past 20 years.”
The decision to launch resortwear was also a personal one for Molyneaux, who said she always enjoyed seeing PPQ’s young clientele wear her flowy, chiffon gowns over bikinis on the beach or in clubs in Ibiza: “When it comes to buying things specifically for a trip, there’s always a flame in my heart because it allows for a whole new level of dressing. In my past job, I couldn’t get all those ideas on the table because PPQ was a very London-centric brand. Now I can focus on the parts that I’ve been personally lusting after.”
Johnson, an avid traveler, said she had the same love of holiday wear and came together with Molyneaux with the vision of creating glamorous yet versatile pieces. “As women, I think we all have the same ‘luggage’ issues and strive to not overpack. The brand’s versatility allows you to be on the move, with minimum effort and maximum style,” said Johnson, who also acts as a second pair of eyes in the design process.
To launch the label, Molyneaux and Johnson teamed with the photographer Alex Lambrechts for their first look book, which features models posing in the collection next to a glamorous palm-tree lined pool. A bigger event, including a catwalk show and party, is planned for July 21 in a villa in Cannes, where Lelloue’s future clientele tends to go on holiday.
“I wanted to launch the brand in its environment and not through a static show somewhere,” Monyneux said. “What I experienced in the past is brands spending a lot of money on trade shows, but we felt that our actual customers and their lifestyles should be truly represented. Obviously, we will attend relevant seasonal shows, but by hosting an event in Cannes, we are giving the launch the momentum and energy it needs. I didn’t want it to be a flat start, and Cannes is on the map of that customer following the sun.”
Prices for the line range from 100 euros to 5,000 euros. “Our client is a high net worth individual for sure, but she still needs to know that she is getting her money’s worth. Our price point might be high but it’s reflected in the quality,” Molyneaux added.
Accessories, homeware and a fragrance are also part of Johnson’s and Molyneaux’s vision.