FRESH START: Deborah Lyons, the designer previously known for her footwear label Mechanté of London, is coming back to the industry with a ready-to-wear brand.
Drawing from the lessons her time at Mechanté and from a line of jackets she did in collaboration with Misha Nonoo, Lyons is now focusing on curated collections with a clear customer in mind.
Her eponymous label takes a feminine approach, with girly touches for staple pieces that aim to take women from day to evening.
Some of the key pieces include pussy-bow shirts, bodysuits and slim, high-waisted trousers with playful velvet ankle ties. Outerwear is another key category, with smart tweed jackets with velvet panels and coats with interesting detailing such as exposed seams, ruched panels or balloon sleeves.
Lyons said the inspiration for the line came from all the entrepreneurial women in her friendship circles: “The line is designed to be worn in any environment that defines the customer, whether it’s in the Middle East, London or New York,” Lyons said. “I see the clothes playing into their lives and therefore they need to function wherever you are going.”
Many of her friends have started having children, which inspired the designer to include a “minis” capsule range for children featuring the brand’s key outerwear styles.
She had the same type of woman in mind when determining her brand’s price ranges.
“It’s for the people who actually go out, work hard and have money to spend, but at the same time they are not willing to spend silly amounts. They want things that mean something,” added the designer, pointing that she wants to tap into the contemporary market in the same way London-based label Self-Portrait did with evening dress. “We don’t want to be Self Portrait, but we want the market Self Portrait has.”
Prices for the range vary from $180 for a shirt to $750 for a leather jacket.
“Oddly, a very high price point can sometimes take away how special something is, because you feel like you can’t really touch it or get involved with it. I like the idea that anyone with a job can save up for our clothes. When I was designing shoes, that was something that, in the end, stopped being appealing to me: I was making shoes that cost 700 pounds that I couldn’t go and buy, it wasn’t a lifestyle I could live.”
The new range will be sold via the brand’s own e-commerce and at Harrods’ designer studio as of this month. It will be placed alongside other contemporary labels such as AWAKE, Kenzo and Mr & Mrs Italy on the shop floor.
Lyons said she aims to develop her partnership with Harrods, as well as establish the brand’s presence in key markets including the U.S. and the Middle East, where she had enjoyed great success with her previous label. Trunk shows in the region are also in the works, while e-commerce provides an opportunity to offer customers bespoke services.
“We’d like to grow slowly and make sure that we are delivering to our retailers and they continue to buy us. It’s key to build lasting relationships with them, which I think in this market is quite hard to do,” Lyons added.
As the brand evolves, Lyons said she plans to develop the evening wear category of the collection following high demand for the statement cutout jumpsuit she introduced. She added that she will also revisit footwear when the company reaches the right level of growth.