Erica Kim, a graduate from Parsons, founded the popular clothing brand Lush in 2003. Since then, Lush has provided chic and stylish clothing for young women everywhere. With an average price point of $50, Lush offers high quality garments at an affordable price. Coming off of a stellar Spring/Summer collection, which featured Asian American bloggers Rachel from That’s Chic and Julie from Sincerely Jules, Erica is looking ahead to next season and gives us an exclusive preview of fall fashion.
Audrey Magazine: Why did you start Lush?
EK: I saw a need for garments that weren’t your major mass market. As a college student, I couldn’t afford to buy everything contemporary and spend hundreds of dollars on garments. With Lush, we wanted to create a line that’s interesting with great designs, yet very attainable for the average consumer.
AM: Are there designers you draw inspiration from?
EK: As far as high fashion goes, there’s a lot of inspiration coming from various people. Marni has really great color palettes. Phoebe Philo does really good clean lines. She’s always right on trend with shapes. I like some of the more independent designers also. Bloggers definitely influence what goes on in fashion nowadays.
AM: Sheer pieces and crop tops are especially popular during the summer. How do you transition these summer clothes into the fall?
EK: The way to do summer pieces, especially sheer button downs, is to use them as great layering tools underneath sweaters to add a pop of color or print. For dresses, you can always wear them with leggings or tights and booties. Layering and tights are great ways to update your wardrobe.
AM: What are Lush’s fall trends?
EK: The big trend for fall is definitely “shine.” We have a lot of very thick textured fabrication that have metallic thread. We also have these very cool textures that are pleated with metallic thread woven into them. Suits went away for a while but I think they’re going to be a big trend for the tail end of summer and fall, and even into next spring. Whether it is printed, solid, or color block, I think it is very important to match the top and the bottom. We’re still seeing a big trend in laces, especially in gold metallic. As far as prints, we have a lot of photoreal-looking prints (shown above). Prints generally are not as strong in the wintertime but there are usually some key prints for the fall. As far as colors go, it’s very jewel toned. We’re being a bit unconventional by mixing in shots of pastels and neons in the line. Peplums are still big and being done in tops, skirts, dresses, lace, you name it…and button downs are not going anywhere. They are still a staple piece in the wardrobe.
AM: Speaking of button downs, are they the best pieces to make a day-to-night outfit?
EK: I think if you’re going from work to a night out, a blazer or even a leather jacket, would give an edgier feel and create a nice contrast. Once the girl goes out to happy hour with her friends, she can always take it off and show a bralette underneath the chiffon blouse to give it that pop of color.
AM: Do you have any favorite pieces in Lush’s fall collection?
EK: I definitely love the leather jacket. For peplum styling, I love the lace top with the corset buttons on the back (shown above). I am always a fan of fluid tops and neckline details. I think every girl needs to have a great dress, like one with the razor front. And then I love the jacket that I’m wearing right now (see first image).
AM: Would you wear everything you design?
EK: No, it’s just a body type restriction. But I always think if [a cut] was flattering to my body, would I wear it. I think it is important to connect with your product. If you aren’t going to wear it, then who will?
AM: How can women take trends and make them their own?
EK: Not all trends translate to everyone being able to wear it. For some people, [a trend] might not be flattering. Sometimes, you have to take risks and through taking risks, you’ll know what you feel comfortable with and eventually develop your own style. Fashion is about comfort; you need to exude confidence and you can’t really do that unless you’re comfortable in your clothes. Don’t try to do too many new pieces at once.
AM: Is there a combination that most people wouldn’t expect, yet the pieces go really well together?
EK: I always like mixing different things. If you have a sweet dress, don’t put another lace jacket over it but pair it with a leather jacket to give a little bit of edge (shown above). Mixing and matching looks is really important so you don’t look too overly sweet or too overly edgy.
AM: Do you have any tips on how to accessorize an outfit without overdoing it?
EK: I definitely think you can’t do everything. You can’t do the whole nine yards. You need to pick a few key pieces. If you happen to love a bracelet, then just layer your bracelets and make the statement there. Don’t trying to do everything; I don’t think it’s necessary. I think how you put it together it what defines your style. Also, it depends on the garment. If the garment is simple, then maybe you want a statement necklace. If a shirt has detailing on the neckline, then you want to take the attention away from there and use some bracelets.
AM: How would you describe the “Lush” woman?
EK: I would describe her as being very confident. She has her own style but she always wants to be trend-right. She’s confident and loves to look at blogs and follow celebrities and peers. She is not afraid of taking risks in fashion and trying out new trends. She likes to party, she’s fun, she’s outgoing, and she likes to surround herself with her friends. She shops a lot and loves everything from head to toe.
AM: What is a good shopping rule?
EK: You should really find some key pieces for whatever season it is. Invest in those key pieces and layer around with what you have. Otherwise, you might end up buying a lot of clothes you never wear. Really ask yourself, if you need to have this. With our line, we’re hoping that our customers buy on impulse. We want girls to see it and say, “I have to have this.”
Check out more of Lush’s clothing here.